Resource Library

In 2006, US students ranked twenty-first out of thirty in science literacy and twenty-fifth out of thirty in math literacy among developed countries. A recent announcement by the Obama administration to alter No Child Left Behind has been welcomed by many parents and educators across the nation. Yet, within the camp community, implications of school reform, summer learning, and re-structuring our public education system have been met with more questions than answers.

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Camp professionals often look to the American Camp Association (ACA) for salary and compensation information. In order to help association members stay current with salary and compensation trends, and to assist members in assessing where their organization is in relation to others in the industry, ACA conducted the National Survey on Compensation and Benefits. In October of 2009, mailed surveys were sent to 1,350 member camps.

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Risk management in the camp profession often means rigorous tests of equipment, detailed training for staff, and preventative measures to eliminate risk. Yet, we often fail to take into account the developmental stages of most staff and how this can impact the level of risk within the camp setting. Most summer camp staff are in their late teens and early twenties — a time of life that is becoming commonly referred to as "emerging adulthood." It is the time of life when many young people are creating their identity, exploring sexual relationships, and deciding on future life goals.

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The Globalization of the Camp Movement
Published Date: 2010-09-01

In American history books, 1987 will be remembered as the "dark year" of the Reagan administration, with shadows cast by the Iran- Contra affair, the Unabomber, and detonation of an atomic weapon in Nevada. But in the annals of the American Camp Association (ACA), the National Conference in Washington, DC, proved to be like no other in the organization's history.

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My kids wish they went to school in ancient China, during the Zhou Dynasty, which lasted roughly from 1050 BC to 250 BC. They would have been taught the Six Arts: rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and mathematics. Except for the math part, it sounds to them like a typical camp day: flag raising (or morning watch or campfire) followed by singing songs, archery, horseback riding (or mountain biking), and finally arts and crafts. As my nine-year-old remarked, "That would be a pretty sweet school day."

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Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring staff is the most important part of your job as a camp director. It is the single most time-consuming and, at times, tedious task you will undertake. However, investing the time and being truly present in the process will help you to avoid some future mistakes. Your staff are the people that families are trusting to take care of their children. They are the people that you will trust to keep your campers safe and to do the right thing both when you are present and when you are not present.

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From Peg - November 2010
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Message discipline is difficult. Yet, in a complex association such as ACA, the demand for clarity is paramount. For an organization to grow, it must learn how to walk that thin line between chaos and order — because it is along that thin veil that true growth takes place. Even with clarity, we often find times when messages compete — where one message may take greater prominence than another due to frequency, volume, or the cacophony.

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The Cycle of Camp
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When I mention to people that I'm a Girl Scout, they give me the "once-over." You know, moving their eyes up and down my body, then adding; "Aren't you a little old to be a Girl Scout?" I'm thirty-three! How is that old? Ah well, I love that I'm still a Girl Scout (lifetime member, thank you) and am proud of being part of an organization that truly helped mold me. I joined because of my sister; I stayed because of camp.

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"My sometime is now," the tune continues. In 1964, crooner Dean Martin knocked the Beatles' "Hard Day's Night" from their number one pop chart perch with that bit of wisdom. Almost fifty years later, it still rings true. In workshops and articles, I've said that relationships with consultants are marriages of convenience. The successful ones have many of the same phases and facets, including courting, sharing of private information, and cooperation.

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