Salisbury Academy students hone valuable life skills

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

SALISBURY — From prioritizing wellness to managing personal finances to having safety awareness, developing life skills is a critical key to success for young adults.

The topic was in the spotlight at a recent Life Skills Camp with the Salisbury Academy director of admission and school counselor Allison Doby. The camp served rising 8th-12th grade students.

“A big part of healthy development in teens is being prepared for independence through the building of useful skills that will serve students time and time again,” Doby said. “So we decided to create a summer camp around this concept.”

The Life Skills Camp used the SA Upper School’s downtown location at 316 Depot Street as its home base, with activities occurring both at the school and around town.

The five-day camp began with safety training at the Salisbury Police Department. Students then moved into CPR, first aid and AED training with the Rowan Rescue Squad on day two.

On day three, students learned about car maintenance under the guidance of Salisbury Motor Company representatives and on day four, students focused on personal wellness with a yoga class at SoFul Yoga and a jiu-jitsu self-defense class led by the organization Kickfit.

The week concluded with a deep dive into personal finance management with Charles Whaley, Director of Tax Services for HealthCare Management Consultants.

“The different things that this attentive group of teens was exposed to during the week represent areas that are oftentimes missing from school curricula,” Whaley said. “Each student participated openly and freely, and it was a joy to be able to share my knowledge with them.”

Whaley shared that in his lesson on financial management, the group discussed budgeting and saving, debt, retirement planning and investing, and taxes. The group also participated in an in-depth simulation exercise highlighting the financial disparities in American society today.

Eleventh grader Hines Busby served as a camp volunteer throughout the week.

“I absolutely loved the camp and enjoyed the presentations and how the presenters from the community made the information easy to understand,” Busby said. “Not only did I get to learn valuable life skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, but I also got to help Mrs. Doby as she organized the camp event.”

Rising 11th-grade student and camp attendee Eve Rich said that the connections she made at the camp were energizing.

“Life Skills was more than fun,” Rich said. “I got to figure out what I already know and add to what I don’t. One of my favorite things was at the police station, where I got to see where everything happens. [It was] an eye opener, really.”

As leader of the camp, Doby explained that the students’ experiences not only assisted in building life skills but also provided exciting connections for students by exposing them to different careers within the community and hobbies and interests that they may not yet have discovered.

“We are deeply thankful for the community partners who helped to make this camp so engaging and look forward to expanding on this type of programming going forward,” Doby said.