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Latest ACA Blog Posts
November 17, 2011
Recently, Matt MacPherson, a Recreation and Sports Management major at Indiana State University, had the opportunity to attend SCLA Midwest. Read about Matt's experiences at SCLA, what he learned about the importance of networking and professional development, his reaction to SCLA, and why he would recommend the experience to others. If you live in the West or Southeast, be on the lookout for more information about YOUR chance to attend SCLA.
Camping is a beautiful part of this life and it is going to take motivated and interactive people to take camping into a bright and effective future.
A Career in Camp
Leaves, trees, and changing weather. Those are just some of the attributes that people most likely think about when illustrating the outdoors. An outdoor setting provides a beautiful...
November 16, 2011
Religiously oriented camps have been around since almost the very beginning of organized camp. According to Jennifer Burch, M. Div., and Nancy Ferguson, M. Div., M. A. Ed., "Today, religious camp thrives in many forms, from conference-style youth assemblies to small-group rustic camps, day camps and travel camps, intergenerational and interfaith experiences, in a dazzling array of denominational and religious traditions."
Read more about the history of religious camps in the article "Religious Camps: Common Roots and New Sprouts," by Burch and Ferguson in the November/December issue of Camping Magazine.
Tell us about your camp experience on Facebook.
November 14, 2011
Interviews are way to showcase your personality and skills. Before any interview, it’s important to take some time to think about yourself and how you handle responsibilities (both on and off the job). Prepare yourself to answer questions in a clear, concise, and confident way.
Here’s an insider’s look at what camp directors consider when they are preparing for your interview: what questions they might ask, and what they are looking for in your responses.
Answering Unexpected Questions
In Stephen Maguire’s November/December 2010 Camping Magazine article, “Recruiting, Interviewing, and Hiring to Ensure the Best of the Best,” he offers these two “must-ask,” non-typical questions. It's important to have a good idea of who you are, what you like, and what you know in...
November 14, 2011
If we have bequeathed saving the planet to our children, how do we help them with this legacy? As a result of technology and disappearing access to nature, I fear our innate DNA with the natural world has been buried.
That said, if we want to restore an intimacy with the out of doors, we must be more intentional than ever. Our efforts must exceed simple exposure and include experiential activities, integration of such into everything we do, and shared language that articulates the ecology of nature.
We must incorporate science in order to ensure understanding, embrace spirituality to cause it to be emotionally welcome, and respect mystery in order to secure appreciation of nature's awe.
We have the best vehicle to help our children manage the legacy: the camp experience.
November 8, 2011
In 1910, Charles R. Scott became the first president of ACA (or, the Camp Directors Association of America, as it was known then).
This week, ACA announced Tisha Bolger as the president-elect of the National Board of Directors. Bolger, a current board member, will be the 65th president of ACA when she takes on her new role in April 2012.
November 8, 2011
Here are the top 10 reasons to join us in Atlanta, Georgia, February 21-24, 2012!
- Professional Development Opportunities. Learn about the topics you love (camp, kids, leadership) and be able to put it on your resume.
- It’s FREE for Student Members! If you haven't already taken advantage of a free ACA membership, sign up as student member at www.ACAcamps.org/membership/free. Then, register for conference as a student member . . . which is also FREE. Student members enjoy all the educational sessions at conference. Details at: www.ACAcamps.org/conference/registration#students.
- Make Connections. Meet friends with the same interests as you, and even talk to the experts in camp from across the...
November 7, 2011
Has working with kids at camp inspired you to pursue a career in school counseling?
"30 Informative Q&A Sites on Counseling Young Children" provides great resources on general counseling, grief counseling, and guidance counseling for young children.
Don't forget about ACA's Professional Development Center, where you can earn continuing education credits by taking online courses on topics like bullying, creating a sense of community in camp, and...
November 2, 2011
In 1997, there was a resurgence of emphasis on youth development outcomes of the camp experience.
In the mid 1990s, the Search Institute began providing results of research in schools on child and adolescent development, risk prevention, and resiliency based on a framework of four developed assets, which are positive experiences, relationships, opportunities, and personal qualities that young people need to grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible adults.
November 1, 2011
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education defines dispositions as: “professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demonstrated through both verbal and non-verbal behaviors . . . .” How does one’s disposition impact their ability to work with others, impart knowledge, and manage life?
When we are hiring or training, do we give equal time to assessing "dispositions"? I believe dispositions have a powerful role when working and sharing space with others. I am sure it impacts the quality of the experience.
What is your disposition? What impact do your counselor’s dispositions have on camper experiences?
October 26, 2011
In 1906, Winning Farm for Mothers and Children in Lexington, Maine, served as one of the industry's first mutli-generational camps. Today, camp programs for families are a big part of the camp experience — benefiting all campers, from the very young to the young at heart.
What is your favorite family camp moment?
October 24, 2011
Most of you know that I have been fascinated by the teen brain research. Lance Ozier (who has made contributions to Camping Magazine on the topic of the camp and learning connection) shared a fascinating article with me that he found in National Geographic Magazine, authored by David Dobbs. I highly recommend it!
I loved Dobbs’ article because it gave me a new perspective on teen brain development. We need not think of a teenage brain as simply “not fully developed.” Instead consider what Dobbs writes: “The brain undergoes extensive remodeling, resembling a network and wiring upgrade.” He talks about many attributes of teen brain development that explain why the camp experience is SO PERFECT for...
October 24, 2011
As camp staff, you know the importance of enjoying and caring for your natural surroundings. This time of year, the leaves are changing and the air is crisp — fall is a great time to get outdoors!
Here are our top ten favorite fall activities:
- Hiking (You can get into National Parks for free in honor of Veterans' Day Weekend, Nov. 10-12)
- Going to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard
- Camping (S'mores anyone?!)
- Helping elderly neighbors winterize their yards (Raking, weeding, getting the garden ready for spring!)
- Collecting fall leaves
- Outdoor pick-up games with friends (Football, basketball, soccer, etc.)
- Taking a hayride
- Birdwatching (Never been? Check out this beginner's guide!) ...
October 19, 2011
Read the 2011 Fall CampLine now to find out what serious issues camps dealt with this summer and how staff worked to solve them, including: health and medical issues, camper behavior, parent behavior, and more! It's a great way to prepare yourself for next season!
Also in the Fall CampLine, brush up on ACA's initiatives in Washington, and learn about the issues surrounding use of medical marijuana in camps.
CampLine is a free risk management newsletter published three times a year. Previous issues are also available online at www.ACAcamps.org/campline/archives.
October 19, 2011
Whether it's creating longlasting friendships, trying something new, or accomplishing personal goals, many aspects of the camp experience help build confidence in campers. Think about these statistics*:
- 96% of campers say camp helped them make new friends
- 92% of campers say camp helped them feel good about themselves
- 74% of campers say they tried things at camp that they were afraid to do at first
- 70% of parents say their camper gained self-confidence at camp
What did camp teach you about yourself?
*Find more about the outcomes of the camp experience in ACA's research report Directions.
October 12, 2011
The Student Camp Leadership Academy (SCLA) is a weekend retreat that brings together students, camp professionals, and ACA leadership to explore, learn, and understand what the camp professional of the future must be.
You can apply now for SCLA — Midwest, taking place in Ingleside, Illinois, November 11-13. Applications are due next week.
Stay tuned for information on SCLA — West, which will be held February 2012 in San Juan Capistrano, California.
Discover leadership opportunities available at both the local and national levels of ACA, and start impacting the development of youth and others!
Visit the SCLA homepage for more info.