Resource Library

There is so much good information about leadership. There are books about leadership with themes ranging from the military to Mickey Mouse; there are seminars, workshops, retreats, and entire conferences devoted to leadership, defining leadership styles, and even the best practices of other leaders. However, there seems to be a shortage of practical strategies for actually becoming a better leader.

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Solving the Certification Mystery
Published Date: 2018-01-01

With ominous dread, our kitchen crew expected “the visit” any day now. Health inspector drop-ins typically occur in the midst of summer camp chaos, the busiest time of year for camp professionals. This time was no exception. With clipboard in hand, the inspector slowly and deliberately migrated from station to station, dwelling a bit longer in some areas. After the inspector handed over our well-graded inspection report, said goodbye, and the kitchen door slammed behind her, my kitchen staff released audible sighs. “YES! We can relax now.”

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Camp Ramah Darom, in partnership with Nova Southeastern University, provides an overnight camp experience for children with autism and their families. Based upon Ramah Darom's five-day family camp model, adaptations have been made to ensure that the children with autism, their siblings, and parents all enjoy a successful camp experience. Located in rural, north Georgia, this camp draws families from as far away as California and Canada. Having successfully finished its fourth year, other camps around the country have expressed an interest in creating similar programs.

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Is There Anything I Can Do to Help?
Published Date: 2013-07-01

As camp professionals, we hear many stories about the impact of our camps on the lives of our participants. Often, when these alums come back and share a story or two with us from the past, they finish with a wonderful line that we probably have all heard:

“I loved my time at camp, so please let me know if there is anything I can ever do to help.”

When was the last time you followed up that offer with a request? If you never have, the time is now to get the courage and respond immediately with, “Fantastic! Have I got a job for you!”

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Despite my more than forty years in organized camping, I have scant experience in the other kind. In fact, one of my few forays into the world of site camping — accompanied by a long-time camp friend — resulted in a frighteningly hilarious expose of how not to assemble a tent. So much for our combined expertise in the great outdoors. Maybe we should have enrolled in that pioneering mod after all.Then there’s the hiking part.

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Published Date: 2019-01-01

Sexual abuse. Sexual misconduct. Child pornography. Your camp's nightmare.

These events represent the majority of crises we respond to on behalf of summer camps, schools, and youth-centric organizations.

The onset of the event is usually the same. A victim comes forward, rarely right away, but sometimes. They allege a staff member caused harm. Camp leadership expresses surprise and shock. "We did a background check. It was clean." "We trained our staff on boundaries." "They know they are not allowed to be alone with a camper."

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Camp staff beware and be ready! You may have already been warned about your adolescent campers. Wild mood swings and impulsive behaviors will happen, or if you are lucky, you may simply be ignored. Adolescents do not get a free pass to act this way over and over at camp. Yet, the rest of us do need to take a deep breath and consider that these biological changes are perfectly normal and that we are the ones who must adjust our behavior.

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More camps throughout the world are offering inclusive programs such as the one described below. In 1995, twenty-four of twenty-seven YMCA resident camps in Canada routinely included children with physical or mental disabilities as part of their camper constituency. The number of inclusive programs in United States’ camps is increasing as well.

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Lance Ozier, EdD, Interviewer 
Alphonse Litz, executive director and Ayanna Michel-Lord, associate director, Boston Explorers, Boston, Massachusetts (
Lorilee Chien, LIT and college and career access coordinator, Project Morry, Elmsford, New York (

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I Am. Therefore, I Think
Published Date: 2003-07-01

"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain." "I know," said Pooh humbly.
— from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

Big Questions

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