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October 12, 2011
Every year, traditions at camp serve as a point of connection and unity. They are often a time to remember the past, consider how much we've grown, and even set goals for the future. Traditions can be fun, crazy, or solemn . . . but whatever they may be, they are always unique!
What are the traditions at your camp?
October 10, 2011
Our Jewish friends in the camp community celebrated Yom Kippur this past weekend, the holiest of Jewish holidays. The holiday culminates ten days of reflection and is an opportunity to start anew — a fresh beginning for the new year. What a perfect time to celebrate the children and look forward to the future with joy in our hearts! Even in the differences that any of us may have, we share so much. When we are able to do so, we give so much to our children and the future.
I sit here in the Midwest watching the leaves turn colors realizing in another part of the country they have received an early snow. Regardless, whether weather or belief, seasons change . . . affording us the opportunity to reflect on what we have done well, where we need to improve, and how to capture the opportunities of tomorrow.
October 5, 2011
Did you take some awesome photos at camp this year? Enter them into Camping Magazine's 2012 Golden Lens Contest!
You could win a $150 cash prize and your photo could be on the cover of the next May/June Camping Magazine!
Just send your favorite photos that depict the camp experience (and represent the best practices in the field) to magazine@ACAcamps.org.
Before you submit your photos, make sure to fill out the online photo release!
Include your name, camp name, contact address, and phone number in the e-mail.
(Photos must be .tif or .jpeg files and at least 300 dpi.)
The deadline to submit photos is November 30, 2011.
Check out previous Golden...
October 5, 2011
Today, October 5, is "Do Something Nice Day." Throughout history, camps have understood the value of service whatever the date may be.
For example, did you know that after serving as crowd control at President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913, the Boy Scouts have maintained a tradition of serving in some way at presidential inaugurations to this day?
Did you know that throughout the years, Girls Scouts have undertaken initiatives to better the world, such as breaking down racial prejudices, helping Vietnamese refugee children adapt to their new circumstances, and creating a "Global Understanding" project focused on health care, hunger, literacy, natural resources, and cultural heritage?
What does your camp do in the spirit of service? Let us know how you and your camp make "Do Something Nice Day" a common occurance!
October 3, 2011
We are all asking ourselves how the new market forces are causing us to think differently . . . That said, I hope we don't lose the "HUM."
Without the essence of HUM, market forces or not, moving forward won't be easy.
September 28, 2011
In 1929, Hedley S. Dimmock and Charles Hendry identified the critical connection between the camp experience and the development of character in their book Camping and Character. Character development remains one of the most critical outcomes of the camp experience to this day.
How does your program work to build character in campers?
September 26, 2011
Hey Student Members! Did you know you can register for the ACA National Conference, "Convergence: Vision, Learning, and Innovation," for free?
This outstanding professional development and networking opportunity takes place February 21-24 in Atlanta, Georgia.
If you're looking for an experience that will help you prime your skills and knowledge in the camp and youth development field, or you want to meet and exchange ideas with peers and seasoned vets alike, this is the place to do it!
Register for free today by downloading the form at www.ACAcamps.org/conference/registration.
*Make sure you read the fine print below first.
So you're not a member yet? No worries! With ACA's...
September 22, 2011
I have a big magnet on my desk that says, “Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” It made me wonder if we fail to embrace boldness today. There are two definitions of boldness. One is more negative — related to brazen, brassy, or insolent. But the other is relates to being courageous, valiant, sturdy, and plucky.
Have we let the negative connotation of boldness usurp the positive possibilities? If so, what might we be losing? I so long to be plucky! Do we not want our children and youth to be able to muster up the courage and determination to face life’s inevitable difficulties? With all the fun at camp, do we not also teach kids to be plucky? I hope so. I so long to be plucky . . .
September 21, 2011
Since the 1930s, camps and public lands have shared a close relationship.
This Saturday, September 24, get outside and enjoy National Public Lands Day! Find a local site where you can volunteer to help beautify your public lands, or enjoy the day in a national park with free admission!
How will you celebrate National Public Lands Day?
September 19, 2011
We really don’t say those words out loud, but often our behaviors get our meaning across quite clearly. We have to deal with so many complex and difficult situations that we just grow tired of “self-regulation.” Don’t you just want to throw a good old fashioned temper tantrum sometimes? But learning how to pause, “count to ten,” and consider alternatives is critical if we are to maintain a civil society.
The camp experience is a wonderful vehicle to help kids use their brains to practice “self-regulation.” Every time we are exposed to a new situation, we experience a low-level stress response. As parents and educators, it is our job to expose kids to new situations in safe and responsive settings so they can learn to manage feelings of discomfort without getting angry, fearful, dismissive, or even by becoming a bully. Discomfort is not necessarily a bad thing; rather, it’s an opportunity to...
September 14, 2011
For 150 years, camp has been a place where children and youth can develop their talents, find their passions, and become inspired to take their camp successes into their everyday lives.
Many important figures in business and science, artists and performers, and political leaders can put a camp experience on their resume — people like Nancy Reagan, Ralph Lauren, Julia Roberts, and Neil Diamond, just to name a few.
These are some of the well-known success stories from camp — but there are millions more out there. How did camp inspire you to follow your passions and strive to do your best? Tell us YOUR success story!
September 14, 2011
September 13, 2011
Do I want to strive for compliance? To what end? Do I want to spend my time creating processes for predictability and accountability? Do I want to be recognized for complacency and towing the line?
Or do I want to help myself and others learn to cope, survive, and thrive with unpredictability and uncertainty? What will best nurture innovation and creativity?
Something to think about . . .
September 7, 2011
Camp has brought 150 years of new experiences for children, youth, and adults — canoeing, hiking, woodworking, horseback riding, fishing, rafting, bicycling, and more. This fall, stay active with your new-found favorite activity! What’s yours?
September 6, 2011
Ei yi yi! How many ways can it be said?
Okay, so we get it. You don’t want to use the word “camp experience.” But for heaven’s sake, you have to recognize that the research that supports out-of-school time, after-school time, expanded learning opportunities, and/or summer learning also supports CAMP! It is a credible, evidence informed vehicle for learning! Learn to say "camp experience!"