Resource Library

Authors’ note: Based on a wide search of images on the web, we have chosen not to include photographs with this article in order to avoid furthering stereotypes or cultural appropriation.

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Without a plan, we do not know where we are going. Four years ago I was sitting in a meeting with all of our camp department heads, talking about developing themes and character for the facility. Someone mentioned that it was important to consider our natural environment. That was all it took to start— the seed had been planted. From there we brainstormed a short list of ideas to minimize waste, and within three months we had our first draft of a Waste Reduction Plan. The following year our focus expanded and the Environmental Stewardship Plan was born.

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Matthew Smith is the camp communications and strategy director at Longacre in Pennsylvania, and cohort leader (along with Scott Brody, owner/director of Camps Kenwood and Evergreen in New Hampshire, and Ariella Rogge, a director at Sanborn Western Camps in Colorado) of the American Camp Association's Raise the Bar initiative to discover and articulate how the ACA camp community is participating in the transformation of young people, including educational approaches that facilitate the positive development of young people through comprehensive, whole-child collaborations and a focus on outco

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The Tell-Tale Heart and Your Floors
Published Date: 2016-06-30

Over the past year, we’ve become aware of some innovations that may make carpeting a more suitable and attractive alternative than it has been before. Given the heavy soiling brought in with camp foot traffic, broadloom (big rolls) carpet required an awful lot of expensive care to keep looking good. Modern commercial grade carpeting (commercial grade is key) can include fibers that are inherently “the color” of the floor. That is, instead of being dyed, the fibers themselves are blue or green or red. This almost eliminates fading from sunlight or harsh carpet cleaning chemicals.

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I spent my later teenage summers working at Camp Friendship, where hundreds of guests — adults and children with special needs — enjoy recreational activities. After serving as a junior counselor and counselor, I was excited to be offered supervisor jobs; I had the chance to lead cabin counseling teams, coordinate programs and dozens of program staff, and support client needs by being the go-to person for scores of counselors and hundreds of our guests’ families and caregivers. All this before I was twenty years old.

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A Healthy Camp Community

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Imagine that today is your pre-camp leadership meeting, and you are sitting for the first time with your team in preparation for the upcoming camp season. Although your recruitment efforts have helped you choose competent staff, directing them won’t be without challenges.

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As you consider the future of your camp, it’s easy to focus on the external factors that are likely to affect its operation, the demographic influences that shape your markets, the impact of technology on your operations and programming, and on the challenges of an increasingly diverse clientele. Certainly all of the factors identified by your futuring exercises are worth considering. However, the most significant variable that will shape the twenty-first century is the human response to these factors. In other words, the future is you.

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One of the biggest challenges camp professionals face is hiring, orienting, and training staff. It seems like an impossible task given the limitations of time, starting dates, school requirements, and logistics. Complicating this process is the daunting task of communicating — in a matter of days — the vast amount of information needed to ensure a quality camp experience for both staff and campers.

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Since childhood cancer has evolved from an inevitably fatal illness to a life-threatening chronic disease, children with cancer receive many positive benefits by participating in a camp experience. These children can have a variety of limitations, but first and foremost, they are still children — and want to be treated the same as children without cancer with opportunities to run, play, swim, and enjoy being with other kids.

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E.g., 2019-09-15
E.g., 2019-09-15