Resource Library

Evaluating Bereavement Camps
Published Date: 2018-07-01

Spending time in nature is often therapeutic and provides many benefits, such as improving cognitive functioning (Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008) and improving memory (Berto, 2005). Spending time in a camp setting can cultivate honesty, respect, and trust (American Camp Association, 2005). No wonder, then, that several specialty camps have been developed over the past decades. Camps now exist for children with diabetes, cancer, and attention deficit disorder, just to mention a few.

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The culture of camps is deeply rooted in being places where kids not only have fun, but where they connect socially. Today, camps are taking on greater importance and many are focused on specialized programs such as academic, athletic, musical, or the performing arts. Each type of specialized camp has great effect on the development of young bodies and minds. Looking at the whole child and growth opportunities may bring families to a decision tailored to their children’s specific interests when it comes to choosing a camp program.

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At lunchtime, youthful chefs ages nine to 12 gather around tables in the camp dining room with knives in their hands and plastic cutting boards in front of them. Trying to follow directions in the noisy room, they cut up kielbasa sausage, red potatoes, onions, and peppers. Wielding sharp metal skewers like swords, they thread their cut-up foods onto the tines. Heading outside in a rush, they flock to a low, metal trough filled with burning hot coals. They hold their shish kabobs over the heat. Sizzling sounds and delicious smells fill the air.

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This past spring break, Pam and I took our ten-year-old son, Daniel, to Washington, DC. Daniel is really enjoying his US history studies at school, and we knew this would be an ideal time to explore the many historical exhibits and museums our nation's capital has to offer. Daniel was particularly excited about the exhibits within the National Archives Building, and we visited them multiple times. Sculptor Robert Aitken's 1935 statue "Future" sits in front of the National Archives Building.

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Wildfire!
Published Date: 2018-07-01

Since moving to Montana from Pennsylvania several years ago, I’ve become much more attuned to the threat of wildfires, and have begun to learn more about what can be done to safeguard the people inside structures and limit damage at the same time. Our home is now at the very edge of the service area for a fine volunteer fire department, but there are surely limits to how quickly they can respond. Just last October, fire took our neighbors’ home, and it reminded us that living on the prairie has hazards and risks along with the wonders it brings.

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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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