Resource Library

Nate's elbow pokes violently into Kellen's ribs. He then fakes a pass, pivots, and again throws his body into Kellen, hoping the staff referees won't notice. But they do, just as Kellen winces and pushes Nate back roughly, in what looks like a chest pass without a ball. "What's up with that?!" Kellen shouts. "You wanna go?!" taunts Nate. "Let's go! Bring it!" A whistle blows and the two refs are between the boys now, separating the tangle of arms and fists.

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Girls and Leadership
Published Date: 2013-11-01

Rachel Simmons, author of The Curse of the Good Girl and co-founder of Girls Leadership Institute, recently wrote an opinion piece for CNN.com about the reluctance many girls feel toward leadership roles. She argues that in order to take advantage of the access they now have to such positions, girls need to feel authorized.

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Why Day Camp Matters
Published Date: 2011-11-01

When looking for summer activities for their children, parents today are faced with an incredible wealth of options. Many of these options describe themselves as “camp”: sports camps, arts camps, school camps (which always strikes one as somewhat oxymoronic), and, of course, the ubiquitous “day camps.” Each of these offers benefits to the family, but certain programs stand apart.

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Research is more than surveys, interviews, and statistics — it can be a valuable tool to use when designing camp programs, training staff, or in your marketing efforts. But it's also a critical tool for understanding how camp fits into the lives of today's youth. Research suggests that growing up in 2018 can be confusing, difficult, and complex, which means that kids need places where they can experience a different way of being. Summer camps might be the place. Here are findings of three research studies that you can use to make sure your camp is a place apart.

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Think, for a minute, about the adults to whom you were most strongly attached as a child. Can you see their faces and remember how they treated you? Perhaps you see parents, teachers, coaches, clergy, or youth leaders, such as camp staff members. Resilient adults can all think of at least one warm, reliable person who served as a defining caregiver and mentor. Their warmth and reliability are what created that resilience, that ability to bounce back from adversity. They brought us joy and boosted our confidence.

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Camp professionals know that camp provides the opportunity to teach life-long skills, such as creative thinking, decision making, and getting along with others. By developing goals for your program and anticipated outcomes for your campers, you can ensure that your camp program will give kids a world of good.

The seven life skills that follow have been identified by the 4-H program as being essential for productive and happy lives. Consider how these life skills might have a place in your camp program.

Creative Thinking

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Team Work: An Open Letter to Camp Staff
Published Date: 2017-05-01

Team,

This letter is addressed to all camp staff / team members whether this summer is your first or your 20th, whether you have primary responsibility for supervising campers, are an activity specialist, or work in the kitchen.

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Ben was the boy in the boat. A gregarious go-getter whose journey through camp — and to adulthood — was inextricably linked to sailboats on the water. The lessons he learned at camp originated from, or were reinforced by, the challenges he faced as a skipper, navigating uncertain and constantly shifting conditions having to do with wind, tide, crew, and competition. Lessons about self-reliance, self-confidence, exploration, respect, and responsibility — all important metrics of a successful summer camp experience and harbingers of what follows.

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Wise Use of Time Off
Published Date: 2013-05-01

Last Night

Phil Bader did everything wrong on his last night off except give his keys to a sober colleague. He’d left camp ten minutes early, bought alcohol with a fake ID, indulged in binge drinking, stumbled back into his cabin thirty minutes late, and urinated in a child’s footlocker before collapsing in his own bed.

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Several years ago, when I directed my camp program specifically for African- American teen girls (Camp Butterfly), there were many memorable moments. But one in particular has been etched in the recesses of my mind since the day it occurred. The event happened during one of our summer sessions; it involved a young 13-year-old girl named “Lea.”

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