Resource Library

You well know the liability associated with having guests on your site. Most times, invited guests have expectations about what their experience will entail and the level of risk they intend to accept. At certain times of the year, though, hunters on your property or your neighbors’ may significantly change that norm. Your year-round occupants and employees are probably aware of those changes, but are your guests? This month, we’re going to look at a few things that will help ensure that everyone can enjoy your camp’s property safely.

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World-Class Career Development
Published Date: 2018-11-01

Imagine a fun college summer working at camp, where, as with any other internship, young adults gain knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience while making important connections for their future. Summers working at camp practicing career-enriching, human performance competencies are more valuable to young people than ever before.

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In late July 2014, I sat on my bed, alone for the first time all day, reeking of garbage and motor oil, and listening to rain pummel the tin roof. Satisfied I’d done my duties for the night, I had started to unzip my raincoat when an angry knock sounded on my door.

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Building Principles: Magic From the Tap
Published Date: 2010-05-01

Most children are fascinated by magicians. I remember being certain that a magic wand, would indeed, produce whatever I wanted. As you get older though, you come to realize that behind the "magic" is much preparation and careful planning to create an illusion of something out of nothing. It's funny, but though most adults recognize the "tricks" behind a stage magic show, they still regard safe, potable water as magic. You know, turn the faucet and Shazam! Water springs forth! But you know differently.

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On Becoming a Mentor
Published Date: 2017-05-01

Back in the early ’70s, my favorite counselor’s name was Billy, but everyone called him “Banjo Billy” because he was an accomplished singer/songwriter. He was caring, funny, adventurous, fair, and inspiring. For my 10- and 11-year-old cabinmates and me, he could do little wrong — he was a paragon of a nonparent, adult mentor. Billy taught us how to get along, love one another, and be respectful of everyone in our camp community in spite of our differences. Today he is Bill, a former rabbi and a distinguished attorney who attended Yale and then Harvard Law School.

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During the summer, I have many opportunities to see and discuss camper behavior at the several camps I visit during the season. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly even some well-educated, experienced adult leaders resort to tactics that involve shaming children or threatening to take things away from them as methods of managing their behavior. I believe children sometimes need firm guidance. I also believe that guidance can be offered respectfully, without shame or threats. I offer two examples from this past summer.

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"Kick a Ginger Day." Fair to say, the majority of adults reading this article have no idea what this means. A bunch of junior-high-aged kids in Calabasas, California, did, however. On November 20, 2009, at least four girls and two boys were subjected to physical and/or verbal bullying and abuse because of their red hair, freckles, and pale complexions. Ginger. Gilligan's Island. Redheads. It's quite a leap.

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Cathy’s story: “He looks like me but he sure don’t talk like me” was the comment I heard from an 11-year-old camper as he described his counselor who was black but from South Africa. In my early and admittedly failed attempts to mirror my staff to reflect my camper population, I did not understand what was most important to my campers and their parents — their identity — whether they were African American, Hmong, or Latino.

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