Resource Library

Camp "Whatever" Letter
Published Date: 2012-03-01

Camp Hancock’s director Bill Young and I conceived the “Camp Whatever Letter,” originally written more than a decade ago, as a response to our observations and frustrations about the changing culture of parents and children. Many (not all) young people of all ages had an agenda that included drugs, sex, alcohol, and a fascination with violence. In addition, consulting parents many times about their child’s troubling behavior at camp proved unsuccessful. “That’s the way they are today” was a response heard one too many times.

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I would like to tell you a story about what it means to be a “finder” and a “funder.” At 12:00 p.m. the bell would ring to signal the start of my freshman world history class. John, Sam, and Tim would walk in less than excited to learn about history for the next ninety minutes, but very excited to visit with their friends and hang out. They were each uniquely charming and charismatic. They were the life of the party, despite the fact that my history class was not supposed to be a party.

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Each year, camp staff members spend days — if not weeks — preparing facilities, activity areas, and programs so their campers can enjoy fun, educational, and life-enhancing experiences. Whether operating on a public grassy field or nestled in the woods, one key to successes is knowing about programs and facilities. Every three years, ACA conducts the Sites, Facilities, and Program Survey (SFPS) as a part of the larger, annually conducted business operations surveys. This article focuses on the SFPS completed during the fall of 2010.

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Camp Includes Me Series

This feature article is part of an ongoing series of articles in Camping Magazine that will focus on inclusion, diversity, and cross-cultural agility to share in our individual communities and out in the world.

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A Snapshot of Camper Enrollment in 2015
Published Date: 2016-03-01

After reviewing the results of the 2015 Enrollment Survey, in general, camps had a good year as enrollment continued to rise. The majority of camps reported at least maintaining the same enrollment numbers compared to 2014, and, in many cases, they were higher. Generally, the camps in the sample were representative of overall ACA membership (231 camp directors responded). The following data, charts, and graphs are based on camp directors’ responses.

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The Edge: The View Ahead
Published Date:

At my camp we have a special ceremony for the campers who will be aging out of the camp program. Many of those campers have been attending Camp Broadstone for the past six years, and the thoughts of not being able to return weigh heavily on them. These are fifteen-year-olds who are in the midst of much transition: being seen more and more as an adult and less as a child, moving through high school into the exploration of the next academic possibilities, and taking the exciting steps that bring them more independence.

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How Clean is Clean?
Published Date: 2017-01-01

During a recent birthday celebration dinner at a casual dining restaurant with table service, our friendly server, Bella, escorted our family to a table laden with dirty dishes. She left our family awkwardly standing in a busy aisle as a last-minute cleaning took place — leaving the tabletop and booths wet from the visibly soiled cleaning cloth. Have you ever encountered this or any other kind of sanitary issue in a restaurant? How about in the dining hall at camp?

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We are lucky to be at camp, in the modern world, and not living in a jungle where each new thing might kill us. The fight or flight response comes from ancient times when a person encountered a unique threat — like a tiger — and the brain needed to make a snap decision. Will I run (flight) or will I fight? While most of us do not encounter tigers on a regular basis, we are constantly exposed to new or novel things. These could be ideas, people, situations, food . . . the list goes on and on.

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Have you ever received multiple phone calls from a parent who is seeking reassurance that his or her child’s camp experience will go smoothly? Have you noticed parents or children who look worried when arriving for camp? Or, have you overheard parents talking with their children about the things that could go wrong during camp? As a camp staff member, you have most likely observed these behaviors, which can be risk factors for homesickness.

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The Dig and Discovery: Can We Tell the Story?

So, what is new? What is old? What is the same? Maybe everything; maybe nothing. Many times in the past, I have shared the concepts you will find in this article. You, as camp professionals, have argued these points for many more years. We, as a camp community, have been advocating for children, youth, and families for 150 years. Yet, what is our narrative? We all seem to be talking, but what are we really saying?

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E.g., 2019-06-26