Resource Library

Camp can be an ideal setting to help children cope with the death of a loved one. Since 1991, Camp ReLeaf, a weekend camp hosted by Triangle Hospice of Durham, North Carolina, has been helping children develop positive coping skills for dealing with the recent death of a family member. Camp ReLeaf offers all the fun of a traditional residential camp, while creating a safe place for youth to express and deal with their grief. Over the years, therapeutic recreation has become one of the cornerstones of this camp’s program.

The Role of Therapeutic Recreation

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"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." — Girl Scout song based on a poem by Joseph Parry

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Big Questions

Perhaps no question weighs more heavily on the minds of parents, teachers, and camp staff than "Will this child do what I ask?" Sadly, there is no magic formula for obedience. So, this question is perennial; its answer elusive. Sure, we try to manage children's behavior. A keyword search for books on parenting yields 23,096 titles. There is no shortage of advice. But as any parent will tell you, there is a chasm between child behavior theory and practice. As Bill Cosby said, "Parenting can be learned only by people who have no children."

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Will I Be Enough to Make a Difference?
Published Date: 2012-05-01

Last summer I was inundated with questions from counselors who were worried about doing a good job. This theme was repeated over and over in all types of camps in several different states. When I asked staff to tell me more about their concerns, they responded in an unusual way. It was not the typical questions about procedural issues or how to deal with larger complex child development topics that was bothering them; it was a much more direct question. Some staff just wanted to know if they were enough to make a difference. What a magnificent question!

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It started with a camp director’s speech. You know, one of those impassioned, are-you-ready-for-this; get-your-stoke-on; you-can-do-it; don’t-be-scared-but-it’s-OK-to- be-nervous speeches the night before the kids arrived:

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Universal precautions refers to infection control measures that all health care workers and child care providers follow with the goal of protecting themselves and the children in their care from disease-producing microorganisms. The concept requires workers to treat all blood and various other bodily fluids as if infected with HIV, hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens.

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Creating the Exceptional
Published Date: 2017-07-01

The plane climbed steeply, banking left, headed south and east. The early morning hues of brown and beige marked the desert Southwest's approach to the Sandia Mountains, a fault block range on the eastern edge of the Rio Grande Rift.

Beautiful.

But my sense of awe was less about the scenery below than the experience I'd just left behind.

What was it? The 2017 ACA National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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With depression, anxiety, and addiction rates high among adolescents (Keyes, 2006), and many youth engaged in relational aggression and other damaging social practices like bullying, there is clearly a need to find effective interventions to improve social skills, relationships, and overall well-being in our young people. Camp professionals know from experience that camp can serve as a positive, often life-changing, psychological intervention for youth, but for the "noncamp" world to understand the potential benefits of summer camp, rigorous research needs to be conducted and disseminated.

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Curtis is a quick-witted, engaging, ready-for-adventure ten-year-old I met along with a host of other children last summer at Boston Explorers, a nonprofit urban day camp for children nine to fifteen years old. Curtis loved the woodworking program and the daily trips out to the manmade and natural spaces of Boston, many of which he had never experienced before. Like most of the campers in the program, Curtis wanted camp to go on forever! After all, Boston Explorers has all the excitement and positive energy of many good camps.

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I grew up at Camp Arcadia. I was so excited to finally be a real camper in 1942. My mother, Juliette Meylan Henderson, called Mum Mum by everyone, was directing the camp with her father, Dr. George Meylan. Arcadia, a camp for girls, had been started in 1916 and my grandfather, who already owned a boys’ camp, bought it in 1920.

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