Resource Library

"What you have to do is get them talking in such a way that they are unguarded. It could be anything they happen to be into, like their favorite baseball team or a dream they have about doing something. That's where you find out who they really are. By schmoozing in this way, I can tell whether I want someone on my staff or not!"

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The Last Dance
Published Date: 2014-07-01

It's late in the evening. My feet are tired. Music is reverberating in my ears. We've been dancing and mixing all night. Tonight is an incredible celebration, truly a hallmark event. This may be the last time we will all be together like this. While bits of personal and collective nostalgia have been creeping into our conversations with one another throughout the night, now there seems to be a greater sense of urgency, a need to capture all these moments before the night is over. The DJ steps to the microphone.

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A 2004 American Camp Association poll of its members found that the one area camp administrators wanted more information on was personal leadership development. It is evident that there is a quest in the camp field for enhancement of leadership. As camp directors plan for the new season, your experiences from the previous summer should help you recognize and acknowledge some of your leadership strengths and weaknesses. Yes, we all do indeed have positive and negative leadership qualities.

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How to Speak So Others Listen
Published Date: 2014-01-01

When you speak, do people listen? More importantly, do they remember what you’ve said? Or, do you feel others simply tolerate or ignore you? If you’ve found yourself repeating messages or fighting to keep someone’s attention, you’re not alone! Your message has to cut through a lot of noise in today’s society, and the competition is brutal. You’re up against stress, technology, multitasking, and information overload. While it’s a challenge to be heard over the roar, it’s not impossible.

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Camps Help Make Children Resilient
Published Date: 2012-09-01

When Jacob arrived at his city’s day camp for his third season, the camp director was determined to avoid the problems Jacob was experiencing at school. Now eleven years old, Jacob had grown into a heavy child who spoke in a squeaky pre-pubescent voice. He had been tormented by bullies who thought him effeminate. The other boys in his group occasionally did the same, at least until staff intervened. Jacob’s parents weren’t his best allies either. A business woman and a university economics professor, neither seemed to have very much time for their son.

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Camps and Classrooms
Published Date: 2009-11-01

Rustling footsteps blend with plumes of voices rising to the open sky where stars twinkle like city lights in distant worlds. And not far from the peaceful glow of fireflies and flashlights, summer's dreams take flight inside young heads laid to rest in tents and teepee, fields and forest.

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Camps need staff to run their programs; colleges/universities have various requirements for students regarding coursework and internships; and students are usually pulled between what they want to do and what they have to do to meet school and parent demands. How can we create a win-win situation for all involved?

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At the close of every season at a ceremony inside a large celebratory white tent, each counselor makes his or her way to the microphone to address an enthusiastic, if somewhat sad, throng of boys and girls holding tight to the waning hours of their summer at camp. What many of these staff members have only recently recognized, perhaps while voting on the award they are about to present or hastily jotting down some things to say about its recipient, are the special relationships they have forged with the youth they served.

But the kids knew it all along.

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Mini Camp . . . A Taste of Sleep-Away Camp
Published Date: 2013-07-01

In the early 2000s, at one of ACA’s national conferences, Bonnie and Sam Dawson were discussing with several other camp directors ways of improving programs and increasing enrollment at Camp Alleghany, a residential tent camp for girls located in Lewisburg, West Virginia. One idea being considered was adding a “Mini Camp” — a one-week session to introduce younger children to sleep-away camp.

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“Can I have another bowl of cereal?”

The shy boy was one that regularly asked for seconds at breakfast, and I suspected he didn’t eat dinner regularly at his house. He was a camper at my small YMCA day camp in Northeast Georgia. We struggle financially, as do our campers’ parents, and the fees we charge only cover staffing and program costs.

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