Resource Library

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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Boys Will Be Boys, Girls Are Just Mean
Published Date: 2019-05-01

So you are working at a children's camp this summer. Your role as a counselor is perhaps the most important role at camp. Not only are you there to ensure the kids have a great time, but also to keep them safe.

What does "keep safe" mean? It means to protect from danger, care for their well-being. You already know the obvious safety risks posed by swimming, boating, transportation, and food/water contamination.

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For nine months of the year, children spend most of the day in school, and when the bell rings for the final time in June, most cannot wait for summer to start. During the summer, children are free from daily class schedules and get to spend most of their time just having fun. Some get to spend the summer hanging out with neighborhood friends, others might play on a community sports team, and many even get the chance to go to summer camp.

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Challenging children are not out to get you — they are out to get their needs met. While there will be moments when it may seem precisely as if they are out to get you, more often than not, campers' challenging behavior serves a function, and understanding that function is instrumental in your efforts to deal with them effectively. What are those functions and needs? Research, common sense, and observations suggest some common answers: power, attention, security, and love.

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If I had the choice of spending a whole year in Hawaii or one hour with my brother and sisters, I would choose my siblings. — Luke (camper)

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Religious education directors of al l branches of organized religions struggle to develop programs that truly affect the inner life of children. Many exist with the main purpose of offering a Sunday/Saturday religious education program for children during religious services, so that parents can join other adults in religious worship. Some are committed to teaching religious doctrine and customs leading up to some sort of confirmation or rite of passage into adult life.

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Communication in a personal setting can be a tricky thing, but in the workplace it can be downright complicated. With our staff, communication can be positive and productive and help us move our ideas and plans forward. Or it can be a frustrating experience leaving us to wonder "What language do I need to be speaking so they get it?" The best way to answer that question is to identify where the communication process is breaking down — is it in the control, the filters, or the perceptions?

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Sending a child to camp, whether it's a day or resident camp, can be a scary proposition for parents. After all, they are entrusting us with their most precious possessions. They want assurance that we are as concerned for their children as they are themselves - that we will keep them safe under any circumstances. Communication is an invaluable tool to assure parents that their children are safe.

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From Tish - January 2016
Published Date: 2016-01-01

I would like to personally invite you to attend the 2016 ACA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, February 9–12. Envision — to think of something that you believe might exist or may happen in the future — is a perfect theme for the 2016 ACA National Conference, and this year's event promises to be our best and most memorable one yet.

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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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