ABOUT DAN - Life Skills

Motivated Miscisco Guides Camp
By Ann Sullivan
Staff Reporter - Vancouver Courier


Sports and Life

Dan Miscisco is a passionate man. His greatest passion is motivational learning and listening to him talk about the subject, it's hard not to be affected by his enthusiasm. In an interview he pitches forward across the table, punctuating his words with flailing hands, his intense blue eyes boring holes. At one point he sits back and apologises for his enthusiasm. "I get a little excited," he sys. Miscisco, a teacher at Norgate community school, is the founder of Futurekids, motivational learning camps for children in grades five to eight. The summer camps are designed to show kids that education doesn't have to be boring. "My task is to get young people excited about learning. You have to make it an adventure." The one-week summer camps aim to build children's self-confidence and life skills in a positive and supportive climate, Miscisco says. "I'm a firm believer that if you exert effort you should get acknowledgement." He relies on a repertoire of gimmicks, props, and prizes to reward kids for their participation in class. Miscisco throws himself wholeheartedly into everything he does and he expects the people around him to do the same. "I tell the kids, 'If you're not going to do a good job of something, don't do it at all. Otherwise you'll just practicing being sloppy."' The North Shore teacher and speaker spends around 15 hours a day running 20 camps a week. In addition to FutureKids, which he started in 1990, Miscisco has been running children's summer sports camps for 25 years. "I don't think a moment goes by in the summer that I'm not thinking about the camps," he says. Despite the growing demand for Miscisco's camps, the man who started it all says this may be his last year.

Camp Offers Life Skills Personal growth for young people is the focus of a series of summer camps in the Lower Mainland. The city educators - UBC lecturer Bernie Krynowsky and North Vancouver teacher and motivational speaker Dan Miscisco - who have founded Future Success Enrichment Camps to raise self-esteem and encourage a range of skills from time-management to leadership and money know-how in youth. In small group sessions based on age (elementary, junior-high, and senior high school age) students are exposed to life skills, social skills including manners, speaking  and organizational skills and positive, constructive attitudes. "We have fun - and activities are powerful and realistic," Krynowsky adds.