Resource Library

Curtis is a quick-witted, engaging, ready-for-adventure ten-year-old I met along with a host of other children last summer at Boston Explorers, a nonprofit urban day camp for children nine to fifteen years old. Curtis loved the woodworking program and the daily trips out to the manmade and natural spaces of Boston, many of which he had never experienced before. Like most of the campers in the program, Curtis wanted camp to go on forever! After all, Boston Explorers has all the excitement and positive energy of many good camps.

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I grew up at Camp Arcadia. I was so excited to finally be a real camper in 1942. My mother, Juliette Meylan Henderson, called Mum Mum by everyone, was directing the camp with her father, Dr. George Meylan. Arcadia, a camp for girls, had been started in 1916 and my grandfather, who already owned a boys’ camp, bought it in 1920.

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One of the best reasons to go to camp is to experience something new. Yet, at the same time, some of the unpleasant feelings experienced while at camp might be because we are new! It is a paradox. It is solvable. Those of us who are returning need to welcome the newbies into the feeling of being one of us.

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  • Manage Time. Have staff do both reactive and preventive maintenance. Do not focus energies only on what's visible, or reactive maintenance.
  • Train staff in preventive maintenance. Staff need to be trained in planning, setting up the record keeping for preventive maintenance schedules, and implementing.
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Economically speaking, 2014 felt a little better across the nation. The Dow was up a bit, the jobs reports were somewhat positive, and people seemed to be spending money. Early in 2015 it still feels cautionary given the backdrop of the past few years, but there is a reason to feel optimistic after reviewing the results of the 2014 Enrollment Survey.
 
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"If You Build It . . ." Revisited
Published Date: 2016-03-01

Some years back, I shared a column with the readers here called, "If You Build It, Will They Come?" The premise turned that familiar movie line on its head, asking owners and executives to reconsider the wisdom of installing new features in hopes of building camper enrollment. The bottom line was that only the Disney machine has successfully implemented that model, because only it has the economic mass to take a large part of its park off line and redirect guests while that "something new and really WOW!" is built.

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Programming with a Theme
Published Date: 2014-03-01

The positives for a child who attends a summer camp experience are widely known. Children and youth develop independence, self-esteem, and confidence; they experience positive role model influences; they make friends; and they learn new skills and have new experiences in a safe environment. In recent years, camps have also been asked to focus on improving educational benefits to stay relevant for today’s kids. In response, pop culture and literary-themed camp programs that encourage reading, critical thinking, and character development have evolved.

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From Art
Published Date:

The 2012 ACA National Conference will be held in Atlanta. My first national conference was in 1974 in Atlanta, so for me, returning to the same city thirty-seven years later brings back a flood of memories of not only my first national conference, but also a multitude of others (including a second one in Atlanta that I have attended!).

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What do campers need from the counselors who work with them? They need caring relationships with adults they can trust. They need clear limits, high expectations, and healthy challenges. Campers need to be accepted for who they are. They need counselors to support them in taking positive risks and avoiding negative ones. In short, they need you to be the very best you can be.

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Universal needs, tireless visionaries, transplanted ideas, unique character.

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