Resource Library

Nature Loves Nurture
Published Date: 2003-01-01

In the spring of 2002, Psychologist Wallace Dixon published the results of a survey of 1,500 randomly selected, doctoral-level members of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). He had asked the society members which studies, published since 1950, they considered "most revolutionary."In this series, psychologist Christopher Thurber - an ACA member as well as a member of SRCD - shares a summary of the top twenty most revolutionary studies.

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Where Camp Happens
Published Date: 2013-05-01

When was the first time you really felt camp? Whether you are a longtime camp person or this is your f irst summer, chances are that the answer to that question is (or will be) intangible, buried in a moment — something you just can’t quite explain. I like to ask the question this way because camp is a feeling. It is so much more than a collection of activities, schedules, lakes, and songs. Camp is an experience — one that you will deliver to many campers this summer.

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In November 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a two-week strike in front of the Swedish Parliament. She was on a mission to bring attention to the looming threat of climate change and to protest the inaction of world leaders on the issue. When she started, she was alone. Less than a year later, on September 20, 2019, she was joined by a wave of more than 14 million people in a cascading series of protests that spanned the globe through 138 countries, beginning in Australia and ending 24 hours later in the Americas (Sengupta, 2019).

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The culture of a camp is essential to evaluate on a regular basis. Is it noticeably and measurably acceptable or does it need help and/or remediation?

Ask yourself the following ten questions:

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“What am I supposed to do,” one camp director asked me, “with a mom who calls the camp every day of the session?” While such a wildly anxious mother may be rare (why did she send her child to camp if she can hardly bear his or her absence?), there is no question that, in general, camp parents are more anxious than in the past.

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Being a counselor to teenagers is one of the most important jobs you will ever have. During this summer, you will learn more about life than you can possibly imagine.

And as is often the case with meaningful learning situations, counseling teenagers will surely test every fiber of your being. Returning staff who are reading this article probably can't help but smile because they already know how much energy it takes to be successful.

So here is the key question: If you are in charge of a group of teens, how can you create lasting memories in your campers?

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Fostering friendships among campers is one of the most important goals of any summer camp program. As counselors, you will play a pivotal role in modeling and teaching your campers the skills they need to make friends, be a good friend to others, and maintain strong friendships.

The importance of your coaching young people in the areas of social and emotional skills has been highlighted in several studies, including the famous 80-year Harvard Study of Adult Development, which found that:

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For years sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists have mourned the loss of traditions marking important childhood "rites of passage." In earlier American culture, movement toward adulthood was accompanied by more ritualistic, meaningful celebrations of transition to newfound independence and responsibility to the family and community.

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There was a day when it was thought that being an American and having "gumption" went hand in hand. As Dennis R. Rader writes in Learning Redefined: Changing the Images that Guide the Process, "America used to be a community alive with the unspoken motto: Gumption Grown Here" (p. 274). What is gumption? Gumption is toughness. Not tough in a stereotypical way (e.g. like suggesting attitudes and actions that are hard, cold, insensitive, or even brutal), but tough meaning emotionally, mentally, and physically f lexible, strong, and resilient.

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If at First You Don’t Succeed . . .
Published Date: 2016-09-01

When I was six or seven, my parents decided I needed to do something structured a couple days a week during the day in the summertime. They ended up sending me to a gym camp, a local day camp that focused on outdoor physical activity — archery, horseback riding, swimming, etc. — something they thought would wear me out a little and make me less of a handful at home.

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