Latest ACA Blog Posts

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a deserving child who might not otherwise have the opportunity, camp really is the gift that will never break or become outdated.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!

To learn more about the gift of camp, read "Giving the Ultimate Gift: Camp" from the November 2011 ...

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

For the past two years, ACA has celebrated its 100th anniversary, and the 150th anniversary of organized camp. Each camp has its own unique story, with its own unique history. How does your camp celebrate its history?

Click here to view a list of ACA camp centennial milestones.

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:

  1. Legacy — accept the job that has been handed down to us to cure, preserve, and protect the natural world
  2. Authenticity — agree to seek and protect legitimate and real human connections / relationships that matter
  3. 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

 

Professional Development and Networking at ACA’s 2012 National Conference

Special Opportunities

Student Camp Leadership Academy — Southeast (SCLA — Southeast)
Feb. 21–23
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...

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.

Learn more about the members of ACA's national board, and find out why the board recently received a prestigious leadership award.

 

November 8, 2011

Here are the top 10 reasons to join us in Atlanta, Georgia, February 21-24, 2012!

  1. Professional Development Opportunities. Learn about the topics you love (camp, kids, leadership) and be able to put it on your resume.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

Here's a resource for you!

"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.

ACA provides meaningful and applicable research about the camp experience, and even offers outcomes measurement tools to help camps improve the quality of the camp experience.  

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