Resource Library

Over the last 30 years, I have not only been a camp director and owner but have also worked in the role of providing professional risk management education within the camp, youth development, and education fields. My clients have included universities, municipalities, private schools, camps, recreation, and nonprofit organizations. In addition to writing, providing educational workshops, training camp staff, etc., I am often hired to evaluate policies and procedures, as well as advise and provide an expert opinion for insurance and legal professionals when accidents happen at camps.

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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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Positive Futures
Published Date: 2018-01-01

I have been blessed by a wonderful career as a camp director and educator in our field. It has been gratifying to see the lives of generations of campers and staff members transformed over the years. I know how deeply impactful camp experiences can be, but I’m always looking for new expert evidence to help the field communicate why camp experiences are essential for all American children and youth.

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Yes, You Need to Be a Grownup Every Day
Published Date: 2009-05-01

What did I get myself into, or why did I come back? These unspoken questions go through the minds of many staff during the first hour of orientation. Yes, camp is an awesome place to spend the summer, but day one of orientation can be frightening, intimidating, refreshing, or even adventurous. Even though you will be in the same physical place, returning staff and new hires have very different agendas. One group is excited, crying, hugging, animated, and screaming while the other is patient, perplexed, anxious, and a little scared.

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Writing a Letter of Reference
Published Date: 2013-11-01

One of the challenges of working at a summer camp is communicating to the outside world what it means to work at a summer camp. When we were young camp counselors, my dear friend Brienne carefully taped this common quote on the inside wall of her cabin: “From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it.” Brienne, melancholy with the thought of leaving camp for the year, was probably thinking about returning to college and boring her roommates with camp stories that did not make sense to anyone who wasn’t there.

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Camp directors and parents alike will enjoy hearing children report about their week at summer overnight camp as the “best week ever!” And it just may be that some of the best evidence that describes the benefit of camp comes directly from the experiences of campers, parents, and leaders.

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What It Means to Be a Buddy
Published Date: 2018-11-01

Extra Special People (ESP) is a nonprofit located in Watkinsville, Georgia, that serves people with all types of special needs by providing them with ways to engage, connect, and thrive through year-round programs. Then, during the months of June and July, something magical happens — ESP Summer Camp! We host eight wonderful, wacky weeks of camp programs, including four weeks of engaging day camp at our building, two weeks of field trips, and two weeks of overnight camp.

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While the academic year holds ample opportunity for what are commonly referred to as “the three R’s” of reading, writing, and arithmetic, a job at summer camp offers unique experiential learning opportunities not only for your campers but for you as well. In fact, it’s a perfect breeding ground for three other R’s too often lost in our fast-paced, always-on, hyperconnected world: recharging, reconnecting, and reflecting.

Each is important for the campers — and the counselors!

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How often do you see the following examples occur in campers? Kenny, a bright ten-year-old, focuses his attention on the counselor's directions during an activity. He appears attentive, but always needs to ask the counselor or a peer to repeat portions of the directions. Sue, an impressionable thirteen-year-old, likes to participate in sports activities, but finds constant misjudging of distances to catch or hit a ball is embarrassing. She slowly withdraws from these activities. And Bob, a competitive fellow, enjoys playing table games except for the ones that require him to spell.

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A Place to Share: Dear Counselor
Published Date: 2017-05-01

Dear Counselor,

I love coming to camp every year, and I look forward to the end of the season and the feeling of accomplishment from all that I will have completed. I also love connecting with my counselors and building close relationships at camp.

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