Resource Library

You may be reading this before you arrive at camp or within the first few days of making your way to your (new) summer home. Regardless, at this moment you are most likely not thinking about a few weeks, months, or even years from now in terms of your camp path. Your focus is probably on getting adjusted and learning as much about your camp role as possible, so you feel equipped to provide the best possible experience for the campers in your care.

Read More

Light shed on any situation makes it look different. It follows that the tone we set, both internally and externally, casts shadows and highlights different points of view. As a new supervisor, the most important “lights” to shine allow us to know self (to understand our reaction to circumstances), to be able to separate self-worth from the work produced (because work will not always go smoothly), and to foster self-development in the workplace (by reaching out to role models while not mimicking them).

Read More
Influencing Green Behavior at Your Camp
Published Date: 2020-05-01

Two summers ago, I led a staff training workshop with 180 camp staff from Blue Star Camps in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They had recently spent around $30,000 to replace their lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs and fixtures. But while these kinds of upgrades can make a huge impact on reducing energy consumption, camp leaders found that the lights were being left on in unoccupied buildings.

Read More

Mariana and Jessica are exasperated with one another. Mariana thinks the girls they share responsibility for as co-counselors are way too noisy and messy. She is always the one who gets these rambunctious fifth graders to quiet down or finish their cabin cleanup chores. Because she is typically the counselor who speaks up first, the girls have begun to favor Jessica, whom they see as "nicer." Jessica, who went to camp here as a camper, thinks that Mariana is too strict.

Read More

As former camp directors, we've both had experiences where we pushed ourselves to the point where we weren't safe. Imagine this scenario:

Read More
Energy & Enthusiasm: Find Your Sweet Spot
Published Date: 2020-05-01

As you can probably imagine and were most likely told in your interview, working at camp requires a lot of energy and enthusiasm. This is 110 percent true. Camp is, without a doubt, a place where these two attributes can be found at very high levels. You may be wondering just how much of them are needed on an individual or daily basis. Chances are, you will hear on multiple occasions throughout the summer from camp leadership that staff are lacking energy and enthusiasm. But high levels of both are neither realistic nor sustainable (or desirable) all the time.

Read More
Most accidents involving campers occur in program, living, and common areas — typically when campers are (or were supposed to be) under the supervision of frontline camp staff such as cabin counselors, program staff, and activity-area supervisors. If this describes your role, this makes sense because you spend the most time directly with campers, including during program activities, mealtimes, and over night. As such, your day-to-day decision-making and supervision is a primary control for managing risk.
Read More

While many risks can be managed through decisions regarding such things as facilities, equipment, requirements for participation, and policies, it is primarily through the day-to-day decision-making by staff that a camp has the most capacity in establishing control over risk. In large part this is because most accidents involving campers occur in program, living, and common areas — typically when campers are (or were supposed to be) under the supervision of frontline camp staff such as cabin counselors, program staff, and activity area supervisors.

Read More
Going Green at Camp
Published Date: 2020-03-06

What if every camp in America united behind a new model for sustainability to lead a national movement for pro-environmental change?

“Going Green” is a vague and intimidating term. We all know we need to do more to live sustainably, but how? Thousands of sustainability solutions could benefit your camp. But where should you start? How should you prioritize? How much time will it take? How much will it cost?

Read More

". . We started him at a camp that didn’t like that he didn’t fit into their ‘normal’ box. They didn’t have the flexibility, tools, or understanding that you and your staff have. They didn’t listen, work with the family, work with outside resources, and, most importantly, take the time to get to know the child in order for them to be able to soar." — Camper parent email, August 2019

Read More

Pages

E.g., 2020-06-04
E.g., 2020-06-04