Resource Library

Groundhog Day
Published Date: 2017-03-01

Harold Ramis' classic Groundhog Day (1993) turned a once minor day in February and minimally celebrated holiday into a profound lesson on love, life, and one's personal journey of growth and how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. It also gave us some unforgettable moments, like Phil Connors' (played by Bill Murray) repetitive 6 a.m. wakeup to Sonny and Cher's hit song "I Got You Babe," released July 1965.

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At a 2014 ACA National Conference session, I was asked by seasoned camp professionals, “Why do young staff ask us so many questions when we give them a task?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Because we think we are disposable. If we do it wrong, you will get someone else.” The collective gasp of the professionals registered astonishment, but all of the young staff serving on the panel starting nodding their heads. If you feel this way, you are not alone.

Disposable misconceptions — let’s talk about them, so we can trash them.

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I was sitting in our chapel benches surrounded by towering pines as I listened to our leadership director, Dave Irwin, give his Sunday chapel talk in late July of 2016 at YMCA Camp Belknap, a traditional, nonprofit, overnight summer camp for boys.

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From Peter - January 2011
Published Date:

"Changing Lives — Enriching the World": These are simple words with challenging implications.

I thought of the words above, and how poignant this concept is for ACA at this time — especially as recent transitions remind us to recognize the work and accomplishments of our predecessors, and how we need to honor their pioneering spirit in order to stay present and relevant in the next 150 years.

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Camp Through the Decades
Published Date: 2003-07-18

Snapshots of camp’s history remain steadfast in the minds and hearts of camp pioneers, moving beyond the boundaries of time. In a series of interviews with several American Camping Association (ACA) Pioneers, Camping Magazine chronicles the spirit of camp’s yesterdays. Let us honor the past and embolden the future of camp — through the eyes of pioneers . . . .

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During the spring of each year, many camp directors are faced with what can seem to be an overwhelming task of planning for staff training. While it is tempting to use the same "recipes" from previous years, this can be hard to swallow for returning staff. Because of the large amount of information that needs to be conveyed in a short amount of time, it makes sense to present training topics in a way that will maximize the learning and retention capacity of staff (and have fun while doing it!).

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Counselors, Campers, Action!
Published Date: 2016-05-02

Everyone is taking photos today!

As counselors, you can offer your campers creative ideas for capturing the treasured moments of their summer of fun at camp.

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I was born a camp brat. From the age of six years old, I had no choice but to live the camp life as my mother began her career in camp administration. My early camp years were spent causing headaches to the staff as a child, wanting to be a staff member as a teen, and becoming a staff member as a young adult. These years cemented my love for camp and everything it stood for at a very young age.

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“That’s what camp’s all about” — a clever statement often heard around Camp Holiday Trails (CHT) in response to one of many daily moments of personal triumph. CHT means so many things to so many people; it is almost impossible to encapsulate all of what camp is about in any one event. Or so I thought before last summer, before I met Nile.

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