A Conversation with Katie — How One Camper Handles Mental Illness

The thing about mental, emotional and social health (MESH) is that you never know when, and you never know how, it is going to affect you or someone you love. You don’t know when your best friend or your neighbor may begin to struggle. Or finally tell you they have been for a long time. And you never know when that camper, that you would never admit was your favorite but of course was, will arrive back at camp for her 4th summer and doesn’t quite seem “the same”. But that is the thing about mental illness.

Tips for Lyme Disease Prevention at Camp

As staffers, parents and kids prepare for another memorable summer at camp, there is one important detail that must not escape our attention - doing everything possible to ensure that children are protected from the black-legged ticks that transmit Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Camp — The Best Job You'll Ever Have

"Being a camp counselor prepared me for life after college both personally and professionally."

In this video blog, former ACA CEO Tom Holland reflects on his personal experience as a camp counselor, and explains the benefits of the job. Camp counselors learn resiliency, teamwork, motivation, and how to have fun on the job! The skills the camp counselors learn not only look great on a resume, they’ll stay with them for life.

Instilling MESH'ages Marginalizes Toxic Stress at Camp

As the Healthy Camp Education and Monitoring Program (HCEMP) committee studies MESH and its implications, I was interested to see some foundational work in this area. In reading, I learned about the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente from 1995-1997. They studied 17,000 participants and found four unique results:

School Breaks Shouldn't be a Break from Learning

School breaks are not the time to take a break from learning. Unfortunately, this is what often happens, resulting in a significant drop in students’ mastery of core concepts. The National Summer Learning Association reports that students lose an equivalent of two months of their grade-level math computational skills over the summer, and students from low-income families also lose the same equivalency in reading achievement.

Connecting with Nature

"Camp is a time to explore, a time to let your brain grow, and a time to connect with the outside." 

In this video blog, former ACA CEO Tom Holland explains the benefits of getting outside at camp. Camp not only provides children with an opportunity to get active, it also provides an opportunity for today's kids to get outside and forge a connection with the natural world. Camp allows kids to get outside, get dirty, and learn about nature.

Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout

“When one thinks of the 31st of October,” Juliette Low wrote in 1923, “one associates the day with Halloween when imps and witches fly about…On that night, I made my appearance in the world. Little did I dream when I was young and tried Halloween pranks myself, that I should live to see that day turned into Girl Scouts Founders’ Day.” October 31, 1860, was the birthday of Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon — who grew up to be Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouting in the United States.

Defining Bullying - National Bullying Awareness Month

While October is National Bullying Awareness Month, what can we do as a camp community to bring awareness year round? 

Camp Was Made For Summer Learning

A blog post from American Camp Association CEO, Tom Holland 

Aristotle Wants Your Kids to Go to Summer Camp (and why you might want to tag along)

by Anna Czarnik-Neimeyer, a guest blog for ACA. 

As we celebrate the end of the school year and sweaty legs come un-stuck from plastic chairs in classrooms across America, kids are scheming about summer vacation. Some plan endless trips to the pool, biking with no helmets, and chasing ice cream trucks. For others, minds turn to the land of sleeping bags, s’mores, and capture the flag: summer camp.

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