Resource Library

From Peg - September 2010
Published Date:

Every day I feel I am reading another article that pontificates about the importance of education and how we need to create year-round education. Don't misunderstand, education throughout the year is imperative; however, I am not sure I always agree with proposals on how we "get there." And, when we talk about summer learning loss, what have we lost and what have we gained? Or, what did we have an opportunity to gain if we just had the chance to have the experience?

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Speaking or writing about risk management without mentioning insurance is difficult. The two disciplines are independent in theory, but "glued together" in thought and practice.

Insurance is one of the first tools camp risk managers can deploy in their arsenal of weapons to combat risk. Insurance is the weapon of choice for camp risk managers when the risks are too unpredictable, or the stakes are so high with such significant financial impacts their organizations simply couldn't win the battle on their own without some help.

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I just got off the phone with the very thoughtful and reflective Jamie Cole, one of the owner/directors of Camp Robin Hood in Freedom, New Hampshire. She wanted to know my thoughts about a new policy the camp has been considering for this summer regarding the use of electronics at camp. I say the “thoughtful and reflective” Jamie Cole because she is balanced in her thinking about the issue of electronics at camp.

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The Self-Reliant Camp
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Most camps are located in relatively remote areas. So one might expect they'd be designed for self-reliance. They'd run on locally-sourced energy, water, food, and material, and they'd manage their wastes on-site. But few do. Instead, most depend on distant supply lines that stretch over thousands of miles, which makes some sense if:

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Our world is fragile and so are we! Could we have a starker reminder of this than the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year?

There are many lessons which have been learned and remain to be learned from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. All the facts are not known, but one factor is certain: It will take a long time for all the facts surrounding the oil spill to be made known. If there is any doubt about this, consider how long it took for the full story of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska to become known.

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Like many camp directors — and other educators for that matter — I am frequently thrust into the unenviable role of disciplinarian. And, frankly, I don't feel that I'm very good at it.

That is my confession.

Of course, I am not exactly sure of the requirements to be a "good" disciplinarian. Objective, fair, and consistent come to mind . . . all important for sure, but perhaps a little abstract to construct a nicely bound definition of a model disciplinarian. Maybe that's part of my problem.

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As camp operators, we are keenly aware that when kids go to camp, they make positive gains in self-reliance, independence, communication, and self-esteem. Unplugged from the constant electronic buzz, children find themselves at camp — making genuine connections with other children, rediscovering the fun in physical fitness, learning their own strengths, and finding their own voices.

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Josh can't keep his hands to himself when waiting in line. Seth seems to act irresponsibly. Megan never completes an arts and crafts project. These campers' behaviors may have a common link - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Centuries ago, our ancestors did business informally. One informal business practice was “never buy a pig in a poke” (bag). Now this advice may be obvious to us, but at one point it was cutting edge business and risk management thought! The advice to never buy a pig in a poke became caveat emptor — Latin for “let the buyer beware.” When you buy something or make a business arrangement for a product, a service, or the use of a facility, you are responsible for making sure what you receive is what you intended to buy or arrange.

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It seems everyone is allergic to something — animals, pollen, and certain foods. But some people are allergic to a product that we use and depend on
everyday — natural latex rubber.

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