Resource Library

I run two different camps for kids with different needs, including a resident camp for kids with autism. A concerned parent called to talk about how she wanted her son to be “mainstreamed” in the camp environment. By definition, there is no mainstreaming at my camp; they are all living with similar challenges.

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Tony Hsieh's book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, struck a cord with millions of people. The best-selling book by the CEO of Zappos.com, Inc. about the company's success led to an entire movement whose mission is to "spread and inspire more happiness in the world." (2012)

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In this era of tweeting and texting, the slow-moving, handwritten, paper letter is an endangered species. Unlike an electronic missive, the letter that arrives in an envelope can be touched, smelled, savored, tucked under a pillow, and filed away for decades. But of all types of letters, perhaps the most precious to both the sender and the recipient is the camp letter.

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Conservation Generation: Doing Good Work
Published Date: 2015-03-01

At Blue Star, as at many camps, we care passionately about healing the planet. As third generation owners/directors, we are humbled and honored to continue and deepen the long tradition of social justice that breathes at the core of our good work at camp.

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From Peg: Moments. Magic. Meaning!
Published Date: 2014-09-01

Peg Smith, ACA CEOIt only takes a moment — to change a life, make an impact, or create significance. It is remarkable how persuasive a moment in time can be to one's life. The camp experience is full of such moments.

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The right to privacy is well established in the legal system of the United States. As citizens of the United States, we expect that our right to privacy will be respected.

Virtually all businesses gather personal information about employees and customers that is private. For example, most camps gather names, addresses, social security numbers, phone numbers, driver's license numbers, driving history, dates of birth, financial information (bank account numbers, debit or credit card numbers, and security codes), personal images, e-mail addresses, and medical history.

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Change is often difficult for the thousands of camps and conference centers across the country to embrace, partly because many camps are steeped in tradition, and partly because of fear. The camp food service industry has been serving up hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken nuggets, bug juice, cake mixes, pre-baked breads, and, of course, s'mores for too long. Now is the time for camp directors and food service directors to embrace the movement toward healthier food options.

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Reflections: Back to Basics
Published Date: 2014-09-01

Few people would disagree that we now live in a world of consumer capitalism. Our open lands and lakefronts in New England are slowly disappearing to development. Many young children are over stimulated and over scheduled. This generation, more than any other in our history, needs the calming and regenerative powers of living close to the natural rhythms and flow of nature.

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The camp director of one of the oldest and most respected camps on the continent remembers how, a few years ago, his camp's continuing tradition as a tech-free environment was especially hard for some fourteen- and fifteen-year-old campers. Cell phones, texting, and social media were the personal default setting of their lives. "We had some kids who really missed it," he told me recently. The networked life was the only life they knew at home and school. Going tech-free was a culture shock for them.

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It may very well be the case that matters of discipline, often grounded in interpersonal conflict, consume a disproportionate amount of time for counselors at summer camp. Or at least it seems that way.

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