Training Tool Sheets for Camp Directors and Camp Counselors

Drawing from what we are learning through the ACA Research Initiative, we've gathered some tools that could help you and your staff.

With so little time in precamp orientation to do everything you want to do, you may find it helpful to step back and set priorities for your training time with counselors. Take the time to sort out what needs to be said and understood versus read and understood. Make the most of both, and you’ll have more time for group interaction using methods that build skills and capitalize on the talents your staff bring to the job.

Bullying Prevention - Camps Take a Stand

Bullying prevention is one of five hot topics on the minds of camp staff. To help address this issue,the American Camp Association, in collaboration with Dr. Joel Haber, is pleased to present several tools to aid in bullying prevention.

Read Dr. Haber's recent article, "Bullying Prevention: Are You Up to Speed?"

Middle Managers Certificate

If you currently hold (or maybe hope to hold) a Middle Manager position in a youth program, the new knowledge you learn and the skills you develop in this CAQ can help you feel more confident and qualified as you function in this position or consider one of these jobs in the future.

This staff training certificate is specifically designed for people like you who are working as a middle manager in a camp or some other kind of youth setting like afterschool.

A Place to Share: Investing in Professional Development

For my camp, the ACA national conference (this year in Dallas, Texas) is always the highlight of our winter.

Four Simple Words to Better Communication

One of the main challenges of being on staff at camp is the degree to which you suddenly have to communicate with so many people. Because you have decided to accept the awesome responsibility for the fun and safety of other people’s children, you are going to find yourself needing to communicate in more detail, more often, and with a greater number of people than perhaps any other job or experience you have had in your life thus far.

Wanton Words: Curbing Verbal Crudeness and Cruelty at Camp

I love language. The beauty of a poem, the lyricism of a novel, the passion of a political speech, the sentiment of a heartfelt toast, the humor of standup comedy, and the simplicity of a handwritten letter are testaments to the expressive power of words. And although language is not uniquely human, the capacity to create an infinite number of utterances that follow a finite set of rules probably is. Every human language on the planet has a grammar that allows us to combine words in unique ways.

Moments Of Truth: The Things You Say and the Things You Do


Kevin was nine years old when his parents sent him to summer camp in Minnesota. He was overweight, not athletic, not very confident — and more than anything, not wanting to be there!

Aquatic Safety for Staff

It's a bright, sunny, warm day and you and your friends have the next twenty-four hours off. Not far from camp, about an hour away, is a remote yet popular swimming area where you can hang out, swim, play in the water, and have fun. Before you go, here are ten quick tips to keep in mind that will keep you safe when making plans for aquatics fun on your time off.