Social Emotional Learning is where it's at for Renaissance Adventures, a company that has been offering award winning experiential education programs through live-action and tabletop role-playing games for children and teens since 1995. The connection between role-play and positive social development has been explored by a number of writers.
In an article by Dr. Kieth Oatley in Scientific American magazine, he reports the findings that fictional storytelling increases a person’s capacity to understand and empathize with the characters in the story, and by extension, with people in their lives. “The process of entering imagined worlds of fiction builds empathy and improves your ability to take another person’s point of view. Fiction facilitates the development of social skills because it provides experience thinking about other people.”
In an article titled “Fantasy Role-playing for Mutual Aid in Children’s Groups” (Drs. Zayas & Lewis, Social Work with Groups, Volume 9, Issue 1), the researchers illustrate how three boys with ADHD were presented with a scenario in a fantasy roleplaying game that required them to work together. The children began the scenario by doing what they always did—rush into the challenging situation without a thought to the best way to overcome it. After an initial failure (a failure that was both physically and emotionally safe), the boys thought ahead to overcome challenges with more patient collaboration.
In her book, Role Play Made Easy, training expert Susan El-Shamy observes that “the benefits of role playing [include] showing the strengths, weaknesses, and consequences of certain behaviors and attitudes… a participant in a role play can immediately test new information and try out new behaviors, see how things feel, make adjustments, and try again.”
Program development at Renaissance Adventures is based upon the following three goals:
#1: To create a nurturing and safe environment with adventures that are full of fun, freedom, and creative problem- solving with small groups of friends.
#2: To assist children and teens in realizing their own unique gifts and talents.
#3: To help children and teens achieve their personal goals, and experience self-fulfillment and empowerment.
Renaissance Adventures began offering online camps, classes, and birthday parties nationwide in 2020 to suppliment their local Boulder and Denver (Colorado) based outdoor camps, knight CIT, afterschool, home quest, and home study mentor programs. For more information visit WWW.RENAISSANCEADVENTURES.COM or Email: Info@RenaissanceAdventures.com