Resource Library

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations that pertain to employee safety and health on the job. Occasionally, the popular press contains news of a business slapped with an OSHA fine, most typically for infraction of some rule, but rarely does someone address the application of OSHA to our camp world. This article is intended to address that need with a focus on the “common ground” OSHA elements shared by all camps.

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In It to Win It
Published Date: 2015-05-01

Congratulations! You have just taken on one of the most rewarding jobs there are! Supervising camp activities or taking care of other people’s children is typically a very different kind of job than most. Success in the unique environment of camp — including making it through the season to the end of your contract — requires staff to ensure they are mentally, physically, and emotionally “in it,” ready to give fully (and often selflessly) of themselves in mind, body, heart, and spirit.

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Why I Hate Parenting Books
Published Date: 2018-11-01

The mother standing next to me was not my own, which was fine. I was seven when I visited the Washington Monument for the first time, with both my parents. The next time, at 43, I was the married parent of two boys, ages five and seven.

"Typical," said the mother, gazing up. Or was she rolling her eyes? "It's totally phallic." The pedantic linguist in me wanted to quip: "None of the other monuments and memorial sculptures in Washington, DC are obelisks. That makes it atypical, lady."

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Staying Out of the Point of Struggle
Published Date: 2016-05-01

Scene 1: Tabatha, one of your five-year-old day campers, is going through her fussy-eating routine with you at lunchtime again. What happens is now so familiar to you that you’re certain you can play it out in your sleep. You offer her one food choice after another and she alternates between pretending she doesn’t hear you and screaming, “You know I hate that!” No matter what you try she doesn’t like it. It almost seems as if she enjoys this “dance” with you, even though the stress is taking a toll on both of you and is beginning to annoy the other children.

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Childhood physical inactivity and obesity is a major concern because the current generation of children is one of the most inactive and unhealthy in history (Ogden, et al., 2006). A national study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 62 percent of children aged nine to thirteen years old did not participate in any physical activity during nonschool hours and 23 percent engaged in no daily physical activity (Duke, Huhman, & Heitzler, 2003).

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The care and safety of other people’s children is a sacred responsibility. All staff at camp are in loco parentis (in place of parents). So, if you are working as a camp staff member this summer and are on site for orientation and training, your mental and physical preparedness for the job is crucial. If you are aware of having any serious mental and/or physical health issues, please consider carefully any potential areas of weakness in your ability to perform the essential functions of this important job and whether those issues require any reasonable accommodations to do so.

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Forest Fire: A Crisis Reality for Camp
Published Date: 2002-03-01

During the summer of 2000, two camps located in the western United States faced the challenging crisis of forest fire. Don Brown and Rhonda Mickelson share their experiences.

Please describe the event.

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The story of the summer camp called Green River Preserve and its conservation easement actually starts with my father’s service in WWII. Dad fought in the infantry in both Africa and Europe. He was shot at so often, he decided that if he survived the war, he would buy land in the Blue Ridge Mountains where he could fly fish in peace and quiet. It was a good idea, and my family still believes there is nothing more beautiful or peaceful than fly fishing for trout. At camp we call it “aquatic theology.” Dad’s idea also turned out to be a good investment plan.

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Shared Values
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More than thirty years ago, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta sang about "Summer Lovin'" when Grease graced the Silver Screen. Although they drove off into the sunset at the end of the film, one can assume that they ultimately went their separate ways, as neither appeared in the sequel. Perhaps their relationship would have lasted longer than the final credits had the pair met at summer camp.

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In November 2012, my article, “Search Marketing on the Web — Drive New Camper Enrollment and Alternative Businesses,” appeared in Camping Magazine. Now, five-and-a-half years later, we revisit this topic for the first time. The 2012 article was a primer with basic strategies and some examples for camps. Based on my involvement with many camps from coast to coast over the past several years, following is a selection of updates that need addressing.

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