Resource Library

In the next five years, two out of every five new US campers five to 17 years old will be Hispanic. Because of their immigrant heritage and historical camper diversity challenges, many of them and their families will not be familiar with the summer camp experience.

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Inclusive Camp
Published Date: 2017-09-01

Have you seen the powerful 2008 documentary film, Including Samuel? It's the heartwarming and compelling story of a boy named Samuel who was born with cerebral palsy and how his family and friends work to ensure he is included in every facet of life (Habib, 2008). Samuel's dad, Dan Habib, is a talented photojournalist, and his remarkable film will inspire you to champion social inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream camp and school programs. I encourage you to watch it and share this powerful teaching tool with others.

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This article 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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We had a missing camper. I was seconds away from sending my staff to search the dark lake on a moonless night when I received the news that we’d found him. I made my way headlong toward the child. Thankfully, I was stopped by the head counselor before I could mess up one of the best pieces of camp counseling I had ever witnessed, coming from Carlos, a 16-year-old, first-year counselor-in-training.

“I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to make this week better for you,” said Carlos.

“It’s not your fault,” Jacob, the missing camper, mumbled.

“But it’s my job.”

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Seven Emerging Issues Today's Camps Face
Published Date: 2017-09-01

Results of the 2017 Emerging Issues Survey are in and suggest that camps face a variety of challenges, such as staff and camper health, staff training, parent communication, diversity, revenue generation, marketing, and evaluation. Compared to previous years, these current issues are consistent with past trends. One interesting difference from previous years involves staff training; many camps have indicated a need for LGBT resources where before it was not a main priority for training.

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#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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Cultivating Leaders
Published Date: 2017-11-01

Cultivating leaders is one of the best aspects of my job. For the past ten years, I have used the leadership curve to initiate the training with our Campers in Leadership Training (CILT). Our CILTs are youth in their final summer as campers. I am not sure where the idea was created. I may have stolen it from someone else (and if so, I would love to find the person so I can thank him or her for the inspiration), or it came to me as a vision.

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For 24 years, I have been a camp professional. Most of that time, I have led nonprofit camps that serve the Jewish community. For less than three years in between two camp directing positions, my job shifted to a more global role with the North American Jewish community, but I kept my hands in the camp world. I have in some way — whether directly or indirectly — impacted the experiences of more than 300,000 campers and staff members during the 24 summers that I have been a camp or camping movement leader.

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Know What's Below
Published Date: 2017-11-01

Where public utilities meet the properties they serve, knowing what's buried before you disturb the ground is more than a good idea: It is the law and violations are subject to significant penalties. After millions of dollars in damage and fatalities across the country, the reasoning behind the laws isn't hard to imagine. "Call before you dig" is what's required, and the established procedures serve to protect everybody, utility owner and landowner alike. But if knowing what's below is the law for public utilities, shouldn't that same idea apply to camp's buried utilities?

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Blanch

During her job interview, Blanch spoke modestly but articulately about her sophomore-year university honors project. She seemed serious at first but sailed through an acapella folk tune with confidence and flair when the director asked her to “sing a fun song.” Impressed with Blanch’s lack of inhibition, the director made a mental note to call the professor, the businesswoman, and the Girl Scout leader that Blanch had listed as references.

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