Resource Library

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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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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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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Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the tender mercies of churchwardens and overseers, perhaps he would have cried the louder.
— from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Big Questions

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Nature Loves Nurture
Published Date: 2003-01-01

In the spring of 2002, Psychologist Wallace Dixon published the results of a survey of 1,500 randomly selected, doctoral-level members of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). He had asked the society members which studies, published since 1950, they considered "most revolutionary."In this series, psychologist Christopher Thurber - an ACA member as well as a member of SRCD - shares a summary of the top twenty most revolutionary studies.

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Tom Peters, the author and business management guru, suggested several years ago we should thrive on chaos, but most people and businesses don't. Most of us would like to have events take place routinely without too many changes, variations, or problems. This is natural. Unfortunately, the experience we gain from living our lives and running our businesses is proof that events don't always go routinely, as planned. This is because of risk.

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The Importance of Character Development
Published Date: 2003-01-01

An Interview with Ron Kinnamon

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Since childhood cancer has evolved from an inevitably fatal illness to a life-threatening chronic disease, children with cancer receive many positive benefits by participating in a camp experience. These children can have a variety of limitations, but first and foremost, they are still children — and want to be treated the same as children without cancer with opportunities to run, play, swim, and enjoy being with other kids.

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