Resource Library

#CAMPCULTURALEXCHANGE
Published Date: 2017-11-01

It's ironic that I've spent this fall encouraging Americans to advocate for the White House not to drastically reduce or eliminate J-1 visas for camp cultural exchange programs while also keynoting at the 3rd China Camp Education Conference (CCEC) and representing ACA at the 11th International Camping Congress (ICC). Camp cultural exchange has been a key component of American diplomacy and deeply enriching summer camp experiences for decades. The J-1 exchange visitor program was introduced under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961).

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In this day when college students lobby for internships and field experience, the professional values of camp counseling seem to take a back seat. In truth, camp counseling is a position which fosters many professional skills, such as responsibility, patience, and flexibility. It is also a position in which one is responsible for children's lives — what could be more important than that?

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In his book Homesick and Happy, child psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, describes the dilemma that faces so many of today’s parents. “I have spoken with many parents, who, out of the deepest love for their children, want only to do more — not less — for their children,” says Thompson. “They believe that the more time, energy, attention, and money they can devote to their child, the better” (2012, p. 9).

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The Self-Reliant Camp
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Most camps are located in relatively remote areas. So one might expect they'd be designed for self-reliance. They'd run on locally-sourced energy, water, food, and material, and they'd manage their wastes on-site. But few do. Instead, most depend on distant supply lines that stretch over thousands of miles, which makes some sense if:

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Turn On the Radio
Published Date: 2016-03-01

The end of a summer day. We sit out on the front porch. The heat eases as the sky darkens and stars slowly emerge. The crackle of a radio broadcast punctuates the relative silence of the night, the play-by-play of a baseball game taking place hundreds of miles away. Someone adjusts the positioning of the antenna to pick up a clearer signal. Talk and laughter about the day’s events mingle with the action on a distant field.

United States circa 1950? Absolutely. But also Summer Camp 2015.

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Like many camp directors — and other educators for that matter — I am frequently thrust into the unenviable role of disciplinarian. And, frankly, I don't feel that I'm very good at it.

That is my confession.

Of course, I am not exactly sure of the requirements to be a "good" disciplinarian. Objective, fair, and consistent come to mind . . . all important for sure, but perhaps a little abstract to construct a nicely bound definition of a model disciplinarian. Maybe that's part of my problem.

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A Lot of Courage Is Needed
Published Date: 2017-03-01

An interview with Nick Teich, founder and CEO of Camp Aranu’tiq

Social Justice
This interview is part of Camping Magazine's series on social justice, exploring social issues in the context of individual camps and the camp community as a whole as a way to spark further conversation and inspire positive change. Contact Ann Gillard (anngillard@gmail.com) if you would like to participate or contribute to this series.
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This summer at camp you are bound to encounter some behaviors that are inappropriate. The types of possible behaviors are too numerous to list. As frontline staff, having a range of strategies to respond to these varying behaviors immediately will be critical to your success. The ten response types that make up the response-style curve provide a generalized set of options that can be used in any situation.

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As camp operators, we are keenly aware that when kids go to camp, they make positive gains in self-reliance, independence, communication, and self-esteem. Unplugged from the constant electronic buzz, children find themselves at camp — making genuine connections with other children, rediscovering the fun in physical fitness, learning their own strengths, and finding their own voices.

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