Resource Library

The year 2020 seems so distant, and yet our goal as a collection of camp professionals is to serve 20 million campers by that year. So how do we get there? I have long been a proponent that programs sell camps — not Web sites, not brochures, and certainly not e-mail blasts (all of which are still important marketing tools). Anywhere from 60–80 percent of your campers came to you in their first year because they heard from someone else about your amazing program, how fun it was, or how many friends they made.
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“The number-one reason I found that parents don’t send their children to summer camp is that parents fear their child will be sexually abused while at camp,” said writer Allison Slater Tate. The gasp was audible as she finished her sentence. A room full of camp directors at the Tristate Camp Conference in 2015 shook their heads and began to murmur. Tate quieted the room and continued to explain how she conducted an informal poll among her friends and acquaintances and shared direct quotes of their responses of fear to her questions about camp.

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More Than an Art Camp - The Bauen Story
Published Date: 2008-11-01

Terence

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The Case of the Melted Fingerprints
Published Date: 2015-05-01

My first time working at summer camp, in fact during my first week, I melted off every one of my fingerprints. I was only 16 at the time, and I remember feeling shocked that this could actually happen. I also remember shamelessly considering what shenanigans I could get away with as a super cool, Justin Bieber-haired, imminently clever teenage boy without fingerprints. (The answer: not much.)

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End-of-Summer Check-Up
Published Date: 2016-06-30

Just as one has an annual check-up with a personal physician, so too would our camps benefit from an end-of-summer review of their health status. Granted, the last two or three weeks of a summer season can be busy, but that busyness is less frantic when one can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. In anticipation of summer’s end, we start enjoying the laid-back moments tucked into those final weeks.

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I have recently had the privilege of working closely with a newly established day camp called Boston Explorers. This urban day camp has a number of features that make it a unique experience for children. Boston Explorers has a small “base camp” that it uses as a launching site for explorations throughout the city — places that many of its younger residents seldom visit in their everyday lives.

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Every child is unique. Every camp is unique. So, unique approaches when responding to the needs of children in camps are essential. Summer camps were started to support children during out-of-school time (Ozier, n. d.) and to offer survival skills for children to thrive in the real world, outside of the immediate relationship of their families. Summer camps are a valuable resource for all children, especially those who have a learning disability and have experienced trauma or situational factors such as homesickness and bullying.

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Following the lead of educators in school communities, recreation professionals across the United States are opening their doors to increasingly diverse participants. There has been a particular focus on the inclusion of participants with disabilities to provide opportunities for these children and youth to attend day and resident camp programs alongside their peers without disabilities (Jaha-Echols, 2017).

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The benefits to youth from camping are well known by former campers, their parents, and camp directors. However, little research is available on the influence that an organized camping experience has on youth, mainly because there seems to be general agreement that camp is good for kids. A recent meta-analysis of the available research determined the state of knowledge on the influence that the organized camping experience has on the self-constructs: self-esteem, self-confidence, and other aspects of self. The results are good news for camping.

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We can't really define it, but we know it when we see it. We lament the loss of it to our friends and neighbors as we continually look for new ways to build it. What is IT? It is a sense of community! Within organized camps, professionals have long advocated the link between sending a kid to camp and learning the skills necessary to be a part of, as well as give back to, a community.

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