3 Ways to Be a Better Camp Director in 2014

This guest post is by Audrey Monke, owner and director of Gold Arrow Camp.

I love flipping my calendar to January and the promise it offers of a fresh start. There’s something about the clean pages of a whole year stretched out in front of me that makes me believe I can accomplish more this year than I ever have before.

Back to the Future: Summer Camp and the New Economy

A few years back I conducted a study with kids who had gone to summer camp for at least six or seven years. I asked them to talk about their camp experiences, and from their stories identified convincing evidence that summer camp is an important place for kids to learn and grow.

7 Reasons Why Your Middle Schooler Needs Camp

Guest blog by Anne Archer Yetsko

When I Googled the phrase “middle school,” two of the top hits were “Middle school survival” and “Middle school: the worst years of my life.” I found that to be a pretty good depiction of how most people feel about this slightly (or not so slightly) traumatizing and awkward period of life. There are a few key aspects of the camp experience that are really beneficial for this age group.

Camp gives your middle schooler:

Crisis Management, Community, and a "Rig of Bamboo"

Guest post by Kevin Austin

As Rex, Stephanie, and I walked we argued over the proper way to sing "Rig of Bamboo.” We were at the Lazy W Ranch for the Student Camp Leadership Academy (SCLA), and took a walk while sharing our camp experiences, games, plans for the future, and favorite debrief tools. I knew I had found a special community of camp professionals.

Singing and Campfires

What is something that everyone who has ever gone to camp has done that is virtually impossible to re-create in any other setting? Campfires, of course! Our camp is 76 summers old and there are some long-standing traditions and songs that everyone comes to expect. I really appreciated the first campfire of our Girls Camp this summer, filled with beautiful singing and complete with harmony. Sitting there, it made me think about all the campfires I have experienced over 45 summers at camp, and the way singing has been an important part of my life, at camp and away from it.

How To Take Stress In Stride

In a recent report, young adults were shown to be the most stressed-out generation (Sifferlin, 2013). This summer at camp, odds are you’ll have your share of stressful moments, so it’s important to know some self-care and stress relief strategies to help you take it all in stride.

Self-Care

Part of combating stress will be long-term self-care strategies that you can employ throughout the summer. Camp consultant and psychologist Ethan Schafer, PhD, offer these tips in his 2011 Camping Magazine article “Be at Your Best to Do Your Best”:

10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Hire Former Camp Counselors

Guest post by Anne Archer Yetsko

When I speak with friends who work in other industries, I always tell them that if you have an applicant who has been a camp counselor and has a positive reference from that camp, they should move to the top of that pile of applications that are overflowing on their desk. A camp counselor is one of the hardest jobs out there. It is not all fun and games. Here is my list of the top 10 qualities you get when you hire someone who has been a camp counselor.

What I’m Thankful for in December

Guest blog by Ann Sheets

The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year always seems to go by in a hurry for me. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were ringing in this year — and already it’s time to celebrate the holidays and start another year. Holidays always make me slow down a little and think about how lucky I am, especially to be involved with the camp community. At the risk of being a little sentimental, here are some things that I am particularly thankful for, now and throughout the year:

I’m thankful . . .

10 Tips for Making the Most of Your First Year

Guest post by Tamsin Andrews

So you’ve made it. You’ve finally got that e-mail or phone call or snail mail letter and you’re over the moon, you’re on staff, and it’s like being a camper without bed time and full access to the snack stuff. You’re thinking of your staff name and finding out who else got hired. But you’ve suddenly realized you have to be in charge of campers like yourself, and you’re lost. Now what? How do you make the most out of your first year in the staff shirt?

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