Resource Library

During a mid-summer visit to a four-week, coed, residential camp, I spoke with the division leader (DL) of the youngest girls and learned about an eight-year-old camper whom I will call Eva. Eva had some behaviors that were challenging her counselors, many of whom were becoming frustrated in their efforts to help her. Eva was very slow when getting dressed or cleaning up in the cabin, and when the counselors tried to hurry her up so she wouldn’t be late for breakfast or an activity, she became defiant, cried, and whimpered and complained about her counselors being mean.

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In Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes, “Water, water everywhere, and all the boards did shrink. Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink . . . .” Though he’s writing about sailors stuck at sea who are surrounded by undrinkable sea water, have you ever asked if your camp water supply is just like that: all around you, but not drinkable? Some time back, this column looked at common issues with camps’ potable water systems.

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My love of the outdoors, along with my scientific curiosity, can be traced back to my childhood adventures in the woods. The house I grew up in did not have air conditioning, making it unbearable to be indoors during the months of July and August. I, along with my older sister, found my refuge in the cool shade of the woods. At first we would stick to a clearing that housed two small boulders at the edge of the yard. Once I was ten and didn’t have to be in direct eyesight of my mother, I forged my own paths in the woods.

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Camp health is not bound by the four walls of the health center. Nor is safety bound by a list of rules at any given camp activity. Today’s camp professional realizes that all camp staff contribute to and have responsibility for a camp’s health and safety profile; indeed, the camp experience can be considerably healthier when camp staff act sensibly (American Camp Association, 2011; Garst, Erceg, Baird, & Thompson, 2010; Garst, Erceg, & Walton, in press; Papageorgiou, Marvomatis, & Kasta, 2006). Granted, some staff have direct responsibility to care for campers.

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“The gluten-free cinnamon rolls are amazing!” Those emphatic words are emblazoned in my brain, stamped into my memory. As tears began to well in her eyes, Annalise, one of our counselors, looked around as if sharing a secret and said, “I haven’t eaten a cinnamon roll in five years! Could I please have your recipe?”

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Enrollment Highlights from Summer 2013
Published Date: 2014-03-01

View the Infographic

Each fall, the American Camp Association (ACA) requests enrollment information from camps across the country. The statistics and information allow us to chart industry trends and identify enrollment issues that camps are facing on an annual basis.

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Green River Preserve and AmeriCorps
Published Date: 2014-03-01
The Fad: When to Get on Board
Published Date: 2014-03-01

Every year, dozens of new ideas and activities become popular among youth. Sometimes a television show makes it big and starts a fad (remember the years of Fear Factor and Minute to Win It?); other times a specific activity makes the popular list. (Like when paintball was all the rage ten years ago.) There are even instances of entire fad cultures (the hipster culture). Fads exist for small children (i.e. Minecraft), teens (i.e. One Direction), and even adults (think about the popularity of household blogs among women).

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Focus on Specific Standards: SF.3 and OM.7
Published Date: 2014-03-06

School shootings, damage by trespassers, tornadoes during what is not considered to be tornado season, watershed and water systems compromised — all are situations that have occurred in the past several months. If something similar impacted your camp/property, would you be prepared?

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The Law Says "Yes" to Adventure
Published Date: 2014-03-06

Introduction

In this article, we will discuss recent developments in case law that reflect a new understanding and appreciation of the value of participation in “adventurous” activities. In the event of an injury or other loss, this acknowledgement — by the courts — of the social value of vigorous participation in sports and recreation may protect a camp from liability, as we describe below.

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E.g., 2019-09-16