Resource Library

Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the tender mercies of churchwardens and overseers, perhaps he would have cried the louder.
— from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Big Questions

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My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet
— by William Shakespeare

BIG Questions

Children learn language not by rote, but by a seemingly effortless interaction between their sponge-like brains and their language-rich environments. This breathtaking process begins as rapidly as Juliet learned to recognize Romeo's voice.

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I Am. Therefore, I Think
Published Date: 2003-07-01

"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain." "I know," said Pooh humbly.
— from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

Big Questions

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Big Questions

If someone told you that you had a "retrospective, unidirectional bias" and had contracted the "availability heuristic," you might think you need to visit a doctor right away. Actually, you'd be right. But you wouldn't need a medical doctor. You'd need a research psychologist — someone with expertise in statistics and child development. Someone who could explain to you that your bias and heuristic — although unhealthy — were common and easily removed. Once cured, you could see more nuances in your campers' behaviors.

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"Dear Mom and Dad, I’m having a great time at camp," writes twelve-year-old Michael. "Today, I rode a horse for the first time. I thought it would be scary, but it was loads of fun. Tonight I’m going to the camp dance and in the morning we’ll be fishing at the lake. The food is good here, too . . . ."

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In 2008, over 20 camp researchers gathered for the American Camp Association (ACA) Research Collaborations Summit where they identified areas of future research, which included this question: How do camps contribute to the development of caring and competent citizens, their communities, and the environment? This question aligns with research from other fields that raises the concern that Americans are less connected to society and each other than in the recent past (Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, & Tipton, 2008; Putnum, 2000).

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The Beginnings of Youth Development

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"I'm a survivor, I'm going to make it; I'm going to work hard; I'm not going to give up. I'm a survivor, I'm going to make it. . . ."

The music from this popular song played in the background as the campers arrived at Pavilion B. We were completing the final preparations for camp . . . medical check, inventory of personal gear, packing the group gear, and saying good-bye to the parents. Little did we know that this was to become our theme song. After all, we were adventure campers. We were going to do things other people didn't think we could do.

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An occupational hazard of working with children in any congregate care program including camps could create this unfortunate reality. Given the current issues of allegations against university staff, clerics of all religions, local professional caregivers, and the range of top level personnel, it becomes essential to think through this possibility and be prepared should an allegation surface.

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If I had the choice of spending a whole year in Hawaii or one hour with my brother and sisters, I would choose my siblings. — Luke (camper)

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E.g., 2020-01-20