Resource Library

While the benefits of camp are relevant to every child, not every child gets to experience them. Whether it is because of a lack of funding, opportunity, or precedent, children from some communities do not traditionally attend camp. But in order for 20 million children to experience camp by the year 2020, leaders in the camping industry must reach out to these communities.

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From Peg - May 2010
Published Date:

At this time of year, the "Letter from Peg" is directed to camp staff and counselors as you prepare to enter the summer season. This year is no different.

During camp training and orientation, you will receive a great deal of content knowledge. This information will be very important to ensure you have a productive summer. But to be successful, it takes more than content knowledge. This is true of everything in our world today. We all need twenty-first century skills to be successful. John Dewey, a twentieth century educator said, "knowledge is no longer an immobile solid."

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Morning flag raising ceremonies have been camp routine staples probably as long as there have been camps. It seems, though, that there is much confusion over how to properly display and care for the flag and its attendant components. This month, we’re going to look at some history and traditions, some relevant laws and customs, and some of the details that can help make sure that your flag flies well all the time.

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People in medical professions call it a “post mortem” — an unfortunate term that literally means “after death.” People in human services and professional development call it “debriefing,” while the rest of us call it “learning from our past.” Whatever you call it, there can be great value in reflecting on the summer and thinking about how what you have just experienced might inform your work with parents, staff, and campers in the coming year.

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Doing good work with and for youth has been a hallmark of the camp experience since its inception. Very quickly, there was recognition that the place and space of camp was also "good" for the staff leading and supporting the experience. As we celebrate the past and look toward the future, it is important to reflect on the educational partners and integral influences on the camp profession. This article reminds us of some forerunners in recreation and outdoor education, showcases reciprocal connections, and explores ways to raise the bar in future educational offerings.
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Rain doesn't have to be an unwelcome guest at your camp. It can be an inspiration for camp activities. Rainy days offer an opportunity to teach campers more about weather and for them to see firsthand how rain affects plants, animals, and the environment.

Though you may be undaunted, you should not be oblivious to the weather conditions. Staff training should include sessions on recognizing storm conditions, reviewing emergency plans, and planning all-camp program alternatives. Remember never to go outdoors during a severe thunderstorm or when there is lightning.

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As you consider the future of your camp, it’s easy to focus on the external factors that are likely to affect its operation, the demographic influences that shape your markets, the impact of technology on your operations and programming, and on the challenges of an increasingly diverse clientele. Certainly all of the factors identified by your futuring exercises are worth considering. However, the most significant variable that will shape the twenty-first century is the human response to these factors. In other words, the future is you.

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Christine Carter, PhD, will be giving a keynote address at the 2012 ACA National Conference. Carter is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. In an interview with Camping Magazine, Carter explains why happiness is integral to success and how we can promote positive emotions in campers.

The basic premise of Raising Happiness is that happiness is a skill we can teach kids. Why is happiness so important?

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Not Just Another Summer!
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As you are working at camp, here are three thoughts to help you make sure you are getting the most out of your experience as a camp counselor.

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Since the outbreak of H1N1 during the summer of 2009, camps have been diligently updating their health and safety protocols and practices for the management of communicable diseases. By accessing and integrating information from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Camp Association® (ACA), the Association of Camp Nurses, and other related resources, camps are improving their health practices by incorporating new knowledge into their day-to-day health center operations.

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