Resource Library

Mariana and Jessica are exasperated with one another. Mariana thinks the girls they share responsibility for as co-counselors are way too noisy and messy. She is always the one who gets these rambunctious fifth graders to quiet down or finish their cabin cleanup chores. Because she is typically the counselor who speaks up first, the girls have begun to favor Jessica, whom they see as "nicer." Jessica, who went to camp here as a camper, thinks that Mariana is too strict.

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As former camp directors, we've both had experiences where we pushed ourselves to the point where we weren't safe. Imagine this scenario:

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You've probably read those statistics about the number of people who buy gym memberships in January and then never work out. Maybe that's totally you. The stakes for physical fitness are high — we all want to live longer, healthier lives — but the motivation to act, more often than not, simply falls flat.

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The camp community knows as well as anyone that kind kids can change the world. With Camp Kindness Day coming up in July, we recently reached out to Laura Kikuchi, program director at Riley's Way Foundation, an organization focused on empowering youth to elicit positive change through kind leadership, and some amazing kids who have taken part in the foundation's Call for Kindness, a nationwide movement of youth-led, kindness-centered projects that build stronger communities.

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While many risks can be managed through decisions regarding such things as facilities, equipment, requirements for participation, and policies, it is primarily through the day-to-day decision-making by staff that a camp has the most capacity in establishing control over risk. In large part this is because most accidents involving campers occur in program, living, and common areas — typically when campers are (or were supposed to be) under the supervision of frontline camp staff such as cabin counselors, program staff, and activity area supervisors.

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Going Green at Camp
Published Date: 2020-03-06

What if every camp in America united behind a new model for sustainability to lead a national movement for pro-environmental change?

“Going Green” is a vague and intimidating term. We all know we need to do more to live sustainably, but how? Thousands of sustainability solutions could benefit your camp. But where should you start? How should you prioritize? How much time will it take? How much will it cost?

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". . We started him at a camp that didn’t like that he didn’t fit into their ‘normal’ box. They didn’t have the flexibility, tools, or understanding that you and your staff have. They didn’t listen, work with the family, work with outside resources, and, most importantly, take the time to get to know the child in order for them to be able to soar." — Camper parent email, August 2019

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Camp Creates Job Magic
Published Date: 2020-03-06

By the time camp staff decide what their chosen field of work is going to be, they have unknowingly benefitted from some amazing transformative experiences. Even if they decide not to stay in the camp field, the skills they obtain during their rise through the camp hierarchy will serve as a foundation for work readiness. What originally started as a random camp entry-level job, or possibly a place to work because of a specific skill, now becomes a platform to learn what employers are looking for when it comes to job skill requirements.

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Moving Forward Together — March 2020
Published Date: 2020-03-06

Another exciting summer season of adventurous fun and learning at camp is just ahead. I hope you will take every opportunity available to ardently articulate the considerable educational and developmental advantages of camp with your prospective and longtime camp parents and staff members. Social-emotional learning is more important now than ever before, and findings from decades of camp research suggest that camp is an optimal context for practicing these skills.

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Safe, Sanitary Water
Published Date: 2020-03-06

It's been years since we talked about potable water systems in Building Principles, and with opening camp just around the corner, this seems like an ideal time to revisit some of the key points that your county sanitarian expects you to know to run a safe, healthy water system at camp. So, let's look at some basic whys and hows of disinfection.

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