Resource Library

Basic Steps in Strategic Planning
Published Date: 2004-09-01

Someone reminded me recently that "it wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark!" At a time when management gurus echo the phrase, "out of crisis comes opportunity," it is indeed refreshing to contemplate camp planning sans pending disaster! In this context, we are free to think about planning as "invitational" — enhancing our camp communities to serve children and adults better. It is a process that invigorates rather than exhausts participants and brings about a greater sense of harmony and commitment to camp's mission.

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Navigating what has become known as the “hookup culture” is no easy task for young people of all ages and both sexes. Although it has now been popularized in song (including pop star Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” [Perry et al, 2010] and country musician Blake Shelton’s “Lonely Tonight” [Anderson and Howard, 2014]), for years researchers could only guess at the longer-term consequences of the advent of casual, intimate, and sometimes even anonymous sexual behavior among teens and young adults.

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Over the years, we've spent a lot of print space talking about how to do any number of things, and mostly that's been focused on the nuts and bolts of the construction. We have not, however, spent much time talking about whole projects from beginning to end. That's mostly because they can get so complex that it's really easy to get bogged down in the details, which after all, is where most projects set their roots in success or failure long before the first nail is driven.

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Last November I had the pleasure of sharing a long car ride with Dr. Michael Thompson, during which he gave me a fun idea. We were on the way to Houston for a presentation he was giving about the benefits of summer camp, and I was picking his brain about writing while trying to hold my own in a game of swapping stories about camp.

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The Web continues to make it faster, easier, and cheaper to test out new offerings. Your core business may seem secure for now, and your camp may have valuable assets accrued over time, but it is imperative to examine your mission. Make sure you are offering all the complementary and tangential programs your community needs and wants . . . or someone else might. Utilizing tools available to you on the Web allows you to continuously play defense and offense.

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By now many of you have heard of ACA’s 5-Year Impact Study, a national research project focused on the lasting impacts of camp among campers and staff. We described the study and its research questions in the January/February 2019 issue of Camping Magazine and explored the first of four preliminary themes in a March/April 2019 article focused on independence and responsibility.

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That Hollow Feeling

How do you distract yourself from that hollow feeling that looms in your gut the day after camp ends? Most camp professionals reset camp and brace themselves for the first post-season user group. Others take a vacation. Some participate in fall professional development conferences. And a few wander the property imagining improvements for next season. Whatever group you belong to, an essential postseason task for all camp owners and directors is to provide feedback to your staff.

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Cultivating Leaders
Published Date: 2017-11-01

Cultivating leaders is one of the best aspects of my job. For the past ten years, I have used the leadership curve to initiate the training with our Campers in Leadership Training (CILT). Our CILTs are youth in their final summer as campers. I am not sure where the idea was created. I may have stolen it from someone else (and if so, I would love to find the person so I can thank him or her for the inspiration), or it came to me as a vision.

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Teenagers and Sexuality at Camp
Published Date: 2000-09-01

As a psychiatrist who specializes in working with teens, I hear "it" discussed often - quietly, tentatively at first, until the teen decides that I am "OK." Usually the words are whispered until the teen feels more trusting . . . Does this doctor really want to hear what I have to say about this or is she going to give me a lecture? Can I ask her my questions or will she think I'm stupid? I bet she never had this problem. In fact, I bet no one has every had this problem, but maybe I could tell her it was some other kid, not me . . . never me.

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Because I Worked at Camp
Published Date: 2013-09-01

Now that the summer has come to a close, camp directors are inevitably thinking about the staff they want to invite back next season. If we as directors have created a strong camp community, one that staff find rewarding and enjoyable, this should be an easy process, right? However, we all know this is not necessarily the case when put into the context of the current job and educational environment, which places a heavy emphasis on out-of-classroom learning experiences for college students.

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E.g., 2019-09-15