At La Junta, we chose to make it easy on ourselves. In order to best provide an environment that would nurture self-confidence in every boy who attends, we eliminated girls (social pressure), team sports (athletic pressure) and grades (academic pressure). Those three pressures are huge obstacles to a relaxing school year full of personal growth and success for many boys. In order to increase the chances for success and self-confidence, we’ve created an environment where these pressures have disappeared. In their place we have choice based programming, independence based and life time skill oriented activities. We set standards that can be competed against, rather than head to head competition. The result is a campus of positive support and realistic success which builds a positive results and self-confidence.
The summer program at La Junta is personalized to the preference of each boy. In the weeks before camp, each camper selects his ten favorite activities. A schedule of classes uniquely based on his age and ability in each activity is prepared just for him. He’ll do five activities on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and five more on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.
La Junta’s daily schedule provides each boy with his own specific brand of enjoyment in addition to his own means of achievement. Activity schedules are coordinated to assure each boy pursuit of his own particular interests and aide him in his personal goal-setting. A system of award patches, designed into every activity, gives each camper something to strive for, as well as a realistic gauge of success in each of his activities. All campers receive a round patch for each activity in which they participate and a chevron for each level of proficiency they pass within that activity. Campers are encouraged to set realistic goals for themselves on opening day, and counselors monitor their success as the term progresses. An attractive board on which over 100 patches may be proudly displayed is provided to each boy as a lasting reminder of his achievements at La Junta.
Providing a way of measuring progress and success is the focus of La Junta’s well-organized, thorough system of awards and activities. We feel that every boy given, the opportunity to set his own personal goals and the opportunity to pursue them at his own level should leave La Junta as a more confident young man. Merely striving for improvement is among the most valuable growth tools available. A bright red riflery patch represents more than just the skill it took to score one’s first perfect target; it symbolizes the character and discipline built while striving for self-improvement.