Connection, Belonging and the Importance of Having Anchors in Teenagers’ Lives

The positive impact of even one adult in a teen’s world can be life-changing.

In video 6 of 8, Amy talks about our need for connection and the importance of teens having at least one person who sees and “gets” them. Amy calls these people anchors.

I know all parents want to be anchors in their children’s lives, but teenagers also need other people to recognize them and help them to see their strengths.

How an anchor changed a life

I have a friend named Travis Allison. Travis lives in Canada and for many years was a Camp Director, and now works as a consultant helping summer camps succeed.

Travis tells a story about when he was a boy at camp. He says he was not the best athlete or the most popular kid, and I’m sure he often doubted himself, as we all do.

Travis said one day at camp, his counselor, who he admired, called him over to speak with him for a minute. The counselor said a few words to him that would change his life forever.

He said, “Travis, you would make a great camp counselor one day.” Travis was stunned. He did not see that potential in himself at all.

This counselor went on to tell Travis that he was a lot like him when he was his age, and he mentioned some of the qualities he saw in him that would make him a great counselor. He saw what the analyst Robert Johnson calls “the gold” in Travis.

That one sentence set the course for Travis’s professional and even personal life. I hope every teenager can find that kind of great anchor in their lives, and I also hope that I can be that anchor for more campers.

“Consciously Parenting Teens” Video Series

I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt in for the whole series. I think there are some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.

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Thoughts about anchors?

What do you think about this idea of Anchors? I would love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below. I will respond.


Find out about Odyssey Teen Camp

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Adam Simon, Odyssey Teen Camp Director

Adam Simon

I'm Adam Simon. I started teen camp eighteen years ago with the vision of creating a space where teenagers would know they are safe from bullying or negative judgments and would feel free to show who they really are and to become their best selves. Let's connect, discuss, and engage...
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Find Out About Odyssey Teen Camp

A Non-Profit Overnight Summer Camp For Teens Ages 13-18
Located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.