Resource Library

Making the Best Better
Published Date: 2003-07-18

Not too many job descriptions include expectations like, “Be able to rise early, go to bed late, and remain enthusiastic all day long.” “Work well with many different types of people.” “Share your love of 4-H with youth around the state.” But this is exactly what the Volunteer Camping Assistants (VCA) of the West Virginia University (WVU) Extension Program do every summer.

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Camp Through the Decades
Published Date: 2003-07-18

Snapshots of camp’s history remain steadfast in the minds and hearts of camp pioneers, moving beyond the boundaries of time. In a series of interviews with several American Camping Association (ACA) Pioneers, Camping Magazine chronicles the spirit of camp’s yesterdays. Let us honor the past and embolden the future of camp — through the eyes of pioneers . . . .

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I Am. Therefore, I Think
Published Date: 2003-07-01

"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain." "I know," said Pooh humbly.
— from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

Big Questions

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A Camp Director Remembers World War II
Published Date: 2003-07-01

Running a camp during World War II took creativity, ingenuity, and some sacrifice. While friends and family were being asked to give their lives for our country, those of us at camp wanted to do our share. We wanted to provide our campers — eighty girls who were twelve to sixteen years old — with good memories of their time at camp, but at the same time, we knew it wouldn’t always be easy.

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I could barely contain myself. After seven years of delicate negotiations, Alford Lake Camp was ours. It was November 1962, and Mrs. Carleton Knight had “transferred” the camp to us. This momentous event was brought about by promising Mrs. Knight that we would say nothing about acquiring the camp until she was able to announce that after my assisting her in the upcoming summer, Alford Lake would be carried on by “someone from within the ALC family.”

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Children's Camps in the Adirondacks
Published Date: 2003-07-01

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the mountainous Adirondack region of northern New York was one of the nation’s premier resorts. The grand resort hotels, smaller inns, and boarding houses were concentrated on the region’s many lakes, nowhere more so than on the two large lakes on the region’s eastern edge. It is therefore not surprising that Lakes George and Champlain became the sites of some of the earliest experiments in the country in organized camping for children.

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Opening Day Blues
Published Date: 2003-05-01

The bus arrives. The campers race off to their cabins. Except Sam. The camp director had warned during orientation that his parents thought he might have a “few separation issues.” Standing just off to the side of the bus, he sobs — loudly — chest heaving convulsively. He refuses to budge. Gathering his breath between another body-wrenching gasp, he shouts, “I want to go home! I want to call my parents.”

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Working With Children With Special Needs
Published Date: 2003-05-01

It is often said by people who mean well that working with children with special needs “requires the patience of a saint.” Not true. What it does require is human compassion — something more of us have than we seem ready to acknowledge.

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Dear Bob,
I had a run in with a camper parent last summer that made me very uncomfortable. We have a visiting day for parents once each session, which, as you might imagine, is a stressful day for campers, parents, and staff all around. During the early afternoon, I was accosted by a parent who was demanding to know why her fifteen-year-old son wanted to go home. I tried to reason with her, but she caught me off guard, and I felt awkward discussing this in the open with other parents and campers around.

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My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet
— by William Shakespeare

BIG Questions

Children learn language not by rote, but by a seemingly effortless interaction between their sponge-like brains and their language-rich environments. This breathtaking process begins as rapidly as Juliet learned to recognize Romeo's voice.

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