Resource Library

Empowering Communities
Published Date: 2019-01-01

Nashville, Tennessee, is home to country music, hot chicken, Johnny Cash, and the upcoming 2019 ACA National Conference, "Empowering Communities." I am pleased to invite you to join hundreds of other camp professionals as we learn and are inspired through the variety of keynotes, excellent workshops, professional gatherings, and casual hallway discussions. We will take home fresh ideas and a renewed focus that will help lead all of our camp programs.

Read More
Why I Hate Parenting Books
Published Date: 2018-11-01

The mother standing next to me was not my own, which was fine. I was seven when I visited the Washington Monument for the first time, with both my parents. The next time, at 43, I was the married parent of two boys, ages five and seven.

"Typical," said the mother, gazing up. Or was she rolling her eyes? "It's totally phallic." The pedantic linguist in me wanted to quip: "None of the other monuments and memorial sculptures in Washington, DC are obelisks. That makes it atypical, lady."

Read More
A Sample of Issues from Camp 2018
Published Date: 2018-11-01

I spend time with camp professionals from May to August consulting with directors on the more perplexing and complicated issues they face with campers, staff, or parents during the camp season. This year I met with or heard from 61 camp directors from around the country. Some of the issues I encountered included a heightened level of anxiety in both campers and staff. Many camp directors reported that they had several staff members who could not complete the season because of anxiety.

Read More

A decade ago, the United States market voluntarily abandoned the long-standing wood preservative and treatment method where an arsenic and copper compound was forced into the fibers of the lumber. When the fluid was removed, this preservative was left behind and was extremely effective at retarding decay. The copper displaced water (and the microbes that cause rot), and the arsenic deterred wood-consuming insects like ants and termites. Contrary to popular belief, there was never any evidence that these chemicals would leach from the product or caused harm from splinters.

Read More

In the middle of last summer, we received an update from our camp insurance agent about one of the biggest challenges facing camps in 2018 — camper and staff mental health issues. At that point in the season, we already had four teenage campers who had discussed suicidal thoughts with their counselors. We'd been conferring with parents, therapists, and social workers at the local hospital to ensure the campers' safety, and ultimately, we were able to navigate each situation successfully. These incidents, however, highlight an alarming and uncomfortable trend.

Read More

Research is more than surveys, interviews, and statistics — it can be a valuable tool to use when designing camp programs, training staff, or in your marketing efforts. But it's also a critical tool for understanding how camp fits into the lives of today's youth. Research suggests that growing up in 2018 can be confusing, difficult, and complex, which means that kids need places where they can experience a different way of being. Summer camps might be the place. Here are findings of three research studies that you can use to make sure your camp is a place apart.

Read More
Video Games at Camp? Are You Kidding Me?
Published Date: 2018-11-01

No, in fact, I'm completely serious.

For the record, my 40-year career has been spent entirely within the camp, sports, and community center worlds, and has included positions as coach, athletic director, resident camp director, and day camp CEO. Along the way I have served on the United States Olympic Committee.

Read More
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.

Read More
Making Mental Health Matter at Camp
Published Date: 2018-11-01

In 1987, I reported to camp for my first full summer as a counselor. The campers were to arrive only a few days later, but I was confident that I would have no trouble as a staff member with a cabin of six 12-year-old campers. To my dismay, the camp leadership insisted that we attend training sessions during "pre-camp" so we could learn and be more prepared.

Read More
Did You Know? Update Your Knowledge
Published Date: 2018-11-01

Staying abreast of health-related updates that impact camp practices is challenging but worth the effort, especially for readers who supervise staff providing care to campers and/or other staff. Here are some of those updates.

Read More

Pages

E.g., 2019-09-23
E.g., 2019-09-23