Resource Library

I am standing in the middle of the woodshop of a sailing camp for boys on Cape Cod examining the hunk of wood that is on its way to becoming a fully functional model sailboat when I hear the ruckus outside. I hand the hull over to the boy who owns it and quickly step onto the shop porch just in time to see Jake, one of my ten-year-old campers, with his back to me about to chuck a rock at some kid only a few feet away. "Jake!" I shout at the top of my lungs. Jake, startled by my exclamation, whips around and throws the rock at me.

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Soon after we assumed the ownership of Camp Mont Shenandoah in 1996, my husband, Jay, and I were interested in establishing a scholarship program for our campers. We were clueless, however, as to how to go about it; especially since we wanted to fundraise to create an endowment in perpetuity. This, we knew, could pose potential problems as owners of a for-profit business.

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You are reading this article because you are working with adolescents at camp this summer and are probably a little bit worried about doing so. Given the ways in which adolescents are portrayed in the media, I am not surprised that you might be a little bit nervous. Adolescents are almost always portrayed as extreme versions of reality or as clumsy, one-dimensional stereotypes. Are all teens oversexed or prudish, jocks or nerds, burnouts or perfectionists? Of course not, but you wouldn’t guess that from watching TV or going to the movies.

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What do teens think about things that affect their health and well-being? What role does camp play? To find out, members of the American Camping Association New England Section, in conjunction with the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System and the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth College designed and conducted a project called "Conversations with Campers." Inspired by the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, the project asked youth attending New England camps in the summer of 1998 to participate in a series of focus groups.

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Speaking or writing about risk management without mentioning insurance is difficult. The two disciplines are independent in theory, but "glued together" in thought and practice.

Insurance is one of the first tools camp risk managers can deploy in their arsenal of weapons to combat risk. Insurance is the weapon of choice for camp risk managers when the risks are too unpredictable, or the stakes are so high with such significant financial impacts their organizations simply couldn't win the battle on their own without some help.

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I just got off the phone with the very thoughtful and reflective Jamie Cole, one of the owner/directors of Camp Robin Hood in Freedom, New Hampshire. She wanted to know my thoughts about a new policy the camp has been considering for this summer regarding the use of electronics at camp. I say the “thoughtful and reflective” Jamie Cole because she is balanced in her thinking about the issue of electronics at camp.

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Our world is fragile and so are we! Could we have a starker reminder of this than the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year?

There are many lessons which have been learned and remain to be learned from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. All the facts are not known, but one factor is certain: It will take a long time for all the facts surrounding the oil spill to be made known. If there is any doubt about this, consider how long it took for the full story of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska to become known.

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Josh can't keep his hands to himself when waiting in line. Seth seems to act irresponsibly. Megan never completes an arts and crafts project. These campers' behaviors may have a common link - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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It was seven years ago when I attended my first ACA National Conference in sunny Orlando. Seven years ago when I showed up not even knowing what region/section I belonged to. Seven years since I was the wide-eyed "newbie" who didn't know a soul. Well, I've come a long way since then, and I can say without any doubt that my first conference experience is why I am so involved in ACA today.

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Roughly thirty years ago, I packed in an urban-based career and founded a summer camp in central Ontario just north of the city of Toronto. Still, I continue to seek a fuller understanding of camp phenomena through an ongoing commitment to academic research. I was an itinerant camper and attended a variety of camps in both Canada and the U.S. In those days, summer vacation meant summer camp, and every July and August for ten consecutive years, that’s where I was. I might be riding in the Rockies or snorkeling in Lake Champlain.

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