Resource Library

What Five Service Trips to the Dominican Republic Have Taught Me About CIT Training Back Home

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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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Building Belonging in the Age of Anxiety
Published Date: 2020-01-02

Where do you belong? Close your eyes for a second and ask yourself that question. Can you picture a place where upon arrival you feel totally safe, respected, and loved?

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Agency is the ability to act as an effective agent for yourself — getting your mind, body, and emotions in balance to think clearly and make choices that improve your life.

Simply put, agency is what we all use to feel in command of our lives.

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Several years ago, when I directed my camp program specifically for African- American teen girls (Camp Butterfly), there were many memorable moments. But one in particular has been etched in the recesses of my mind since the day it occurred. The event happened during one of our summer sessions; it involved a young 13-year-old girl named “Lea.”

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In November 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a two-week strike in front of the Swedish Parliament. She was on a mission to bring attention to the looming threat of climate change and to protest the inaction of world leaders on the issue. When she started, she was alone. Less than a year later, on September 20, 2019, she was joined by a wave of more than 14 million people in a cascading series of protests that spanned the globe through 138 countries, beginning in Australia and ending 24 hours later in the Americas (Sengupta, 2019).

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Connection — Moving Forward Together
Published Date: 2020-01-01

Scientific studies suggest that 21st-century learning skills like creativity are fundamental contributors to how our brains develop. Brain development is stimulated by social and emotional experiences in educational environments that feel safe, inclusive, trusting, inspiring, and empowering. Positive relationships trigger brain chemistry to allow it to be more adaptable and enable one to learn more easily. Likewise, chronic and excessive stress and loneliness are toxic to brain development.

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