Resource Library

In a world that is witnessing the most dramatic demographic transformation in its history, these words could not be more poignant. Defining camp by duration, activity, or location, or by labels such as resident, day, for profit, or nonprofit, has become a secondary issue to those who are deciding whether to send a young person to camp or not.

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Staff Training: What Do You Expect?
Published Date: 2011-05-01

Summer camp staff training — what exactly is it? If you take all the ideas and definitions; all the content from years past provided by the American Camp Association (ACA), the health department, and your camp or organization; and every article or other piece of commentary about what it is or how to do it, it would all boil down to a simple idea: expectations. Staff training is about what you are expected to do. The reason for those expectations is directly related to the experience every camper has at camp.

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Bill Cosby.

Harvey Weinstein.

Lawrence Nassar.

Kevin Spacey.

Matt Lauer.

#MeToo.

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Eight years ago, Harvard University Professor Robert Putnam published a book, Bowling Alone, chronicling the demise of connection in modern-day American society and warning that the precipitous decline in "social capital" (the collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other) impoverishes our lives and communities.

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Throughout the year, Camping Magazine publishes articles for full-time camp professionals. Once a year, it is written specifically for you — the camp staff who are on the front lines doing the intricate work that makes camp come alive and makes the experience so magical and successful for children.

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Do You Know What You Believe?
Published Date: 2016-09-01

At this year’s ACA National Conference in Atlanta I had the privilege of co-hosting the unfortunately titled session: “Breakfast with the Legends.” Our intrepid conference chair reported that young professionals had been expressing the desire to meet elders in our field and to learn from their combined total of perhaps 500 years of experience. So a breakfast with bagels was arranged.

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My love of the outdoors, along with my scientific curiosity, can be traced back to my childhood adventures in the woods. The house I grew up in did not have air conditioning, making it unbearable to be indoors during the months of July and August. I, along with my older sister, found my refuge in the cool shade of the woods. At first we would stick to a clearing that housed two small boulders at the edge of the yard. Once I was ten and didn’t have to be in direct eyesight of my mother, I forged my own paths in the woods.

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What progress have you seen in the movement to connect children and nature since you wrote Last Child in the Woods in 2005?

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Me First? Keys to Self-Care
Published Date: 2019-05-01

We've all been there! You're excited about your new job and all goes well for the first few days (maybe weeks). Everything is new and exciting. Adrenaline helps smooth any fears or irritations. But now it's getting real. Your coworkers are starting to get on your nerves. Your campers are driving you crazy; sure, some are adorable, but others are simply annoying and needy. "What am I going to do?" you wonder. You know you need to be relaxed and confident to help others. If you're really honest with yourself, you know it boils down to the fact that you're tired.

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The time has come to get rid of the desks in neat rows, get creative, look outside the box, and bring the camp experience to the classroom. Kids need the chance to develop life skills, develop strong character, and create their own knowledge through authentic learning experiences that allow them to be creative problem-solvers all year round — not just for a week in the summer. The education system in the United States is failing to meet these needs in today's students. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan referred to low achieving schools as "dropout factories." The U.S.

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