ACA Camp Blog

February 5, 2013

“Camp is not all about the performance, but the pursuit — the pursuit of relevant experience and knowledge.”

The following article by ACA CEO Peg Smith appeared in USA TODAY on February 1 and 4, 2013.

January 15, 2013

Each month, Peg will host a guest blogger here on A Word from Peg. This month's guest is Audrey Monke, owner and director of Gold Arrow Camp.

"Camp has taught me to be brave and reach my goals. If it wasn't for camp, I wouldn't be nearly as courageous as I am now."
— Remi, age 11

December 21, 2012

We all continue to mourn the events of Sandy Hook Elementary School. That said, the discourse and deliberation about possible solutions are being expressed across the country.

Yet, what is the comprehensive answer? Frankly and honestly, I don't know. That said, I expect that any number of ACA's leadership groups will be seriously deliberating on this issue, and others, during the next couple of months. For instance, the National Council of Leaders and the ACA Board of Directors will meet in February, and I expect this topic to be at the top of the agenda.

December 17, 2012

Last week, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School horror, I shared on Facebook that I had no words. Since, I have watched and read many reactions to the loss of such innocence. People have expressed such wisdom, insight, and resource. Yet, I am still without words.

December 7, 2012

As many of you know, a new national grant announced this past Monday will fund extended school days for ten school districts in five states. (Read more about the grant here.)

November 27, 2012

It may be my imagination but, at times, I feel many of us feel that we are far too often dealing with unfriendly spaces or feeling threatened. We may feel physically, emotionally, or even economically threatened. Regardless, the feelings are the same — discomfort or fear. How can we be better people, a stronger family or community, or a healthy country, if we feel unsafe?

I believe the camp experience allows young people to learn and practice civility — which might be one of the most important attributes in this decade.

November 20, 2012

Last week I wrote about the value of play as it relates to socialization and maturation. Play has an important role in the development of maturation for not only our campers, but the adolescents and young adults at camp who serve as our CITs and counselors.

As I reflected on the concept of play, it occurred to me that if I were a young adult, I might resent my activities being characterized as play. When I was in that stage of my life, it was important to me to be seen not as a child but as a capable adult, albeit a young one.

November 9, 2012

What happens when children and youth are deprived of play?

November 5, 2012

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This was Shakespeare’s way of telling us that what matters is what something is, not what it is called. Boy, would Shakespeare love today’s nomenclature. Today, we spend an inordinate amount of time arguing over shared concepts just because we are using different terms to describe the same thing.

October 30, 2012

I sit here today like many others across the nation watching the weather event taking place in the Northeast. My thoughts go to the children. Although I grew up in “tornado alley,” weather was rarely a distraction. With all of the talk about global warming and one dramatic weather event after another, it seems these topics are as oppressive for young children today as the Bay of the Pigs was for me as a child.