Resource Library

Raymond (not his real name) is an experienced camp director on the East Coast. When it comes to interviewing staff, Raymond feels especially confident about his ability to "sniff out the good ones." Raymond says of his interviewing strategy: "I like to get them into a spontaneous conversation and see what kind of a feeling I get. I watch for good eye contact, spontaneity, give-and-take, and other nonverbal signs of communication. With the guys I like to schmooze about baseball. It gets their guard down and shows me how they really relate to people.

Read More
Building Community through Camp
Published Date: 2018-09-01

For children and families who feel isolated or misunderstood, camp can offer the connectivity and support needed to finally feel like part of a community.

It takes a village.

No man is an island.

Better together.

There is no shortage of sentiments about the power of community — and there is no place where that is more evident than at camp. Around the world, camps are creating communities of support for children and young adults who feel sidelined or isolated because of a personal condition, challenge, or circumstance.

Read More

Hiring young adults to care for other people’s children seems like folly, from a neurodevelopmental perspective. Nobody’s brain is fully developed, many activities are dangerous, the weather can be violent, kids’ behavior is unpredictable, and all staff could use more training than directors have time to give. Pepper that risk and lack of preparation with a few mental health problems, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the right prevention, training, and support can help you thwart catastrophe and create a formative experience for your young participants.

Read More

A friend of mine is a college placement counselor in an academically competitive high school. She is always amazed by how quickly her phone calls to parents get returned. She feels like she has a red phone at the White House. When one dad returned her call she heard an odd noise in the background.

"What's that noise?" she asked.

The Dad: "Oh, it's nothing. I can talk. I'm just doing a colonoscopy."

The counselor: "I don't feel comfortable continuing the conversation. I'll call you back later."

Read More
The Role of Safety
Published Date: 2006-11-01

Building Camps That Care About Kids — Second in a Series of Four Articles

Read More

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great camp activities are, which special events seem fun, or even what new facilities have been added if each camper does not feel understood and appreciated. Given the vast number of different tasks a counselor must perform each day, it seems almost impossible to establish a meaningful connection with each camper. Even experienced counselors can become overwhelmed with the prospect of completing assigned duties before the end of the day.

Read More

For anyone familiar with Camp Danbee for Girls located in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, there is no mistaking its underlying philosophy — here is a place where girls can be themselves. A daily reminder of that greets our campers as they enter the dining hall for each meal in the form of a big, blue sign proclaiming, "Dance like no one is watching."

Read More
From Peg: Before You Speak — Think
Published Date: 2014-05-01

There is a saying that advises, “Before you speak — think.”

Ask yourself:
T = Is it true?
H = Is it helpful?
I = Is it inspiring?
N = Is it necessary?
K = Is it kind?

My advice to you this year is to follow these words. A counselor is in the most influential job at camp. You hold the lives and delicate spirits of each young person in the palm of your hand. That truth comes with both challenge and tremendous opportunity.

Read More


E.g., 2020-03-29
E.g., 2020-03-29