Resource Library

Don't Be a Donkey
Published Date: 2020-11-01

That’s always good advice, but this past summer we had to be reminded of it repeatedly. For us it meant spending a little time thinking about Buridan’s donkey.

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Camp Is Essential in an Age of Screens
Published Date: 2020-11-01

Camp has never been a more critical part of Generation-Z’s year-round learning landscape and core social and emotional development. Just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pew Research Center surveyed parents across the United States about the impact of technology on their children and parenting. The results will not be surprising to camp professionals and other educators.

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Inclusion at Camp
Published Date: 2020-11-01

Welcome to Trail Mixed: Inclusion at Camp. We are happy you are here. The stated mission of the American Camp Association (ACA) is enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience. Our mission is to enrich the camp experience through this ongoing column, which we hope will serve as a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) basecamp for the camp world.

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COVID-19: Decision-Making Amid Uncertainty
Published Date: 2020-11-01

It’s a pandemic. No one knows enough.
They say it may last 12–18 months. Maybe longer.
Information changes day-to-day. Sometimes more frequently.
There’s a pediatric complication that wasn’t anticipated.
COVID-19 changed camp plans — but will the change last forever?
Our economic viability is threatened.
. . . I just want to know what I should do.

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Campers You Can't Serve
Published Date: 2020-11-01

Bob Ditter has faithfully served the camp community for decades — and while he continues to do that, this will be his last In the Trenches column for Camping Magazine. We are so grateful to Bob for sharing his insights, practical advice, and his heart with us. It is that heart and desire to help, without fear of touching on difficult subjects, that has inspired and supported so many. Bob is a champion for camp — and we are better for the words of wisdom he has given us.

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Unsung Heroes
Published Date: 2020-11-01

What a summer 2020 turned out to be! The good, the bad, the ugly — and the grateful.

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In 1988, Camp Director Ken O’Kelley developed a leadership program intended to train teenagers in skills utilized at camp, which they could then transition into life skills outside of camp. That first year saw three participants complete a 10-week program. Throughout the years, the program evolved into a highly competitive program called the Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA), with multiple levels of participation.

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We all know that camp is a character-building bonanza for young people, instilling lifelong skills that translate into future careers and perseverance through difficult times — all in a fun outdoor environment. But camp could be even more. John Judge, president and CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), says, “Children and teenagers are also capable of being fantastic outdoor stewards . . ..”

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Moving Forward Together: September 2020
Published Date: 2020-09-01

It has been an extraordinary six months for us all. Throughout the history of American camp experiences, our field has weathered many epidemics and pandemics — including Influenza, Polio, Spanish Flu, Smallpox, Asian Flu, Mumps, H1N1 Swine Flu, and Measles — but COVID-19 has certainly had a catastrophic financial impact on camps. Preliminary estimates are that day and overnight camps lost a combined $16 billion this summer, with 19.5 million youth missing out on camp experiences they would have otherwise enjoyed.

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In March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic was declared a US national emergency, demanding new state regulations throughout the country, an array of CDC and WHO cautions and guidelines, and procedural changes around the most prevalent methods of disease spread and people groups with more propensity to be affected.

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