Latest ACA Blog Posts

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.

June 18, 2013

Chances are you’ll encounter some camper behavior this summer that leaves you frustrated, confused, or worn out. But don’t worry — these tips will help you handle difficult camper behavior and keep everyone on track for a great experience!

Remember to follow any behavior management guidelines specific to your camp or your director’s preferences, and keep the following in mind:

June 17, 2013

Guest post by Ann Sheets

In his closing keynote speech at the 2013 ACA National Conference in February, Dr. Gary Krahn spoke about children's creativity. He reported that during the preschool years, children score a 98 percent on the Torrance creativity test; at five years old, the score drops to 50 percent; after children reach the age of ten, their creativity score drops to less than 30 percent. His point? Formal education inhibits creativity in children.

June 14, 2013

ACA recently teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in an effort to keep getting more kids outdoors, reaping the benefits of nature experiences.

June 11, 2013

Making sure your campers are safe, healthy, and having fun all summer long is your main goal. To do that, you need to take care of yourself!

Here on the Counselor Blog, we want you to have the best resources for self-care . . . because camp is just that much more fun when you’re alert, ready, and in control.

Read up on these past blogs before camp starts, and make plans to be at your best!

June 4, 2013

When applying and interviewing for jobs, work experience plays a critical role. According to Forbes.com, 66% of employers believe interview performance and relevant work experience are the most important factors in their hiring decisions — far more significant than strong academic performance.