Resource Library

One of the best reasons to go to camp is to experience something new. Yet, at the same time, some of the unpleasant feelings experienced while at camp might be because we are new! It is a paradox. It is solvable. Those of us who are returning need to welcome the newbies into the feeling of being one of us.

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Camper Allyship
Published Date: 2018-05-01

Social Justice

This article is part of Camping Magazine's series on social justice, exploring social issues in the context of individual camps and the camp community as a whole as a way to spark further conversation and inspire positive change.

Contact Ann Gillard (anngillard@gmail.com) if you would like to participate or contribute to this series.

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The first time I can remember intentionally practicing empathy, I was an eight-year-old, first-time camper sitting in a circle with my counselors and cabinmates inside our cabin just before bed. It was maybe the third night of camp. I had settled into camp and started to realize how funny my counselors Barry, Chuck, and Tico were, and that camp could be a blast. Everyone was chattering over each other.

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The Quiet Ones
Published Date: 2018-05-01

Close your eyes and think of a scene at camp. There is probably some mix of singing, laughing, and playing where the adults are wearing costumes (seemingly related to nothing), the campers are engaged, and “camp” is happening. Take a quick survey of the adults in this scene. What are they doing?

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Bill Cosby.

Harvey Weinstein.

Lawrence Nassar.

Kevin Spacey.

Matt Lauer.

#MeToo.

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Working at camp is one of the most memorable experiences a person can have; in fact, you are likely reading this because you have worked at camp in the past and are returning for more, or you are preparing to work at camp for the first time. Whatever your story, chances are you have had a positive experience at camp as a kid and are now looking to continue that experience by working at camp.

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Ten Tips and Tricks for Terrific Teaching
Published Date: 2018-05-01

Many camp staff are responsible for activities instruction as part of their job. If you have never taught before, the idea of instructing a group of campers can be a scary proposition. Being in front of a group presenting material can be challenging — and for some activities, a seemingly unlimited amount of material must be taught to campers in a limited amount of time.

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Happy Camping, Y'all!
Published Date: 2018-05-01

Being a camp counselor is hard, but it’s the best and most rewarding work you’ll ever do. As someone who spent 17 summers at camp as a camper, counselor-in-training, cabin counselor, lifeguard, horseback wrangler, arts and crafts coordinator, and an assistant director, I can promise your time at camp will be well worth it. There will be early mornings, rainy days, and long nights, but the summers you spend as a camp counselor will stay with you forever and provide countless stories that will always make you want to go back.

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It’s Brain Science!

Psychologists have now learned that the brain is more like a muscle — it changes and gets stronger when you use it. If we take a peek inside the outside layer of the brain — called the cortex — we find billions of tiny nerve cells, called neurons. These nerve cells have branches connecting them to other cells in a complicated network. Synaptic communication between these brain cells is what allows us to think and solve problems. When we learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger.

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My mother crochets. Over tea in restaurants. In line at the airport. At the movies. If you can breathe there, my mom can crochet there. She crochets for friends, family, and perfect strangers. Literally. At the end of one flight to San Francisco, I watched her give a newly knotted Christmas stocking to the woman sitting next to her simply because the woman had said she liked it. That’s my mom in a nutshell. Or in a granny square. She’s eccentric, generous, and has mad skills for most things she sets her mind to. She was perseverant ages before it was trendy to have grit.

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