Latest ACA Blog Posts

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.

July 1, 2013

As a camp counselor, you have a special bond with your campers. Maybe it’s because you teach them new games and songs, eat your meals together, and experience the thrills of camp as a team. And maybe it’s something more, too . . . 

Michael Thompson, PhD, an author and psychologist, writes in “Why Camp Counselors Can Out-Parent Parents”:

July 1, 2013

Guest post by Marla Coleman

“Play is not a luxury we should ration, but rather a crucial dynamic of physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development for children of all ages.” So says Dr. David Elkind, author of The Hurried Child. In fact, play is the work of childhood, experts clarify. It is what gets children ready for learning in the first place.

June 30, 2013

In the heat of summer, camps are accustomed to taking precautions to ensure the safety and comfort of campers when temperatures get extreme. Drinking plenty of water, moving more “active” programming to times when it is cooler, encouraging use of sunscreen, and training staff to recognize signs of heat-related illness are ways that camps make sure that kids are having fun while in the sun.

June 24, 2013

On the first day of camp, your main objective is to make your campers feel comfortable. But it’s also a great opportunity to make parents feel more comfortable about the camp experience, too!

In their absence, you will take on many of the responsibilities of a parent for your campers. So it’s important you present yourself as the warm, informed counselor you were hired to be! Here are some of our favorite tips:

Get yourself in the right mindset.

June 23, 2013

James (Pop) Hollandsworth passed away last week.

I met Pop Hollandsworth early in my ACA career. I was attending a conference in ACA, Southeastern and was advised to go to Pop’s workshop on “how to climb a tree.” To my surprise, when I arrived at the session (being held under a tree), I saw a diminutive, sparkling elderly man who was in his eighties. He reminded us of the simple beauty and magic of climbing a tree — a tree full of life lessons.