Resource Library

Energy & Enthusiasm: Find Your Sweet Spot
Published Date: 2020-05-01

As you can probably imagine and were most likely told in your interview, working at camp requires a lot of energy and enthusiasm. This is 110 percent true. Camp is, without a doubt, a place where these two attributes can be found at very high levels. You may be wondering just how much of them are needed on an individual or daily basis. Chances are, you will hear on multiple occasions throughout the summer from camp leadership that staff are lacking energy and enthusiasm. But high levels of both are neither realistic nor sustainable (or desirable) all the time.

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Most accidents involving campers occur in program, living, and common areas — typically when campers are (or were supposed to be) under the supervision of frontline camp staff such as cabin counselors, program staff, and activity-area supervisors. If this describes your role, this makes sense because you spend the most time directly with campers, including during program activities, mealtimes, and over night. As such, your day-to-day decision-making and supervision is a primary control for managing risk.
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The Impact of Community
Published Date: 2020-05-01

I have been so deeply inspired by the way many summer camps across America came together virtually as a community online to sing, play, and connect during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. It was as if the summer of 2020 began in March this year. These virtual camp programs rekindled the spirit of connection and belonging for thousands of children, teens, and adults who were confined to their homes and, like many of us, filled with anxiety and fear. With everyone emotionally starving for human connection, these programs were tremendously therapeutic and restorative.

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Anxiety — It Isn't Just a Camper Thing
Published Date: 2020-05-01

While you may be called upon to help one or more campers in the throes of anxiety this summer, chances are they aren't the only ones feeling anxious. Whether it's graduating from one phase of your life to the next, starting a new job, experiencing a new environment, or the worldwide spread of a new virus, this year has held plenty of causes for anxiety. Unchecked, anxiety has a way of taking on a life of its own, which can have serious health and life consequences for sufferers. 

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Sesame: The Fastest Growing Allergy Threat
Published Date: 2020-05-01

Fifteen-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and her father were flying from London to France on a British Airways jet in July of 2016. Natasha was eating a baguette purchased before boarding from the Pret a Manger bakery at London’s Heathrow airport, when she suddenly had difficulty breathing. Her father quickly injected her with two EpiPens, but Natasha succumbed to anaphylaxis, tragically dying in flight. Natasha’s cause of death: sesame seeds. These food allergens were not listed on the baguette packaging ingredient list (Doward, 2018).

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A Place to Grow
Published Date: 2020-05-01

The Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC), a 264-acre camp in northwestern New Jersey, suggests on T-shirts, water bottles, and its website that it is "A Place to Grow." This, despite being a concise summary of what is truly a multidimensional campus devoted to experiential education, didn't resonate with me while I sat in my dorm common room scrolling through what felt like thousands of listings for summer internships. "A Place to Grow" wasn't as important at the time as potential salary, living conditions, better-than-average food, and duration of work. 

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Be a Kind Leader
Published Date: 2020-05-01

I am 16. My peers and I have always relied on kindness and support from one another. Despite the political polarization and toxic narratives that can drive society today, kindness isn't just a buzzword. It isn't limited to kindergarteners on a playground, or even first-year campers. Kindness is a positive-sum way to live in any field of work or study, but especially in the camp world, where it allows individuals to listen to each other's truth, learn from each other's experiences, and lift each other up.

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You may be reading this before you arrive at camp or within the first few days of making your way to your (new) summer home. Regardless, at this moment you are most likely not thinking about a few weeks, months, or even years from now in terms of your camp path. Your focus is probably on getting adjusted and learning as much about your camp role as possible, so you feel equipped to provide the best possible experience for the campers in your care.

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Moving On — A Place to Share
Published Date: 2020-03-06

I quietly said goodbye to a part of my life last summer — the part that had Bridget in it for the past 13 years.

She first entered my world when she was an eager little kid in my fourth-grade classroom. Tiny Bridget immediately made a huge impression on me with her intelligence, organizational skills, and take-charge demeanor, all unusually advanced for a fourth grader. Without me ever asking, she noticed her classmates who needed a little extra help and simply started helping. They loved her for it. I loved her for it too.

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Inflection Points: Why Character Counts
Published Date: 2020-03-06

Inflection points refer to everything from mathematical equations to management advice. But, equally, if not more, compelling is an application of the concept to the growth trajectory of youth.

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