Resource Library

From Peter - January 2011
Published Date:

"Changing Lives — Enriching the World": These are simple words with challenging implications.

I thought of the words above, and how poignant this concept is for ACA at this time — especially as recent transitions remind us to recognize the work and accomplishments of our predecessors, and how we need to honor their pioneering spirit in order to stay present and relevant in the next 150 years.

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What day is it when hugs earn points and strange hats with funky costumes are the norm? It’s Wacky Wednesday — a fun-filled day where everything is topsy turvy, a bit bizarre, and very extraordinary.

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“That’s what camp’s all about” — a clever statement often heard around Camp Holiday Trails (CHT) in response to one of many daily moments of personal triumph. CHT means so many things to so many people; it is almost impossible to encapsulate all of what camp is about in any one event. Or so I thought before last summer, before I met Nile.

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Over the past few years, the scope of crisis response plans for many camp programs has expanded as camps share specific crisis experiences and network with other industries, such as schools and law enforcement agencies, to find solutions. In the past, crisis response plans at camps focused on child abuse; drownings or other activity-related deaths; vehicle wrecks; and environmental disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or fires.

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Healthcare costs are out of control in our society, driven largely by Americans' lifestyles, attitudes regarding exercise, and unhealthy eating habits. These costs are exacerbated by our litigation-minded society, which forces medical professionals to practice defensive medicine. Add the expense of advances in medical science and technology, and costs will continue to spiral out of control for the foreseeable future.

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Camp professionals know that camp is a positive and beneficial experience for everyone. All too often, when speaking of camp and the benefits of camp, the senior community is overlooked. Camp is not just for kids, and its benefits are not dependent on the age of the camper. Organized camp can be vital for seniors, not only because of the emphasis on diversity and acceptance, but also because of the improvement in mind, body, and spirit that occurs.

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That Hollow Feeling

How do you distract yourself from that hollow feeling that looms in your gut the day after camp ends? Most camp professionals reset camp and brace themselves for the first post-season user group. Others take a vacation. Some participate in fall professional development conferences. And a few wander the property imagining improvements for next season. Whatever group you belong to, an essential postseason task for all camp owners and directors is to provide feedback to your staff.

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When confronted by newspapermen who had reported incorrectly, humorist Mark Twain replied, "Reports of my death have been exaggerated." In much the same way, the recent furor over a new federal requirement concerning lead paint has been blown out of proportion for most camps and their operations. This month, we're going to look at some of the imperatives of that regulation, and extract the important elements for you to use when you face the next renovation or painting project.

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You Are Your Own Story
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With Mark Victor Hansen, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and co creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, tells how and why the stories of our lives can be motivators for change in every area from personal transformation to corporate management and fund development. With warm-hearted wisdom, wit, and creativity, he shares insights in an engaging interview with Camping Magazine, in which his experiences as a visionary thinker link us to the great possibilities of our own human potential.

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