Resource Library

The Good Reminder
Published Date: 2018-01-01

Spring is a time of renewal and hope, and nowhere is this hopefulness more evident than in our chosen profession. As camp professionals, we catalog time by the changing of the seasons. Summer speaks for itself as we manage that magnificent chaos that can be summer camp. Fall for many of us is a season of reflection and rest, and winter is the season of planning and preparation. But spring? Spring is the season when we begin putting it all together.

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Building Pillars of Hope
Published Date: 2009-07-01

Where is our hope? Does it lie in the group of ten-year-olds turning over rocks to peer underneath, exploring caves, and running along streams where trout skim the rippling water's surface? Does it settle down around the campfire in the evening when staff and campers commune while they tell exciting stories of courage or funny episodes of the day? Or, does it wrap itself around the fifteen teens who triumphantly climbed an 18,000-foot peak? Camp continues to build hope in the most innocent of places, a child's heart.

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Our Nation is at risk.

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In a grove of trees by the edge of a field, campers gather with their Bibles open. In the corner of the dining room, a small group of campers prepare for the Shabbat celebration. Under a starry canopy of night sky, campers raise their voices in praise to God as the firelight brightens the community of their faces. Is it 1911 or 2011? While much has changed in the long history of religious camping, some traditions are enduring. At faith-based camps, the inspira¬tion of the outdoor experience enriches learning about God and practicing the faith’s tradi¬tions in a temporary community.

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So Many Reasons to Attend Conference
Published Date: 2019-01-01

I admit it, I love a camp conference! The energy, the ideas, the networking, and catching up with old friends — it's an extroverted camp-lover's dream.

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Nature is everywhere at camp, and we sometimes walk right past it. Whether your camp is in a city or the country, there is nature. It might be roly-polys in the leaves, mosquitoes buzzing past, or owls hooting late at night. Yet, we too often only think about it if we are working as part of a camp nature program. Simple ideas can allow you to take advantage of teachable moments in nature without being an expert in biology. Likely, the campers will catch on to your excitement and be curious about what might be next.

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Imagine a camp program with the power to improve the academic and social behavior of participants and to positively impact participants’ readiness for work, social development, and lifelong learning. All camp administrators herald this program vision for campers, but what about for staff? Camp can positively impact young staff as well. It happens through a program otherwise known as a seasonal job.

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“Leaders lead. Period.” That truism — while straight and simple — reflects a cornerstone of the leadership training and consulting I do in business, higher education, nonprofit administration, and camping.

What does it mean?

Regardless of your title, rank, or years (seasons) of service, you have an opportunity to be a leader at your camp this summer.

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Big Questions

If someone told you that you had a "retrospective, unidirectional bias" and had contracted the "availability heuristic," you might think you need to visit a doctor right away. Actually, you'd be right. But you wouldn't need a medical doctor. You'd need a research psychologist — someone with expertise in statistics and child development. Someone who could explain to you that your bias and heuristic — although unhealthy — were common and easily removed. Once cured, you could see more nuances in your campers' behaviors.

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Building Principles: An Inescapable Truth
Published Date: 2013-05-01

Mark Twain’s reported to have observed that when he was fourteen, his father was so ignorant that he couldn’t stand to be around him. But he was amazed at how much his dad had learned by the time he was twenty-one! Almost every day, it amazes me to discover how many really bright people have brushed by my professional and personal life along the way and, even more, the number of gems that have made it through my pretty stubborn hide.

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