Resource Library

Effective storytelling has long been a cherished campfire activity. Likewise, storytelling is recognized in the broader community as an essential element of both marketing and communication. How can we tell our story and convey our message so that others hear it? Once we have their ears, what can we say to help them understand why they should care about camp?

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Throughout this past fall, reports have been flowing in confirming what many parents, teachers, and camp directors already intuitively knew — the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on our youths’ mental health (Leeb, Bitsko, Radhakrishnan, Martinez, Njai, & Holland, 2020). During this time, mental health providers have documented increases in both anxiety and depression. All this angst and uncertainty is affecting young people differently than adults.

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The Privilege of Polite
Published Date: 2021-01-01

That doesn't happen at camp. But what if it did? Grounded in their beginnings as a means of preserving youth and innocence, many camps shy away from holding space for difficult conversations, erring on the side of being polite. In this instance, politeness equates to avoidance. But we know that camp is not magical because it is utopian (see the inaugural Trail Mixed column in the November/December issue for a discussion about why that thinking is perilous).

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Is It Over Yet?
Published Date: 2021-01-01

The year 2020 was one of adversity. It was a year of dramatic change and tremendous loss for many. Loss of loved ones. Loss of income. Loss of business. Loss of treasured life experiences — graduations, proms, performances, showers, and weddings. It felt at times like being trapped between a horror movie and a reality TV show.

Last year dawned with the greatest of potential. The stock market was at an all-time high. Unemployment was at an all-time low. Many camps were fully booked and making capital improvements to their facilities. Then the wheels came off the bus.

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For food service management shopping for soy-allergic campers, it will seem like soy is everywhere. Because soy is a staple for many food manufacturers, it is one of the most ubiquitous food allergens in the US. Soy is largely used in prepackaged foods such as breads, cookies, chips, crackers, microwave popcorn, salad dressings, mixes, pasta sauces, and more. 

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In Pursuit of Belonging
Published Date: 2021-01-01

One year ago, I was writing an article for the January/February edition of Camping Magazine called “Building Belonging in the Age of Anxiety.” My goal was to shine a spotlight on a facet of what we do as summer camp professionals, and to make the case that belonging is the greatest of all the outcomes we offer to the children we serve. I believe this with all my heart, and yet I had not fully understood the broad and very personal benefits of focusing on, and striving to deliver, belonging to others.

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With a traveler’s soul and an innovator’s mind, venture capitalist Terry Jones has worn many hats over the years. He’s founded five startups, including Travelocity and Kayak.com (as founding chairman), served on 19 public and private company boards, written two books about management (On Innovation and Disruption Off) — and he even taught IBM’s Watson about travel.

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Thirty-year-old African American Jamal Stroud exudes positivity and light. Not necessarily an intuitive state of being for someone who started life in New York City’s foster care system. Like many who have experienced the kind of adversity he faced as a child, Stroud could have embraced the mean streets. Instead, he has focused his energy on helping today’s young men of color rise above similar hardships. He founded Big Homie Lil Homie (BHLH), a nonprofit, volunteer mentoring organization, in 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina, where he now lives with his wife and two children.

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Camp and the Loneliness Crisis
Published Date: 2021-01-01

Let me start by sounding uncharacteristically negative. Loneliness was a crisis before the pandemic. And by now, just about everyone in our community is suffering from it.

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Summer 2020 impacted every aspect of camp, and regardless of how things played out — with various scenarios of camp running in some form or not at all — building next summer’s staff team weighs heavily on our minds. All our default systems and timelines seem useless right now, prompting so many questions and very few answers. For instance:

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