Resource Library

A Place to Share: What Would They Do?
Published Date: 2020-09-01

I sent my cohort of Minnesota camp directors a photo of camp directors and families from the 1950s, taken during the annual gathering after the summer sessions to share what worked, what didn’t, and collective concerns as they looked forward to the next season and beyond. “What would they do?” I asked. We were discussing our concerns about how (or if) we could run our traditional summer camp program in light of COVID-19.

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In January 2016, I decided to bring my assistant to the ACA National Conference in Atlanta. We both agreed it would be a way for her to gain a deeper understanding of my work with camp professionals. Not only would she help me organize my presentations and handouts, but she would get to see me in action and develop a greater sense of my “audience” and what people were looking for from my work.

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As a school counselor and national educator on bullying prevention, I am privileged to meet with youth development professionals, parents, and young people from across the United States and Canada who generously share their personal experiences related to bullying. I have been brought to tears more times than I can count listening to adults and kids alike talk about their sense of powerlessness in peer situations or their feelings of humiliation at the hands of others.

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More than 20 years ago, Bill Gates coined the phrase “content is king,” referring to the future of the internet. That’s never been truer than today in the social media realm. Creating good social content is critical to getting visitors to your website and campers in your cabins. A single, simple image can reach thousands of parents, alumni, and campers with just a click or tap.

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In the summers of 2017 and 2018, the West Virginia 4-H camp program experienced multiple incidents where camps were locked down due to armed suspects in the area. In one incident, a man stole a truck and shot at a family’s home within a mile of a 4-H camp in session. In another incident, an armed suspect resurfaced near the camp facility area where he was ultimately captured.

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Dear friends,

Our world has changed in unimaginable ways. This pandemic has presented incredible challenges to all of us. Those camps that have opened this season have faced tremendous obstacles, with capacity limits and operational hardships never experienced before. You have become frontline workers, putting yourselves on the line to care for your campers, your staff, and their families.

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Moving Forward Together: July 2020
Published Date: 2020-07-01

Dear Colleagues,

I wish to express deep gratitude to all of ACA’s volunteers, leaders, donors, sponsors, partners, and members for your generous leadership and support over the past year and especially during this cataclysmic pandemic. Your generosity of wealth, time, and talent has helped ACA provide leadership and support in many ways to camps across the country facing precarious and unprecedented challenges.

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Buying a Camp Is a Complex Process
Published Date: 2020-07-01

Camp properties and operations are bought and sold every year. For the aspiring camp professional, the allure of owning and operating "the whole show" can be almost irresistible. However, the breadth and depth of knowledge, experience, and insight necessary to launch and sustain a camp business are considerable. A thorough, well-prepared plan is the most likely to succeed. In addition to all the staffing, programs, supplies, and logistics, there's the camp property itself.

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In addition to the current COVID-19 pandemic, you may also recall norovirus and SARS (also a coronavirus) outbreaks, Ebola, or even 2009's H1N1 "Swine Flu." There are lots of communicable diseases out there — and they won't go away. Indeed, the threat of communicable disease will remain as long as humans are social beings.

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The Silver Lining
Published Date: 2020-07-01

Camp Fire Heart of Oklahoma's Camp DaKaNi is a unique space in the Oklahoma City metro area. In normal years, 33 acres of woods, creeks, fields, and a pond offer amazing outdoor experiences to youth. By teaming up with other nonprofits and local organizations, we bring homeless youth, foster children, LGBTQ+ youth, children with Autism, and children with incarcerated parents to camp. But what would those youth do this year without the healing power of nature and connection with their peers?

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