Resource Library

Each camper will be different. They will come from different backgrounds, different family structures, and different socio-economic classes. However, just as they are different, they are the same. All children develop in basically the same way and share certain developmental traits with other children their age. If you understand the typical behavior for an age group, you may be able to determine what is appropriate behavior and then chart your best course of interaction with them.

The Elementary Years

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Play is an important part of how children grow. It is a universal phenomenon that has been passed down from generation to generation as a societal, expressive, and educational practice. Developmentally, it provides an opportunity for younger children to create and rehearse fundamental skills such as learning how to walk or to understand what personality traits people have. In later adolescence, research reveals play is a critical part of problem-solving and includes the formation of boundary setting, appropriate physical interaction, and the ability to use creative imagination.

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Child Obesity: A National Public Health Problem

As the child obesity epidemic rears its overweight head across the nation, affecting one in five children, camps can play a vital role in the rescue efforts by being a knowledgeable, safe support system. All sectors of camps can offer assistance to parents and children through nutritional support, educational programs, and leadership that promote good health and physical activity.

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In a world that is witnessing the most dramatic demographic transformation in its history, these words could not be more poignant. Defining camp by duration, activity, or location, or by labels such as resident, day, for profit, or nonprofit, has become a secondary issue to those who are deciding whether to send a young person to camp or not.

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Staff Training: What Do You Expect?
Published Date: 2011-05-01

Summer camp staff training — what exactly is it? If you take all the ideas and definitions; all the content from years past provided by the American Camp Association (ACA), the health department, and your camp or organization; and every article or other piece of commentary about what it is or how to do it, it would all boil down to a simple idea: expectations. Staff training is about what you are expected to do. The reason for those expectations is directly related to the experience every camper has at camp.

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Bill Cosby.

Harvey Weinstein.

Lawrence Nassar.

Kevin Spacey.

Matt Lauer.

#MeToo.

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Eight years ago, Harvard University Professor Robert Putnam published a book, Bowling Alone, chronicling the demise of connection in modern-day American society and warning that the precipitous decline in "social capital" (the collective value of all social networks and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other) impoverishes our lives and communities.

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Throughout the year, Camping Magazine publishes articles for full-time camp professionals. Once a year, it is written specifically for you — the camp staff who are on the front lines doing the intricate work that makes camp come alive and makes the experience so magical and successful for children.

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Do You Know What You Believe?
Published Date: 2016-09-01

At this year’s ACA National Conference in Atlanta I had the privilege of co-hosting the unfortunately titled session: “Breakfast with the Legends.” Our intrepid conference chair reported that young professionals had been expressing the desire to meet elders in our field and to learn from their combined total of perhaps 500 years of experience. So a breakfast with bagels was arranged.

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My love of the outdoors, along with my scientific curiosity, can be traced back to my childhood adventures in the woods. The house I grew up in did not have air conditioning, making it unbearable to be indoors during the months of July and August. I, along with my older sister, found my refuge in the cool shade of the woods. At first we would stick to a clearing that housed two small boulders at the edge of the yard. Once I was ten and didn’t have to be in direct eyesight of my mother, I forged my own paths in the woods.

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