Resource Library

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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The year was 1995. It was early September, and I was just barely back as camp director at Sherwood Forest. Our summer programs then were 12-day sessions — two for boys and two for girls referred by schools and organizations in St. Louis. Most of the kids were from underserved communities and low-income families. Despite the long relationships between Sherwood Forest and our referral partners, it was always a scramble in the spring to fill these four sessions.

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In my November/December 2011 column, we looked at roadway drainage, focusing mostly on how water gets from the road surface and then how it’s conveyed in ditches parallel to the roadway. Since we only brushed the surface on how water gets from one side of the road to the other, a more detailed look at that is in order.

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It is easy to become casual about food preparation and food safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, each year one in six Americans, roughly 48 million people, become sick and 3,000 die as a result of foodborne illness.

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“You get all those different kids at camp, but it wasn’t there. It didn’t affect them there. There was so much love in the air. They came together, bonding, making friends, doing things they can’t do at home, and that type of thing. Seemed like it never even came up.”

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“All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Blaise Pascal

That quote always seems to enter my sphere of consciousness prior to camp. When I arrive at camp I am there alone for a bit; that's my time to set up my "camp world" and contemplate the impending summer. It is a valuable time and a time I welcome.

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Dear camp staff,

Welcome to the world of camp! Each of us — no matter what our specific job might be — is in a position that will influence the health and wellbeing of campers. Sometimes this will be straightforward — like the responsibility of lifeguards at the pool or food service staff to provide meals free from contamination. But other influences are subtle; indeed, often so subtle that it’s easy to lose sight of how broad and deep your influence as a camp staff member might be.

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