Latest ACA Blog Posts

August 12, 2013

In July, I had the opportunity and privilege to visit a number of ACA camps in Southern California. Visits to camps are always inspiring. This trip was particularly enjoyable because I was given the opportunity to not only spend some quality time with camp owners and directors, but I was provided additional discussion time with counselors.

August 7, 2013

Whether you already have a new camp leadership role, or you’ll be going for one next summer, there are a few things to keep in mind as you become a camp leader.

Your role is different than it was as frontline staff member, and your responsibilities are more complex. Keep in mind these tips from Harvard Business Review (HBR) and Careerealism as you make the transition:

August 6, 2013

Am I missing courage? I am a Wizard in an Oz of my own making.

I love to assimilate thoughts and concepts that may appear ambiguous and create meaning. To do so takes courage because at times the results may appear foolish. Yet, when I apply my genuine emotions (my heart) and use my brain to utilize the best thoughts collected from others, every once in a while, new meaning and provocation emerges.

That happened this week when I was re-reading an article by Edutopia.

July 30, 2013

You might call them international staff, but they’re really camp cultural exchange visitors! We love working with and learning from people from other countries — and there’s no better place to do that than at camp!

Did you know?

July 21, 2013

Guest post by Audrey Monke

“Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.” —Marian Wright Edelman

In our cut-throat, competitive culture, where assertiveness and achievement are glorified and valued, I believe the importance of focusing on kindness as a character trait is often overlooked. There are anti-bullying posters and speakers at most schools, but where is the message about the powerfully positive impact of kindness?

July 21, 2013

One of the greatest treasures of a camp experience is the bond formed between campers and their counselors. Not only do campers receive a bounty of fun times and memories with their favorite counselor, but they also take steps on a developmental path that leads to a healthy, happy future. 

Positive Self-Esteem
Research from school psychologist and adolescent counselor Stephen Wallace, MS Ed, shows the importance of role model and mentor relationships:

July 15, 2013

The fun doesn’t have to stop when it rains! If you’re looking for some ways to spend a rainy day at camp, try these activities out.

July 11, 2013

Kids come home from camp with lots of stories — games they played, meals they ate, and, most importantly, friendships they formed. Often times, the relationships formed at camp have a lifelong impact on a camper’s life. Having special camp friends is not only fun and eye-opening for campers, but it’s also critical to their well-being.

July 9, 2013

“We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.”
—John Dewey, influential educational reformer

After a day on the ropes course or canoeing on the river, we ask our campers to reflect on what they learned about themselves, their skills, and their relationships. We know reflection is a powerful tool — but as leaders, are we using it ourselves?

Well, now’s a good time to check in!

July 8, 2013

Recently, camp has received some uninformed exposure in the media, and as stewards for youth and the camp experience, we must be prepared to respond with facts. We must use this opportunity to shine a light on the critical 21st-century skills our campers learn, our care in providing role models, and our continued efforts to reach every child with a quality camp experience.