Resource Library

Camp Songs — History and Traditions
Published Date: 2010-07-01

Harriet Lowe, editor of Camping Magazine, and Rita Yerkes, historical series editor, were kind enough to invite me to write about the history and traditions of camp songs. However, you should know I failed history class in grades ten and eleven and I can't read a note of music. Besides, I have only been around for eighty-four of the one hundred years of the American Camp Association's existence!

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Clayton M. Christensen (2017), professor at the Harvard Business School and one of the foremost authorities on disruptive innovation, wrote:

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Author Rachel Simmons spoke with ACA about aspects of cyberbullying among girls and camp’s role in helping kids disengage from an online world where they must always be “on.” Recently, Simmons revised and updated her New York Times bestselling Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls with four new chapters that include fresh, innovative strategies to help girls navigate the online world.

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“First of all, Miss Turner, returning you to shore was never part of our agreement. Second, you are not a pirate, so the Pirate’s Code does not apply. And third, the Pirate’s Code is more of a set of what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.” — Hector Barbosa, Pirate Captain of the Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Bruckheimer, 2003)

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In May 1971, the Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs" peaked at number eighteen on the rock and pop charts. For the unfamiliar, it's about excluding others through signs like job descriptions that refer to applicants' appearance or prohibiting trespassing. And while laws have changed with the times, signs still set the tone for the impressions that people build. In this column, we're going to look at how signs to, at, and around camp can improve the experience of your neighbors, visitors, camp families, and staff.

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As camp professionals we've got a lock on how to plan for, organize, and deliver high-quality summer learning programs for children and young adults. Amidst the rush of preparing our staff to be effective counselors of youth, establish meaningful mentoring relationships, and model such important constructs as sensitivity, positive risk-taking, conflict resolution, and leadership, we may unwittingly lose sight of the fact that one of the most seminal achievements of our work is creating communities — year after year.

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In the summer of 2001, Congressional Camp found itself hip deep in allergies. Of the 490 campers on our campus, 222 had identified allergies. This fact left us limp and sweaty with concern . . . and it wasn't because of the humid Virginia summers.

We knew that food allergies never take a break, never rest, never leave well enough alone, and never forgive a tiny transgression - "just this one time." The worry about an exquisitely allergic child is continuous - for the parents and for our director and staff.

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Many summers ago, as a young cabin counselor with new campers and programming to do, the last thing on my mind was the history of organized camping. I had places to go and people to see — and besides "that was then; this was now!" Boy, did I have a lot to learn!

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The sometimes heavy rain on the last and closing days of camp only accentuated the tears of sadness shed in this closest of communities. Some were tears borne of the profound sense of loss that the end of another season brings.

Those were the "good" tears.

Others reflected the disappointment of peers, counselors, and camp directors at the last week's actions of five about-to-graduate, and oldest, members of the camp's teen leadership program.

Those were the "bad" tears.

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Leading for Tomorrow - September
Published Date: 2015-09-01

The fall season, for our association, marks a time similar to the first days of staff training. It is a time of bonding when veteran camp leaders are excited to share their stories of the season and grow from others. It is a time of learning, as all of us look back in reflection while looking for solutions to advance our own programs before our next round of campers arrive. It is a time of possibility when new members have joined our ranks and want to add their voice to this community.

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E.g., 2020-03-28
E.g., 2020-03-28