Resource Library

Every camp director has been there. In fact, if you’re like most camp leaders, you’re there right now. If asked, you could immediately name two or three people with whom you should have a crucial conversation about some topic, but you haven’t. Perhaps you’ve even brought it up, but you danced around the real issue and never laid all your cards on the table. When you think about facing it again, your mouth gets dry, your head aches, and your muscles start to twitch.

Read More

Big Questions

Perhaps no question weighs more heavily on the minds of parents, teachers, and camp staff than "Will this child do what I ask?" Sadly, there is no magic formula for obedience. So, this question is perennial; its answer elusive. Sure, we try to manage children's behavior. A keyword search for books on parenting yields 23,096 titles. There is no shortage of advice. But as any parent will tell you, there is a chasm between child behavior theory and practice. As Bill Cosby said, "Parenting can be learned only by people who have no children."

Read More
Making the Best Better
Published Date: 2003-07-18

Not too many job descriptions include expectations like, “Be able to rise early, go to bed late, and remain enthusiastic all day long.” “Work well with many different types of people.” “Share your love of 4-H with youth around the state.” But this is exactly what the Volunteer Camping Assistants (VCA) of the West Virginia University (WVU) Extension Program do every summer.

Read More
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 . . . .

Read More
A Camp Director Remembers World War II
Published Date: 2003-07-01

Running a camp during World War II took creativity, ingenuity, and some sacrifice. While friends and family were being asked to give their lives for our country, those of us at camp wanted to do our share. We wanted to provide our campers — eighty girls who were twelve to sixteen years old — with good memories of their time at camp, but at the same time, we knew it wouldn’t always be easy.

Read More

I could barely contain myself. After seven years of delicate negotiations, Alford Lake Camp was ours. It was November 1962, and Mrs. Carleton Knight had “transferred” the camp to us. This momentous event was brought about by promising Mrs. Knight that we would say nothing about acquiring the camp until she was able to announce that after my assisting her in the upcoming summer, Alford Lake would be carried on by “someone from within the ALC family.”

Read More
Children's Camps in the Adirondacks
Published Date: 2003-07-01

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the mountainous Adirondack region of northern New York was one of the nation’s premier resorts. The grand resort hotels, smaller inns, and boarding houses were concentrated on the region’s many lakes, nowhere more so than on the two large lakes on the region’s eastern edge. It is therefore not surprising that Lakes George and Champlain became the sites of some of the earliest experiments in the country in organized camping for children.

Read More
I Am. Therefore, I Think
Published Date: 2003-07-01

"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain." "I know," said Pooh humbly.
— from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

Big Questions

Read More
Opening Day Blues
Published Date: 2003-05-01

The bus arrives. The campers race off to their cabins. Except Sam. The camp director had warned during orientation that his parents thought he might have a “few separation issues.” Standing just off to the side of the bus, he sobs — loudly — chest heaving convulsively. He refuses to budge. Gathering his breath between another body-wrenching gasp, he shouts, “I want to go home! I want to call my parents.”

Read More

Dear Bob,
I had a run in with a camper parent last summer that made me very uncomfortable. We have a visiting day for parents once each session, which, as you might imagine, is a stressful day for campers, parents, and staff all around. During the early afternoon, I was accosted by a parent who was demanding to know why her fifteen-year-old son wanted to go home. I tried to reason with her, but she caught me off guard, and I felt awkward discussing this in the open with other parents and campers around.

Read More

Pages

E.g., 2021-08-04
E.g., 2021-08-04