Resource Library

As we begin our second year within the COVID-19 pandemic and head toward summer 2021, it is especially critical that camp professionals focus on resourcing a supportive camp culture that helps campers and seasonal staff practice identifying and managing their emotions and the emotions of others.

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Food (Justice) for Thought
Published Date: 2021-03-09

Picky camp eaters — we all know them. In surveying the amount of leftovers on a given day and fielding phone calls from families and guardians about the food, this begs the question, “Why does camp food suck?” 

The truth is it likely doesn’t. The more pointed question to ask is, “Do kids typically eat what we are serving?”

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Health screening, a practice typical to most camps' opening day process, has undergone an evolution. Granted, some changes were kick-started by our COVID-19 experience but, like other things, some changes are sticking because they have potential to improve the camp experience. In short, screening has expanded. It can and should start prior to arrival for campers and staff and extend beyond their end-of-session (agreement) date. Specifically, pre-arrival health monitoring has been added.

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Becoming Part of the New Normal
Published Date: 2021-03-09

2020. Shall we say 2020 was a year to remember or one to forget? Camps across the country are even still trying to decide as leadership teams dig deeply to identify how they can shield their organizations from such devastating hits in the future. Even as camper/parent expectations have changed over the years, COVID-19 presented new challenges that very few ever imagined. But now that program, planning, and recruiting teams are devising ways to soften future enrollment [and the associated tuition] downturns, what does the facilities team have to do? 

Plenty.

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Scars
Published Date: 2021-03-09

Mike, Jim, Sarah, Eric, Jake, Marina, Michael, Hunter, Pierce . . . the names roll off my tongue too readily, capturing the enormity of loss too often. 

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Five Trends in Camp Evaluation
Published Date: 2021-03-10

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), while weather refers to short-term changes in the atmosphere, climate describes what the weather is like over a long period of time in a specific area (National Centers for Environmental Information, 2020). We can use these descriptions of climate and weather as a metaphor for trends in evaluation.

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Camp has completely influenced the person I am today. It has made me kinder, more patient, open-minded, and optimistic. Camp showed me how much I love being in the beautiful outdoors and how much I appreciate nature and the wonderful planet we live on. Camp is a part of me, a part of me that will forever be there. –Ava

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As the chief marketing officer for the American Camp Association (ACA), I get to serve the field of camp and camp professionals who, in turn, empower the lives of children and youth in countless ways. I really love my job, in large part because of my own years spent at camp. From 1986 to 1999 I spent my summers at Van Buren Youth Camp (VBYC) in Bloomingdale, Michigan. At camp I learned how to folk dance, make pottery, overcome stage fright via mealtime skits, and marvel at the scope of the universe while singing beloved songs around a campfire under millions of sparkling stars.

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Emergent Camp Trends
Published Date: 2021-03-11

Heading into summer 2020, the summer camp industry was flourishing. With close ties to overall economic indicators such as disposable income and leisure time, the robust economy of the last five years had led to substantial industry revenue gains. According to the American Camp Association (ACA)’s 2015 and 2018 Business Operations Study reports, mean profitability increased for both day and overnight camps, and well over half of the respondents to our latest Sites and Facilities Survey reported growth in their enrollment numbers.

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Innovation in Camp
Published Date: 2021-03-01

Camp means many things to many different people. At its core, camp is people serving kids. To lifelong summer campers and camp directors, the word “camp” conjures specific and dearly held memories of a particular place of joy and belonging. To camp outsiders, camp is a blank slate. And now, in a world filled with rapid and unpredictable change, camp offers the opportunity to combine tradition and imagination to reconstruct its own boundaries.

Many innovators in the camp world are reimagining how to define camp, how it works, and who it serves best.

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