Latest ACA Blog Posts

June 19, 2012

At camp, some kids practice sports, some practice instruments, and some practice their belly flops. But one thing that ALL campers practice is independence!

Camp provides a nurturing and safe environment for kids to face challenges on their own, and that can be incredibly constructive to a child’s character.

June 18, 2012

You will have tons of fun as a camp counselor this summer — but did you know that you’re also developing critical workplace skills?

Traditionally, the “3 Rs” (reading, writing, and arithmetic) have been the focus of workplace preparation. In other words:

June 13, 2012

Whether you’re a seasoned vet or this is your first summer as a camp counselor, it’s important to get the season started right! Here are some expert tips for your very first days at camp.

Set Goals for Yourself

From “Will I Be Enough to Make a Difference?” by Greg Cronin, CCD

June 12, 2012

I believe we all want kids to grow up to be successful, healthy, contributing adults. Yet, it seems we have a contradiction in approaches — a paradox — that causes competition in resources, both fiscal and time.

Which strategy gives kids the brightest future: One that employs academic, resume building environments? Or one that presents engaged, experiential, and expanded learning approaches?

June 4, 2012

As a parent, I fear we have forgotten that for generations, children grew up outside. We rode our bikes around the neighborhood and splashed around in creeks. We ran barefoot in the grass and climbed trees. Childhood was characterized by innocence, imagination, energy, wonder, and laughter. Frankly, the thought of being cooped up inside all day long was unfathomable and tortuous. Truth be known, that was how my dad punished me — I was sent to my room.

June 1, 2012

According to author and psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, 97 percent of children experience at least some occasional homesick feelings at camp. Considering that statistic, you’ll probably have at least a few campers who experience some level of homesickness this summer. As their counselor — their first line of communication and comfort — do you know what to say and do?

Selected Tips for Handling Campers’ Homesickness

1. Early on, introduce campers to older campers who were once in their shoes.

May 31, 2012

Guest post by Missy Schenck       

The first time I went away to summer camp I had just finished the third grade. All first-year campers have nagging doubts about their summer away from home and I was no exception. 

May 29, 2012

I love to read, and as such, many people forward things to me they think I might find interesting. It is great — I feel like I have my own set of librarians working just for me. ACA’s Director of Research Deb Bialeschki is one of those librarians.

May 23, 2012

Photo courtesy of Trailside Discovery Camp in Anchorage, Alaska.

Stargazing in the night sky, hiking in an ancient forest, even just feeling the breeze on a warm day — these simple things help kids find peace of mind, wonder, and a greater connection to the world. Camp is one of the best places (and in some cases, the only place) for kids to be nurtured by nature!

May 22, 2012

There is something to be said about the revival of a “way of learning” that supports tacit knowledge, (tacit knowledge will be needed in a constantly changing world — see “Learning for a World of Constant Change,” by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown), and its relationship to the cultivation of both hope and imagination. Tacit knowledge is a result of doing and experiencing — engagement.