Resource Library

The Web continues to make it faster, easier, and cheaper to test out new offerings. Your core business may seem secure for now, and your camp may have valuable assets accrued over time, but it is imperative to examine your mission. Make sure you are offering all the complementary and tangential programs your community needs and wants . . . or someone else might. Utilizing tools available to you on the Web allows you to continuously play defense and offense.

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By now many of you have heard of ACA’s 5-Year Impact Study, a national research project focused on the lasting impacts of camp among campers and staff. We described the study and its research questions in the January/February 2019 issue of Camping Magazine and explored the first of four preliminary themes in a March/April 2019 article focused on independence and responsibility.

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That Hollow Feeling

How do you distract yourself from that hollow feeling that looms in your gut the day after camp ends? Most camp professionals reset camp and brace themselves for the first post-season user group. Others take a vacation. Some participate in fall professional development conferences. And a few wander the property imagining improvements for next season. Whatever group you belong to, an essential postseason task for all camp owners and directors is to provide feedback to your staff.

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Cultivating Leaders
Published Date: 2017-11-01

Cultivating leaders is one of the best aspects of my job. For the past ten years, I have used the leadership curve to initiate the training with our Campers in Leadership Training (CILT). Our CILTs are youth in their final summer as campers. I am not sure where the idea was created. I may have stolen it from someone else (and if so, I would love to find the person so I can thank him or her for the inspiration), or it came to me as a vision.

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Teenagers and Sexuality at Camp
Published Date: 2000-09-01

As a psychiatrist who specializes in working with teens, I hear "it" discussed often - quietly, tentatively at first, until the teen decides that I am "OK." Usually the words are whispered until the teen feels more trusting . . . Does this doctor really want to hear what I have to say about this or is she going to give me a lecture? Can I ask her my questions or will she think I'm stupid? I bet she never had this problem. In fact, I bet no one has every had this problem, but maybe I could tell her it was some other kid, not me . . . never me.

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Because I Worked at Camp
Published Date: 2013-09-01

Now that the summer has come to a close, camp directors are inevitably thinking about the staff they want to invite back next season. If we as directors have created a strong camp community, one that staff find rewarding and enjoyable, this should be an easy process, right? However, we all know this is not necessarily the case when put into the context of the current job and educational environment, which places a heavy emphasis on out-of-classroom learning experiences for college students.

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You may be asking yourself, "What does a discussion about transgender individuals have to do with me? Why am I reading this in Camping Magazine?" We've had the conversation about the LGBTQ community (defined on page 44) in camps before (see "Don't Assume I'm Straight," in the November/December 2003 Camping Magazine). The time has come to focus on the special challenges facing certain members of that community — transgender youth — and what role camps might play.

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Richard, a camper in the 1950s, recently returned to Camp Manito-wish YMCA where he spent five summers as a youth. The camp recently commemorated its 100th summer with a celebration for the ages, and while he enjoyed his nostalgic walk through camp immensely, Richard said the Paul Bunyan Breakfast resonated with him the most.

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The Role of Skill Building
Published Date: 2007-01-01

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

Maybe Walt Whitman was on to something. When we think of the very best ways to help young people grow into productive, caring adults, we like to think that their experiences at camp matter. In this article, we explore what we learned from the Program Improvement Project (PIP) about the skill-building supports and opportunities for campers.

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Camp Traditions: Memories in the Making
Published Date: 2010-05-01

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Camp Association®, we recognize that through wars, recessions, triumphs, and feats of accomplishment, the camp experience has remained, at its core, essentially the same — a unique environment that promotes friendship, leadership, and community. When we compare camp experiences of the past with today's camp experience, we know that they served similar purposes.

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