Resource Library

The Invisible Link
Published Date:

Summer camp was initially established as a “back to nature” retreat for the children of wealthy New Englanders. It was a respite from the degradation of urban life. Over the years, with the help of myriad religious, educational, and social professionals, summer camps evolved into the blueprint for modern childhood. It became an evolving articulation of what our society deemed most beneficial for the growth and well-being of our children; a place where the values of self-reliance, respect, personal responsibility, fun, and camaraderie are instilled.

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A return to camp reminds our writer how it feels to be home.

A school teacher in Pinckney, Michigan, Jeff Miner had been a camp counselor or program director for just about every summer for the past fourteen years. But this summer was his last. He had plans on actually taking summers off, playing golf, and eating steak on his back patio. He was going into summer camp retirement.

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Joe EhrmannJoe Ehrmann is an accomplished man, but not just because he was an All-American football player at Syracuse University and the tenth overall draft pick in the 1973 NFL Draft — or because of his impressive professional football career. Ehrmann has committed his life to building an extraordinary resume in the areas of youth and human development and community service.

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Beneath Amy Chua’s personal struggle in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother lies a deeper ambivalence about learning: What on earth should we do with our children outside of school, during unstructured free time? Chua is at times conflicted but wryly proud of her intense, authoritarian solution, a luxury reserved for high-achieving, high-functioning parents. At the end of this best-seller, I felt rattled by Chua’s belief that education happens only in connection to school or homemade settings that are rigorously academic.

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Camp can offer a child more than mere fun. Camp is also the ideal environment to help campers develop their problem-solving skills.

Children learn problem solving through trial-and-error and modeling (watching how adults solve problems). Camp, with its community living focus, presents a constant source of potential conflicts and, thus, incidents in which to practice problem-solving skills. Camp also offers endless observation of how others (especially counselors) solve daily problems.

Successful Problem Solving

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As an artist and owner of the creativity center Mijiza (Swahili for “she works with her hands”), Niambi Jaha-Echols did not always have the dream of founding a nonprofit organization devoted to the transformation and personal development of girls and women of African descent. However, when presented with requests from multiple organizations to work creatively with girls of African descent, Jaha-Echols found harrowingly few resources available to help her understand the development of these girls.

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In 2006, US students ranked twenty-first out of thirty in science literacy and twenty-fifth out of thirty in math literacy among developed countries. A recent announcement by the Obama administration to alter No Child Left Behind has been welcomed by many parents and educators across the nation. Yet, within the camp community, implications of school reform, summer learning, and re-structuring our public education system have been met with more questions than answers.

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Positive Learning
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It's a beautiful July morning at Camp Nevva GoHoma. Let's get out of the office which we know is like Grand Central Station with campers, staffers, specialists, administrative personnel, parents, (and sometimes grandparents) coming and going, USPS, UPS, FedEx drivers arriving and departing, phones constantly ringing, faxes flowing in and out, e-mail messages overf lowing on your computer screen, dogs meandering through the building — and take a Walk About . . . .

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“I have a new idea for a program!” This is a statement my wife hears from me on a regular basis. We have owned our own private day camp, Triple C Camp, since 1999. We serve children and youth in Charlottesville, Virginia, and surrounding areas. After the process of searching for a camp (we toured over 100 camps), finding “the one,” agreeing to a purchase price with the sellers, getting bank financing, moving our family, and closing on the property/business, we thought we were home free.

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Praise and Self-Esteem
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Best selling author Ashley Merryman — who has also been tutoring in inner-city Los Angeles for eleven years — recently spoke with ACA about youth development findings in her award-winning book, NurtureShock, which she co-authored with Po Bronson. NurtureShock (now available in paperback) explores child development science that is widely accepted within the scientific community, but that might be yet unknown to youth development professionals.
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Pages

E.g., 2019-12-05
E.g., 2019-12-05