Resource Library

What It Means to Be a Buddy
Published Date: 2018-11-01

Extra Special People (ESP) is a nonprofit located in Watkinsville, Georgia, that serves people with all types of special needs by providing them with ways to engage, connect, and thrive through year-round programs. Then, during the months of June and July, something magical happens — ESP Summer Camp! We host eight wonderful, wacky weeks of camp programs, including four weeks of engaging day camp at our building, two weeks of field trips, and two weeks of overnight camp.

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While the academic year holds ample opportunity for what are commonly referred to as “the three R’s” of reading, writing, and arithmetic, a job at summer camp offers unique experiential learning opportunities not only for your campers but for you as well. In fact, it’s a perfect breeding ground for three other R’s too often lost in our fast-paced, always-on, hyperconnected world: recharging, reconnecting, and reflecting.

Each is important for the campers — and the counselors!

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How often do you see the following examples occur in campers? Kenny, a bright ten-year-old, focuses his attention on the counselor's directions during an activity. He appears attentive, but always needs to ask the counselor or a peer to repeat portions of the directions. Sue, an impressionable thirteen-year-old, likes to participate in sports activities, but finds constant misjudging of distances to catch or hit a ball is embarrassing. She slowly withdraws from these activities. And Bob, a competitive fellow, enjoys playing table games except for the ones that require him to spell.

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A Place to Share: Dear Counselor
Published Date: 2017-05-01

Dear Counselor,

I love coming to camp every year, and I look forward to the end of the season and the feeling of accomplishment from all that I will have completed. I also love connecting with my counselors and building close relationships at camp.

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A Ditch in Time
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Rainfall and snow melt runoff are sworn enemies of the roads and pathways in camp. Erosion moves your road surface to places you don’t want roads. Spontaneous, unplanned drainage channels cut themselves into your improvements and through areas you’d rather not have them. Snow that melted at noon refreezes at sunset, causing the surface to heave and buckle over and over until it simply falls apart. If you think that fixing this kind of damage is expensive, then you’ll surely agree that fixing it more than once borders on criminal.

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Political unrest in Kenya, a railway strike in Europe, the Zika virus in Central America, visa applications for Tanzania, international terrorism levels in Paris, the value of the baht in Thailand — these are topics you might expect to be on the agenda for the next meeting of the US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. They are also topics we at Wilderness Adventures discussed at a recent planning meeting, as a significant portion of our summer camp program offers camping experiences on all the continents of the world except Antarctica.

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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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Realizing Unprecedented Success — Third in a Series of Articles

Leadership has always been a contact sport. It's not a collision sport but more like dancing. To dance, you have to have a partner and together you move in harmony. Your leadership capacity is measured, in large part, by the partners you dance with every day of your life. You are either blessed or cursed by the challenges of your partners.

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The Beginnings of Youth Development

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“What am I supposed to do,” one camp director asked me, “with a mom who calls the camp every day of the session?” While such a wildly anxious mother may be rare (why did she send her child to camp if she can hardly bear his or her absence?), there is no question that, in general, camp parents are more anxious than in the past.

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