Happy Campers: Teach and Practice Healthy Habits at Camp

There’s a reason many campers and staff return to camp summer after summer. It’s their “happy place.” Many think of camp as a magical, other-worldly destination where they feel happier than they do anywhere else. It’s common, as the session or summer comes to a close, to talk about how sad they’re feeling that camp is ending and/or how much they dread going back to the “real world” or “real life.”

Five Tips for Dealing with Disgruntled Camp Parents

“I need to speak with the camp director right now.”

These are some of the most universally dreaded words for camp professionals.

Over my past 37 years as a camp owner/director, dealing with angry calls, emails, and evaluations from disgruntled camp parents tops my list of least-favorite job duties in a career I’ve otherwise adored. Some of the horrible things parents have said to me about my staff and program have stuck with me. Years later I can still remember their tone of voice, their name calling, and some of their outlandish accusations.

The Most Meaningful Words You'll Say This Summer

When you look back over your childhood, is there an adult outside of your family — a teacher, coach, camp counselor, or mentor — who told you something positive about yourself that you still remember today? Their positive words may even be something you still repeat to yourself.  "I can do hard things," "I am courageous," "I am persistent," or "I listen well to others" are examples of affirmations you might have internalized about yourself because someone you looked up to pointed out that trait.

Does Your Camp's Culture Reflect Your Values?

Camp has completely influenced the person I am today. It has made me kinder, more patient, open-minded, and optimistic. Camp showed me how much I love being in the beautiful outdoors and how much I appreciate nature and the wonderful planet we live on. Camp is a part of me, a part of me that will forever be there. –Ava

Resource Roundup for Camp Professionals

Parents traditionally look to teachers, school counselors, and religious leaders for guidance and resources about raising kids. Typically, parents wouldn’t think to seek resources and guidance from summer camp professionals. It’s time to take seriously our important role in partnering with parents by sharing resources about child development, youth trends, and best practices when working with young people.

Why Teens Need Summer Camp More Than Ever

Being at camp gives me this sense of belonging that I’ve never felt anywhere else. I know that I can be myself and that my cabin mates will love me for who I am, and I’ve brought that to my life outside of camp.-Hannah

Begin with the End in Mind

The first thing summer camp counselors should do going into camp season is decide how they want campers to remember them once the season ends.

What's the Best Age for Camp?

You probably want a number here.  If you’re only going to read these first two sentences, then I’ll pick the age of nine.