Resource Library

Introduction

Nationally, 4‑H camp programs often utilize the leadership and energy of teenage camp counselors (ages fourteen to eighteen) to plan and conduct local and area 4‑H camp programs. Since the value of camp to campers has been well documented in Missouri and elsewhere (University of Missouri, 2007), one must ask the next logical question: What value does serving as a 4‑H camp counselor hold for teens?

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The culture of a camp is essential to evaluate on a regular basis. Is it noticeably and measurably acceptable or does it need help and/or remediation?

Ask yourself the following ten questions:

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Huck Finn enjoyed a rare opportunity to attend his funeral and hear what folks had to say about him after he faked his death to escape the confines imposed by the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson — not to mention his abusive father, Pap. A recent near-death experience afforded me a similar chance to hear some feedback about my work with youth and families. Especially since it happened smack dab in the middle of the camp season.
 
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One of the best experiences for a child is that of being a camper. The opportunity to be in a child-centered environment, a setting that uses Mother Nature to help deliver a program resulting in outcomes such as improved self-confidence, self-esteem, and fun is tough to beat. Most readers believe that every child should have a camp experience — but not every camp is a good fit for every child. There truly is a camp for everyone; the secret is finding the right fit between child and camp.

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To camp professionals, camp enrollment trends serve as an important indicator of the overall health of the industry, and are particularly important in uncertain economic times. Every year, day and resident camps from around the US are invited to complete the American Camp Association (ACA) online enrollment survey in the spring as a "preview" of the coming summer and again in the fall to provide an accurate read on enrollment and staffing trends.
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I don't know anyone, within or outside of camp, who isn't looking for ways to improve their cash flow either by cutting costs or growing their income. Operationally, there are lots of places to look for savings, including equipment leases and rentals and service agreements, among others. This is certainly the time to consider slaying the age-old sacred cow of how you've "always done things." People are creatures of habit and are generally reluctant to rock that particular boat since it's worked before.
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Our uncertain economic times serve as a reminder that the business of camp is full of change. When society, environments, and circumstances change, camp directors and owners are challenged to identify how the changes impact the risk in their camp community.
 

Managing Change and Evolving Risk

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There are opportunities to teach every child better self-control. Of course, being spontaneous — even a little out of control — is fun. It’s just that learning to listen, concentrate, and sustain attention are also important life skills. Camp is an ideal setting for cultivating self-control and controlled chaos. It offers both energetic, physical activities — such as water basketball or capture the flag — as well as restrained, contemplative activities — such as listening quietly to a story during rest hour.

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Staff Training: What Do You Expect?
Published Date: 2011-05-01

Summer camp staff training — what exactly is it? If you take all the ideas and definitions; all the content from years past provided by the American Camp Association (ACA), the health department, and your camp or organization; and every article or other piece of commentary about what it is or how to do it, it would all boil down to a simple idea: expectations. Staff training is about what you are expected to do. The reason for those expectations is directly related to the experience every camper has at camp.

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When you decided to be a summer camp counselor this summer, you made a great choice. Few summer jobs offer as many opportunities for personal growth and leadership development, or allow you to have such a meaningful, positive impact on a child’s life. Being a camp counselor won’t be as easy as some summer jobs, but it has the potential to be much more rewarding. Even before the season starts, you will be inundated with information about everything from camp policy guidelines to camper behavior management strategies. It might seem overwhelming, and it probably will be at times.

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Pages

E.g., 2019-09-22
E.g., 2019-09-22