Resource Library

Building an Army of Asking Ants
Published Date: 2018-01-01

Ant colonies have been used throughout history as models of industry. As a collective, ants are efficient, surprisingly intelligent, and are among the very few animals that organize themselves to collectively carry loads far heavier than an individual member of their species. Ants working together have an astonishing ability to mix collective muscle with individual initiative, and can adjust their course and outcomes based on intelligence provided by a single ant joining the effort.

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Whenever I tell people that my research deals with the history of summer camps, they smile. Undoubtedly some of the smiles are triggered by fond camp memories: the smell of pine, perhaps, or the taste of s’mores. But sometimes (I suspect) the smiles serve to hide a certain amount of confusion about what summer camps have to do with architectural history. If we are thinking of the most conventional definition of the field — a history of innovative works designed by architects of genius — then that confusion is warranted. This is not to say that architects have never designed summer camps.

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Making the Best Better
Published Date: 2003-07-18

Not too many job descriptions include expectations like, “Be able to rise early, go to bed late, and remain enthusiastic all day long.” “Work well with many different types of people.” “Share your love of 4-H with youth around the state.” But this is exactly what the Volunteer Camping Assistants (VCA) of the West Virginia University (WVU) Extension Program do every summer.

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Camp Through the Decades
Published Date: 2003-07-18

Snapshots of camp’s history remain steadfast in the minds and hearts of camp pioneers, moving beyond the boundaries of time. In a series of interviews with several American Camping Association (ACA) Pioneers, Camping Magazine chronicles the spirit of camp’s yesterdays. Let us honor the past and embolden the future of camp — through the eyes of pioneers . . . .

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A Camp Director Remembers World War II
Published Date: 2003-07-01

Running a camp during World War II took creativity, ingenuity, and some sacrifice. While friends and family were being asked to give their lives for our country, those of us at camp wanted to do our share. We wanted to provide our campers — eighty girls who were twelve to sixteen years old — with good memories of their time at camp, but at the same time, we knew it wouldn’t always be easy.

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I could barely contain myself. After seven years of delicate negotiations, Alford Lake Camp was ours. It was November 1962, and Mrs. Carleton Knight had “transferred” the camp to us. This momentous event was brought about by promising Mrs. Knight that we would say nothing about acquiring the camp until she was able to announce that after my assisting her in the upcoming summer, Alford Lake would be carried on by “someone from within the ALC family.”

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Children's Camps in the Adirondacks
Published Date: 2003-07-01

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the mountainous Adirondack region of northern New York was one of the nation’s premier resorts. The grand resort hotels, smaller inns, and boarding houses were concentrated on the region’s many lakes, nowhere more so than on the two large lakes on the region’s eastern edge. It is therefore not surprising that Lakes George and Champlain became the sites of some of the earliest experiments in the country in organized camping for children.

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Money Wise: An Interview with Ron Lieber
Published Date: 2018-03-01

"We may not realize it, but children are hyperaware of money,” wrote Ron Lieber in his New York Times bestseller The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money. That means money should be an important discussion point in every household, and Lieber, who also writes the “Your Money” column for the New York Times, can tell you that talking to kids about money goes beyond ensuring they understand basic financial behaviors.

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I had made an early morning appointment with my chiropractor to help with some chronic lower back problems. Given my usual busy schedule, I made it for 8 a.m. — the first available appointment he offers in the morning — so I would have plenty of time to make it back to my office for a 9:30 a.m. appointment with a client of my own.

When I arrived at my chiropractor’s office at 7:59, I was greeted by his secretary. She asked me to have a seat and told me that “Dr. Jim” would be with me soon. At 8:15 I asked her calmly, “Is Jim here?”

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“The number-one reason I found that parents don’t send their children to summer camp is that parents fear their child will be sexually abused while at camp,” said writer Allison Slater Tate. The gasp was audible as she finished her sentence. A room full of camp directors at the Tristate Camp Conference in 2015 shook their heads and began to murmur. Tate quieted the room and continued to explain how she conducted an informal poll among her friends and acquaintances and shared direct quotes of their responses of fear to her questions about camp.

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