Resource Library

Moving Forward Together — March 2020
Published Date: 2020-03-06

Another exciting summer season of adventurous fun and learning at camp is just ahead. I hope you will take every opportunity available to ardently articulate the considerable educational and developmental advantages of camp with your prospective and longtime camp parents and staff members. Social-emotional learning is more important now than ever before, and findings from decades of camp research suggest that camp is an optimal context for practicing these skills.

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Safe, Sanitary Water
Published Date: 2020-03-06

It's been years since we talked about potable water systems in Building Principles, and with opening camp just around the corner, this seems like an ideal time to revisit some of the key points that your county sanitarian expects you to know to run a safe, healthy water system at camp. So, let's look at some basic whys and hows of disinfection.

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With summer's 2020 season looming, staff hiring and camper recruitment is in full swing, but we're also ordering supplies, determining content for staff orientation, and making sure various policies and practices are in order. One of these policies is the camp's Incident Response Plan, a plan that typically includes action steps to address communicable disease threats, various crises and emergencies (e.g., fire, lost camper), and the camp's OSHA policies (e.g., bloodborne pathogens and right-to-know practices).

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Agency is the ability to act as an effective agent for yourself — getting your mind, body, and emotions in balance to think clearly and make choices that improve your life.

Simply put, agency is what we all use to feel in command of our lives.

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Building Belonging in the Age of Anxiety
Published Date: 2020-01-02

Where do you belong? Close your eyes for a second and ask yourself that question. Can you picture a place where upon arrival you feel totally safe, respected, and loved?

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Risk Management: What's in a Name?
Published Date: 2020-01-01

Is the answer to any of the following questions yes in relation to your camp?

  • Have you purchased the assets of a camp and kept the name?
  • Do you lease your camp premises to third parties during off-season?
  • Do you lease any portion of your camp premises to third parties while you are also operating your camp?
  • Is there another camp with your name or a similar name?

Each of these scenarios creates a potential brand and reputation exposure for you.

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A Place to Share: Connections
Published Date: 2020-01-01

The ACA National Conference is about connections. There is an instant familiarity that connects the camp community. The overenthusiastic hellos when greeting old friends, the warm welcome when engaging firsttime attendees, and the common sense of purpose and camaraderie are welcome and comforting. Attending the conference feels a little bit like coming home. It is a place where we can connect and grow as camp professionals. A place where we can explore new ideas and new places, and where we can create connections with others who are supportive and encouraging.

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Dear Camp Director:

No doubt some of the greatest demands you face are attracting, motivating, and retaining summer staff. Among the challenges are aligning your counselors to mission and helping them to engage with peers and campers. But doing so will maximize you staff's power to positively affect young lives and help you meet your goals for a successful season.

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Unanswered emails. Requests (demands) for time off. Over-involved parents. What's the matter with young people today? Most likely nothing! We have more in common with this cohort of staff than one might think; their needs are just expressed differently. The way we view the world and the expectations we hold for others are heavily influenced by the population cohort to which we belong. For this and future staff recruiting seasons, we have an opportunity to communicate that we are in touch with the times and yet have a handle on timeless wisdom.

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Mindsets Matter
Published Date: 2020-01-01

An Interview with David Yeager, PhD

David Yeager, PhD, is an experimental development psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin. He researches and works to find solutions for adolescent health problems, including bullying, depression, academic achievement, cheating, trust, and healthy eating. He has co-authored work on grit and grit testing with Angela Duckworth, PhD, and on growth mindset with Carol Dweck, PhD. Yeager’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Nature.

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