Resource Library

Rain doesn't have to be an unwelcome guest at your camp. It can be an inspiration for camp activities. Rainy days offer an opportunity to teach campers more about weather and for them to see firsthand how rain affects plants, animals, and the environment.

Though you may be undaunted, you should not be oblivious to the weather conditions. Staff training should include sessions on recognizing storm conditions, reviewing emergency plans, and planning all-camp program alternatives. Remember never to go outdoors during a severe thunderstorm or when there is lightning.

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Homesickness is something that every counselor, activity instructor, nurse, administrative staff, and director will deal with at camp. It’s an inevitable phenomenon. What are the best ways to deal with homesickness or, more importantly, to prevent the onset?

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

Planning activities that help campers get to know other campers and showing them around the camp grounds helps campers get familiar with the facility and the people and makes them feel more at home. Often such activities can help prevent homesickness.

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Let me introduce Pat, a thirteen-year-old returning for his second summer at camp. Little distinguished his first year at camp, but this season he has a definite attitude problem. It showed up immediately in the ragged look of his clothes. As introductions were made on opening day and plans began to form for the summer, Pat was distinctly indifferent to all the hype given to the opportunities ahead.

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Camp can offer a child more than mere fun. Camp is also the ideal environment to help campers develop their problem-solving skills.

Children learn problem solving through trial-and-error and modeling (watching how adults solve problems). Camp, with its community living focus, presents a constant source of potential conflicts and, thus, incidents in which to practice problem-solving skills. Camp also offers endless observation of how others (especially counselors) solve daily problems.

Successful Problem Solving

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Preparing camp counselors for their role as staff members, community leaders, and knowledgeable caregivers is a daunting task. Many staff members are themselves students or adolescents unsure of the aspects of camp wellness, and they bring different beliefs and varied backgrounds to camp. As a camp director or administrator, you must teach them the importance of proper procedures when it comes to safety, OSHA, and dealing with daily camp health issues.

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Camp administration can influence the behavior of its staff, but it cannot control it. One of the most problematic emotions to occur in the camp setting is anger — an emotion that affects people in a multitude of ways. An impulsive action by a staff member can result in an injury to another person and even possibly damage the reputation of your camp.

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As a camper, I distinctly remember the silver cafeteria trays and the colored globs of food that were plopped into the tray’s individual sections. That was then and this is now. The cooking arena in camp kitchens today needs to not only focus on better presentation but a wholesome diet as well.

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It seems everyone is allergic to something — animals, pollen, and certain foods. But some people are allergic to a product that we use and depend on
everyday — natural latex rubber.

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Over the past few years, the scope of crisis response plans for many camp programs has expanded as camps share specific crisis experiences and network with other industries, such as schools and law enforcement agencies, to find solutions. In the past, crisis response plans at camps focused on child abuse; drownings or other activity-related deaths; vehicle wrecks; and environmental disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or fires.

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School violence is an all-too-frequent headline and no prevention measure has yet been found. But camp experiences of being close to nature, participating in wholesome activities, and forming community with others can help children affected by violence heal and learn to trust again. One camp director reached out to the community of Jonesboro, Arkansas, after two young boys from Westside Middle School opened fire on classmates killing four children and a teacher and wounding ten others.

Camp Can Make a Difference

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E.g., 2019-08-23