Resource Library

Develop Your Skills at Camp
Published Date: 2020-05-03

I am going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you are not planning on becoming a professional camp counselor. True, some of you will fall in love with camp this summer and may end up changing your major so that camp becomes your career path. And for those of you who grew up going to camp, perhaps you are already on this professional summer camp path. After all, the owner of Camp Robindel, where I work, knew as a 12-year-old camper he wanted to be a camp director, so certainly that is possible.

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A Different Kind of Mentor
Published Date: 2020-05-03

Mentors come in all types, shapes, and sizes. There are loud ones, quiet ones; short ones, tall ones; young ones, old ones.

The common denominator is “one” — as in “Be one!” While there are many things each of us cannot do, there is one thing we must do: mentor our youth.

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2020 Golden Quill and Golden Lens Winners
Published Date: 2020-05-03

2020 Golden Quill Award Winner

Elizabeth Marable and Ariella Randle Rogge

“Where Are Their Adult Pants? Tools, Catchphrases, and Understanding for Choosing Today’s Staff Members” (January/February 2019)

Photo of Elizabeth Rundle-MarablePhoto of Ariella Rogge

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Regardless of the camp where you have chosen to spend your summer, many campers you’ll work with will be “differently wired.” In fact, one in five kids have ADHD, dyslexia, giftedness, autism, anxiety, or some other type of neurodifference. The exceptional kids you’ll lead this summer may have unique challenges that can impact their experience at camp both positively and negatively.

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Anxiety — It Isn't Just a Camper Thing
Published Date: 2020-05-01

While you may be called upon to help one or more campers in the throes of anxiety this summer, chances are they aren't the only ones feeling anxious. Whether it's graduating from one phase of your life to the next, starting a new job, experiencing a new environment, or the worldwide spread of a new virus, this year has held plenty of causes for anxiety. Unchecked, anxiety has a way of taking on a life of its own, which can have serious health and life consequences for sufferers. 

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Sesame: The Fastest Growing Allergy Threat
Published Date: 2020-05-01

Fifteen-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and her father were flying from London to France on a British Airways jet in July of 2016. Natasha was eating a baguette purchased before boarding from the Pret a Manger bakery at London’s Heathrow airport, when she suddenly had difficulty breathing. Her father quickly injected her with two EpiPens, but Natasha succumbed to anaphylaxis, tragically dying in flight. Natasha’s cause of death: sesame seeds. These food allergens were not listed on the baguette packaging ingredient list (Doward, 2018).

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A Place to Grow
Published Date: 2020-05-01

The Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC), a 264-acre camp in northwestern New Jersey, suggests on T-shirts, water bottles, and its website that it is "A Place to Grow." This, despite being a concise summary of what is truly a multidimensional campus devoted to experiential education, didn't resonate with me while I sat in my dorm common room scrolling through what felt like thousands of listings for summer internships. "A Place to Grow" wasn't as important at the time as potential salary, living conditions, better-than-average food, and duration of work. 

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Be a Kind Leader
Published Date: 2020-05-01

I am 16. My peers and I have always relied on kindness and support from one another. Despite the political polarization and toxic narratives that can drive society today, kindness isn't just a buzzword. It isn't limited to kindergarteners on a playground, or even first-year campers. Kindness is a positive-sum way to live in any field of work or study, but especially in the camp world, where it allows individuals to listen to each other's truth, learn from each other's experiences, and lift each other up.

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You may be reading this before you arrive at camp or within the first few days of making your way to your (new) summer home. Regardless, at this moment you are most likely not thinking about a few weeks, months, or even years from now in terms of your camp path. Your focus is probably on getting adjusted and learning as much about your camp role as possible, so you feel equipped to provide the best possible experience for the campers in your care.

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Light shed on any situation makes it look different. It follows that the tone we set, both internally and externally, casts shadows and highlights different points of view. As a new supervisor, the most important “lights” to shine allow us to know self (to understand our reaction to circumstances), to be able to separate self-worth from the work produced (because work will not always go smoothly), and to foster self-development in the workplace (by reaching out to role models while not mimicking them).

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