Resource Library

Yes, You Need to Be a Grownup Every Day
Published Date: 2009-05-01

What did I get myself into, or why did I come back? These unspoken questions go through the minds of many staff during the first hour of orientation. Yes, camp is an awesome place to spend the summer, but day one of orientation can be frightening, intimidating, refreshing, or even adventurous. Even though you will be in the same physical place, returning staff and new hires have very different agendas. One group is excited, crying, hugging, animated, and screaming while the other is patient, perplexed, anxious, and a little scared.

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Writing a Letter of Reference
Published Date: 2013-11-01

One of the challenges of working at a summer camp is communicating to the outside world what it means to work at a summer camp. When we were young camp counselors, my dear friend Brienne carefully taped this common quote on the inside wall of her cabin: “From the outside looking in, you can never understand it. From the inside looking out, you can never explain it.” Brienne, melancholy with the thought of leaving camp for the year, was probably thinking about returning to college and boring her roommates with camp stories that did not make sense to anyone who wasn’t there.

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Camp directors and parents alike will enjoy hearing children report about their week at summer overnight camp as the “best week ever!” And it just may be that some of the best evidence that describes the benefit of camp comes directly from the experiences of campers, parents, and leaders.

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What It Means to Be a Buddy
Published Date: 2018-11-01

Extra Special People (ESP) is a nonprofit located in Watkinsville, Georgia, that serves people with all types of special needs by providing them with ways to engage, connect, and thrive through year-round programs. Then, during the months of June and July, something magical happens — ESP Summer Camp! We host eight wonderful, wacky weeks of camp programs, including four weeks of engaging day camp at our building, two weeks of field trips, and two weeks of overnight camp.

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While the academic year holds ample opportunity for what are commonly referred to as “the three R’s” of reading, writing, and arithmetic, a job at summer camp offers unique experiential learning opportunities not only for your campers but for you as well. In fact, it’s a perfect breeding ground for three other R’s too often lost in our fast-paced, always-on, hyperconnected world: recharging, reconnecting, and reflecting.

Each is important for the campers — and the counselors!

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How often do you see the following examples occur in campers? Kenny, a bright ten-year-old, focuses his attention on the counselor's directions during an activity. He appears attentive, but always needs to ask the counselor or a peer to repeat portions of the directions. Sue, an impressionable thirteen-year-old, likes to participate in sports activities, but finds constant misjudging of distances to catch or hit a ball is embarrassing. She slowly withdraws from these activities. And Bob, a competitive fellow, enjoys playing table games except for the ones that require him to spell.

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A Place to Share: Dear Counselor
Published Date: 2017-05-01

Dear Counselor,

I love coming to camp every year, and I look forward to the end of the season and the feeling of accomplishment from all that I will have completed. I also love connecting with my counselors and building close relationships at camp.

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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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Where Camp Happens
Published Date: 2013-05-01

When was the first time you really felt camp? Whether you are a longtime camp person or this is your f irst summer, chances are that the answer to that question is (or will be) intangible, buried in a moment — something you just can’t quite explain. I like to ask the question this way because camp is a feeling. It is so much more than a collection of activities, schedules, lakes, and songs. Camp is an experience — one that you will deliver to many campers this summer.

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The culture of a camp is essential to evaluate on a regular basis. Is it noticeably and measurably acceptable or does it need help and/or remediation?

Ask yourself the following ten questions:

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E.g., 2019-07-21