Resource Library

The year was 1995. It was early September, and I was just barely back as camp director at Sherwood Forest. Our summer programs then were 12-day sessions — two for boys and two for girls referred by schools and organizations in St. Louis. Most of the kids were from underserved communities and low-income families. Despite the long relationships between Sherwood Forest and our referral partners, it was always a scramble in the spring to fill these four sessions.

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In my November/December 2011 column, we looked at roadway drainage, focusing mostly on how water gets from the road surface and then how it’s conveyed in ditches parallel to the roadway. Since we only brushed the surface on how water gets from one side of the road to the other, a more detailed look at that is in order.

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It is easy to become casual about food preparation and food safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, each year one in six Americans, roughly 48 million people, become sick and 3,000 die as a result of foodborne illness.

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“You get all those different kids at camp, but it wasn’t there. It didn’t affect them there. There was so much love in the air. They came together, bonding, making friends, doing things they can’t do at home, and that type of thing. Seemed like it never even came up.”

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“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Blaise Pascal

That quote always seems to enter my sphere of consciousness prior to camp. When I arrive at camp I am there alone for a bit; that's my time to set up my "camp world" and contemplate the impending summer. It is a valuable time and a time I welcome.

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Dear camp staff,

Welcome to the world of camp! Each of us — no matter what our specific job might be — is in a position that will influence the health and wellbeing of campers. Sometimes this will be straightforward — like the responsibility of lifeguards at the pool or food service staff to provide meals free from contamination. But other influences are subtle; indeed, often so subtle that it’s easy to lose sight of how broad and deep your influence as a camp staff member might be.

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Summer Lovin'
Published Date: 2019-05-01

"Summer lovin' had me a blast, summer lovin' happened so fast" is how the classic song from the musical Grease goes. If you have attended camp as a camper or are returning camp staff at a resident or day camp, you know very well that some of your campers will fall in love with this summer. And why wouldn't they? There is nothing like puppy love, those awkward gazes across the dining hall and a kiss or two (if they're lucky). For campers who attend same-sex or co-ed camps, it is a time for them to explore and test out relationships.

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There was a day when it was thought that being an American and having "gumption" went hand in hand. As Dennis R. Rader writes in Learning Redefined: Changing the Images that Guide the Process, "America used to be a community alive with the unspoken motto: Gumption Grown Here" (p. 274). What is gumption? Gumption is toughness. Not tough in a stereotypical way (e.g. like suggesting attitudes and actions that are hard, cold, insensitive, or even brutal), but tough meaning emotionally, mentally, and physically f lexible, strong, and resilient.

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If at First You Don’t Succeed . . .
Published Date: 2016-09-01

When I was six or seven, my parents decided I needed to do something structured a couple days a week during the day in the summertime. They ended up sending me to a gym camp, a local day camp that focused on outdoor physical activity — archery, horseback riding, swimming, etc. — something they thought would wear me out a little and make me less of a handful at home.

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“The gluten-free cinnamon rolls are amazing!” Those emphatic words are emblazoned in my brain, stamped into my memory. As tears began to well in her eyes, Annalise, one of our counselors, looked around as if sharing a secret and said, “I haven’t eaten a cinnamon roll in five years! Could I please have your recipe?”

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