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January 3, 2012
How do our camp experiences make such a profound difference in the lives of young people?
It isn't rocket science, although if you read the adolescent brain research you can understand why our communities are so incredibly successful. Or if you read what we know about hope and the human spirit — the camp experience makes sense. Consider the following:
- Fundamentally, we still believe that having fun is an excellent way to learn. Fun, and specifically humor, is the highest form of abstract thinking. Fun keeps the brain alert and engaged.
- We believe in the outdoors as a natural and incredibly dynamic learning environment. We are a part of nature and are soothed when we return to the intimacy of the natural world.
- We understand that as humans we need real relationships and will seek them out and, in fact, suffer if deprived of human contact.
- Finally, we value active participation at whatever...
December 21, 2011
Since its first publication in 1930, Camping Magazine has gone through several design revisions. And the content has evolved from news about the association to critical articles and resources on best practices, programming, and camp management.
In the last ten years, Camping Magazine has become the most sought after resource in the camp industry. With cutting edge articles on relevant (and sometimes controversial) topics, and intentional content around history, diversity, and the evolving world of camp, Camping Magazine consistently delivers high quality articles and resources for camps and camp professionals.
Look for your next issue of Camping Magazine today!
December 20, 2011
I believe the camp experience should be a part of every child's developmental growth and education. As such, ACA supports those who create exceptional futures for children and youth through quality camp experiences. Even after 150 years, today, a quality camp experience makes the world better by creating 21st century leaders who understand character, community, collaboration, and citizenship.
Yet, maybe more importantly, in a world that is consumed by a tsunami of fear that causes us to consider keeping young people hostage in academic institutions 24/7, the camp community has the ability to encourage intellectual courage — a courage that recognizes challenge, imagination, and innovation. We encourage young people to seek solutions and alternatives. We appreciate and understand that mistakes teach important...
December 19, 2011
In this guest blog by Sarah Horner Fish, executive director at Tom Sawyer Camps in Pasadena, California, you'll learn how to make a lasting impression when applying and interviewing for summer jobs. Visit ACA's Job site for more information about working at camp or to find job postings!
The word is out. A job at a summer camp is one of the best ways to spend your summer! You will learn excellent real life skills and make a significant difference in the lives of others. It most likely will be one of the hardest jobs you have ever had, but at the same time, it will help you grow in so many ways. Many of our past camp counselors say their job at camp was hands down the best job they have ever had. And with the unemployment rate where it is,...
December 14, 2011
In honor of tomorrow’s Early Bird Deadline for conference registration, today’s Moment in Camp History is all about national conference!
- 1925 — The first national conference was held in Cedar Hill, Massachusetts. ACA was still known as the “Camp Directors Association” back then, and the national conference was regarded as the “annual meeting.”
- 1935 — The first national conference of the American Camping Association was held in Cleveland, Ohio. It was referred to as “convention.”
- 1949–1977 — National conferences and regional conferences were held in alternate years.
- 2005 — The first conference of ACA as it’s known today (American Camp Association) was held in Orlando, Florida at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
- Number of times the conference has been held in...
December 12, 2011
Now is the time to look for that summer job!
Check out this link on ACA's Job site: Summer Job Search Tips.
Explore available summer job opportunities at ACA's Summer Jobs @ Camp site.
Do you have questions related to your job search? Send your job question to janderson@ACAcamps.org, and we'll work on posting something helpful from the experts right here on the Counselor Blog.
December 12, 2011
So many young people are without adequate food and shelter this season. I know those of us who can will remember to be generous with others in order to help fill stomachs, cloth bare heads and feet, and support those without a home. But let's not forget to fill the heart and spirit.
You know the sheer joy a young person receives when given a colorful package with shiny ribbons. The fun of ripping open the package to find a small toy or stuffed animal is immeasurable. And consider the bonus if attached to that toy or stuffed animal is a scholarship for a camp experience! Fill a heart — it could be a joy of a lifetime.
December 8, 2011
December 7, 2011
Camp is the ultimate gift! It gives children a sense of who they are, helps them to become more independent, and opens up a world of opportunity where they see that they CAN become leaders, work with others, and accomplish goals through hard work . . . all while having fun!
This holiday season, give the gift of camp. Whether it is a week at camp for the special child in your life, or a donation to ACA's Send a Child to Camp Fund for a deserving child who might not otherwise have the opportunity, camp really is the gift that will never break or become outdated. The the skills and memories a child gains from a camp experience last a LIFETIME!
December 5, 2011
Jule Sugarman asked me once: "When do you think, Peg?" I fear we fail to provide children and youth the time or space to simply think. Why is it I often come up with good ideas when driving alone? How can young people know what they think if they haven't the time to be quiet and reflect?
Besides, it is also good to learn to spend quality time with yourself every once in a while. If you can't stand to be alone with yourself, how do you expect others to tolerate time spent with you? Quiet space can be managed even in the most robust community . . . such as camp.
November 30, 2011
November 28, 2011
In today's world, I see the following:
- Vacuum in the spiritual and moral dimension
- The deprivation of the natural world
- The deficit in meaningful relationships
- The loss of communities
In the camp community, we have the power and ability to address all of these issues, and help our campers learn:
- Legacy — accept the job that has been handed down to us to cure, preserve, and protect the natural world
- Authenticity — agree to seek and protect legitimate and real human connections / relationships that matter
- Humanity — honor, accept, and embrace diversity of thinking and being
Camp connects children with the true HUMANE nature.
November 23, 2011
Among camp friends, our favorite counselors, and the wonder of nature, being at camp gives us a lot to be grateful for!
Even when we're away from camp, we can look back at days filled with fun, the chance to discover independence, and the opportunity to forge lifelong friendships as some of the top reasons we're thankful for the camp experience!
When you think about YOUR camp experience, what are you most grateful for?
November 21, 2011
Student Camp Leadership Academy — Southeast (SCLA — Southeast)
Learn about camp as a profession, and connect with college students and camp professionals.
Emerging Professionals in Camping (EPIC)
Feb. 21, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Christopher Thurber and Steve Maguire will lead a discussion on the challenge of developing camp's leadership through...
November 17, 2011
I recently returned from the International Camping Congress in Hong Kong.
Surrounded by my colleagues in the global camp community, I couldn’t help but ask: What if we could truly be Global Resource Partners for the camp community? What if we used our global wisdom to create a generation of global citizens?
Global citizens are those who are prepared to deliver a global promise — leaders who must address the vexing global problems facing our world today: global economy, climate changes, and the impact of technology on our world.
The best we can do is teach our kids to live with people of different cultures and languages, and to honor what Joseph Cornell called our “ancient community” — nature.
Like nature, the camp community is a complex, diverse, dynamic system that...