Resource Library

It’s 6:27 a.m. on a sunny Tuesday morning. There you are, comfortably seated at your desk, ready for another great day, when you are called for assistance by a counselor to the health center. Upon arrival to the center, you observe a camper and your health center nurse. Instantly you can sense that something is wrong and there is a situation to deal with. And, that’s when you learn that, for the first time ever, you’ll have to be dealing with the unspeakable — bed bugs.

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Another summer season is ending. With that comes the time when many camp profes¬sionals not only relax but also review systems with an eye toward change, improvement, and growth. To that end, the Association of Camp Nurses (ACN) recently updated their “Hallmarks of a Healthy Camp Community” (2013). Originally developed by a task force during the 1999 International Camp Health Congress and revised in 2005, the most recent hallmarks not only complement the Healthy Camps initiative but also give direction to the future.

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A Place to Share: Global Giving
Published Date: 2013-03-01

Giving has always been a critical lesson that we teach campers and staff as part of the camp experience. Living and learning together, campers must give respect to their peers and camp staff. In creating a great camp experience, staff members must give freely of themselves and their time. Each and every person learns to give their best effort and strengths in each activity, opportunity, and interaction.

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An Interview with Nancy Cheever, PhD

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Welcome to Atlanta
Published Date: 2016-01-01

Although we as camp professionals are fully aware of the joy of camp and get to experience it with those campers and staff members we serve, we're never completely free to truly experience camp for ourselves. We are always sidetracked by the cook who didn't show up for work, the staff member who is underperforming, the concerned (possibly helicopter) parent, or the camper who thinks that slugging someone else is an acceptable method of conflict resolution.

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“Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character.” — Warren Bennis, American scholar, organizational consultant, and author

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Returning from the 2011 ACA National Conference in San Diego, I began to reflect on how camps can impact a student's education. For the past forty years, my school district has sent fifth graders to camp to enhance their science education. Our fifth grade students participate in a three-day, two-night program. During this time, the students get to experience science at a school without walls. The hands on classes have a great impact on student comprehension. More camps should increase their involvement in this type of school year endeavor.

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Many of us who grew up going to summer camp feel like it was the place we could most be ourselves. If we had the option, we would make it our second (or first) home.

You probably have a story about your favorite counselor who you looked up to, who helped you imagine the personality traits you wanted to have when you grew up and opened your mind to new experiences.

It makes sense that many campers continue on to become staff members, because they want to do what their most memorable role models did.

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Many residential and day camps are experiencing their older and most experienced counselors aging out because they now need full-time employment and can no longer remain at camp for the summer. College students who used to return each summer have graduated and now wait for alumni activities and events to continue their relationship with their camps. Those senior staff played a very significant and essential role during their tenure at camp. They were the “culture carriers” who taught new and inexperienced staff what is special about your intentional community.

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In preparation for the 2010 camp season, the American Camp Association® (ACA) enlisted the expertise of Rachel Simmons and Dr. Michael Thompson, best-selling authors and specialists on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of childhood. Both professionals offer insight into why camp is so valuable to kids today and how the mentoring nature of the camp counselor-camper relationship can provide the positive role models kids need in building self-awareness and figuring out who they are and who they want to be.

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