Resource Library

"What you have to do is get them talking in such a way that they are unguarded. It could be anything they happen to be into, like their favorite baseball team or a dream they have about doing something. That's where you find out who they really are. By schmoozing in this way, I can tell whether I want someone on my staff or not!"

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The Last Dance
Published Date: 2014-07-01

It's late in the evening. My feet are tired. Music is reverberating in my ears. We've been dancing and mixing all night. Tonight is an incredible celebration, truly a hallmark event. This may be the last time we will all be together like this. While bits of personal and collective nostalgia have been creeping into our conversations with one another throughout the night, now there seems to be a greater sense of urgency, a need to capture all these moments before the night is over. The DJ steps to the microphone.

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Is There a Camp Movement in China?
Published Date: 2016-07-01

China is interested in American summer camps. This should not be a surprise to anyone who has seen the increasing numbers of Chinese attending the American Camp Association or Tri-State conferences. It is not a surprise to camp directors who are starting to get calls from Chinese parents — or more likely from middlemen representing Chinese parents — who are interested in having their children come to the United States for a summer, mainly to work on their English language skills.

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How to Speak So Others Listen
Published Date: 2014-01-01

When you speak, do people listen? More importantly, do they remember what you’ve said? Or, do you feel others simply tolerate or ignore you? If you’ve found yourself repeating messages or fighting to keep someone’s attention, you’re not alone! Your message has to cut through a lot of noise in today’s society, and the competition is brutal. You’re up against stress, technology, multitasking, and information overload. While it’s a challenge to be heard over the roar, it’s not impossible.

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Camps Help Make Children Resilient
Published Date: 2012-09-01

When Jacob arrived at his city’s day camp for his third season, the camp director was determined to avoid the problems Jacob was experiencing at school. Now eleven years old, Jacob had grown into a heavy child who spoke in a squeaky pre-pubescent voice. He had been tormented by bullies who thought him effeminate. The other boys in his group occasionally did the same, at least until staff intervened. Jacob’s parents weren’t his best allies either. A business woman and a university economics professor, neither seemed to have very much time for their son.

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Inspiring Healthy Staff Culture at Camp
Published Date: 2019-03-01

I’m ardently proud of the high-quality camp staff experiences that professional camp directors strive to offer young adults each season. Full of career-enhancing and life-benefitting skills, a summer spent working at camp is chock-full of core social and emotional learning.

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Camps and Classrooms
Published Date: 2009-11-01

Rustling footsteps blend with plumes of voices rising to the open sky where stars twinkle like city lights in distant worlds. And not far from the peaceful glow of fireflies and flashlights, summer's dreams take flight inside young heads laid to rest in tents and teepee, fields and forest.

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Starfish Values Program
Published Date: 2002-09-01

Moral education — the training of heart and mind toward the good — involves many things. It involves rules and precepts - the do's and don'ts of life with others - as well as explicit instructions, exhortations, and training. If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance.
— William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues

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At the close of every season at a ceremony inside a large celebratory white tent, each counselor makes his or her way to the microphone to address an enthusiastic, if somewhat sad, throng of boys and girls holding tight to the waning hours of their summer at camp. What many of these staff members have only recently recognized, perhaps while voting on the award they are about to present or hastily jotting down some things to say about its recipient, are the special relationships they have forged with the youth they served.

But the kids knew it all along.

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Mini Camp . . . A Taste of Sleep-Away Camp
Published Date: 2013-07-01

In the early 2000s, at one of ACA’s national conferences, Bonnie and Sam Dawson were discussing with several other camp directors ways of improving programs and increasing enrollment at Camp Alleghany, a residential tent camp for girls located in Lewisburg, West Virginia. One idea being considered was adding a “Mini Camp” — a one-week session to introduce younger children to sleep-away camp.

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E.g., 2019-09-16
E.g., 2019-09-16