Resource Library

"You learn about things that you do not learn about in school. It's actual reality and not sugar-coated. We learned how to work together. In school, they tell you to work together. I learned that when you work in a team, you have your own rights. If you have a good idea and another person has a good idea, you can actually accomplish what you want to do instead of it crashing."
— Mabel, Camp Fiver camper, age thirteen

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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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Kamaji Hats Off to Thee
Published Date: 2012-03-01

The camp lady of Chicago showed me photos of swank camps with luxurious cabins, electric tennis ball cannons, and soft-serve ice-cream machines. She talked up theatre and sports camps. She effused enthusiasm for all the currently “in” camps. No sale.

Finally she mentioned Camp Kamaji, Minnesota’s oldest camp for girls. Tight-lipped, she described ramshackle cabins. She admitted it was under new ownership, not yet accredited by ACA, and very, “and I mean very,” rustic. No electricity, no heat, and no toilets.

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The Basics of Online Reputation Management
Published Date: 2012-05-07

“Online reputation management.” Even if you’ve never heard this phrase before, you probably have a good sense of what it means. The first part (“online reputation”) is easier than ever for you or anyone else to find — just search for your camp’s name in Google.

Finding your online reputation is easy due to two main factors:

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Sports and recreational (SR) activities help to foster important social and team-building skills, while also improving health and quality of life. Unfortunately, participation in SR activity comes with the risk of injury. According to the CDC, an estimated 2.6 million children aged ≤19 years were treated each year in emergency departments (ED) for SR-related injuries during 2001–2009 (1). Around 173,000 (6.5%) of these injuries were diagnosed as suspected Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

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Camp salaries are subject to many factors! You juggle your budget, the reality of what it takes to attract quality staff, the increased challenge in finding good staff, and the reality of federal and state guidelines affecting minimum wage.

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As summer begins and all those carefully recruited campers begin to arrive, camp professionals often revisit orientation to assess if they've adequately prepared staff to handle various aspects of camp life. Based on what was presented during last February's Healthy Camp Symposium at the 2011 ACA National Conference, there are several strategies that staff can routinely use to support and maintain the health (wellness) of camper groups.

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Rewind to the time in your life when you were seven, ten, or thirteen (or any other desired childhood age). Who was your best friend at that age? What style clothing did you wear? What did you like to do in your free time? What music do you recall from that age? What was your favorite toy? What book did you enjoy reading? What device could you hardly wait to get because it was the “in” thing to have? What is your worst memory of that time in your life? What is your best memory of being that particular age?

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When people think summer camp, they think tranquil natural setting, fun, happiness, and bliss. While this permeates throughout camp life, the threat of stress — and a lack of resiliency to that stress — can derail those wonderful elements.

The following scenarios may sound familiar.

Denise is an eight-year-old girl attending sleepaway camp for the first time this summer. She complains often of stomach aches and wants to go to the camp nurse daily; she struggles with homesickness at night; and she becomes anxious the moment dinner ends.

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