Resource Library

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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Several years ago, when I directed my camp program specifically for African- American teen girls (Camp Butterfly), there were many memorable moments. But one in particular has been etched in the recesses of my mind since the day it occurred. The event happened during one of our summer sessions; it involved a young 13-year-old girl named “Lea.”

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In November 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a two-week strike in front of the Swedish Parliament. She was on a mission to bring attention to the looming threat of climate change and to protest the inaction of world leaders on the issue. When she started, she was alone. Less than a year later, on September 20, 2019, she was joined by a wave of more than 14 million people in a cascading series of protests that spanned the globe through 138 countries, beginning in Australia and ending 24 hours later in the Americas (Sengupta, 2019).

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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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Camps and Spirituality
Published Date: 2007-03-01

Finally the campers are quiet and the flashlights are stowed under the benches. The dark stillness is broken by the chirp of crickets, honking frogs in the nearby pond, and the single call of an owl. Overhead, stars sparkle framed by the boughs of the lofty pines. Then out of the shadows in the middle of the circle a light flares and brings flames to the center of the campfire. Slowly the dimness brightens. Shapes on the benches become silhouetted against the night woods and then out of the broadening light emerge the faces of campers. A community comes into view.

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Every spring the challenge of planning staff training confronts camp leaders. The usual questions arise regarding how to prepare inexperienced staff and volunteers to work successfully with diverse groups of campers. The list of what we want to teach them seems to get longer and longer each year. In the last few years increasing attention has been paid to the ways that camps develop children in emotional, social, and cognitive ways. Many camps are now exploring the role that camp plays in enhancing campers' spiritual development. Alas, something else to add to the staff training list!

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