Resource Library

The Launch Pad Versus the Pinnacle
Published Date: 2016-11-01

When I entered his home, I thought this would be a routine stop on my camp fundraising tour. As a camp alum, a former staff member, a camp parent and grandparent, I also knew that my request would be met with generous support.

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Do you ever wonder what other camps offer for programs? Are your facilities similar to those at other camps like yours? Are there differences in sites, facilities, and programs based on characteristics such as type, sponsorship, or geographic location? Every three years ACA conducts a randomized survey about sites, facilities, and programs of our accredited camps. The following brief overview offers you a snapshot of some of the information found in this year's survey. Looking at the findings through various lenses of camp characteristics provides a picture of our camp community.

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A Return To Tolerance
Published Date: 2015-09-01

The scuffle was over almost as quickly as it started. The boys were playing a team game, and, as is common with nine-year-old boys, there was a disagreement about the rules. An argument quickly ensued, and without warning Josh punched Carlton — a boy from the other team. In the blink of an eye, both boys were on the ground engaged in a tussle.

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ACA’s Impact Study is a multiyear research project designed to identify the lasting impacts of camp from the perspectives of campers, staff, and parents. In the earliest stages of the project, we asked former campers, who are now between the ages of 18 and 25 years old, what they learned at camp and how they are using what they learned in their lives today, specifically at school and in their jobs. The research team identified 18 distinct outcomes from these conversations, each of which transfers to school and work in unique ways.

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From Peg - November 2010
Published Date:

Message discipline is difficult. Yet, in a complex association such as ACA, the demand for clarity is paramount. For an organization to grow, it must learn how to walk that thin line between chaos and order — because it is along that thin veil that true growth takes place. Even with clarity, we often find times when messages compete — where one message may take greater prominence than another due to frequency, volume, or the cacophony.

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Adolescence, Identity, and Summer Camp
Published Date: 2017-11-01

The Broadway megahit and multi-Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen has crystallized America’s focus on one of the most challenging and most consequential developmental processes for children and young adults: identity formation.

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When I think back to my first summer as a camp counselor over twenty years ago, I wish I knew then what I know now about working with a group of energetic campers. I was assigned to live with ten thirteen-year-old girls for seven weeks, and it didn't take long for them to figure out that I was a new staff member with a lot to learn! I hate to admit that I fumbled my way through many situations that summer and later as a novice teacher in various middle and high school classrooms. A few years ago, I was invited to work with a staff group during orientation training at a Cape Cod camp.

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The middle and high school years are filled with challenges, change, and promise. Perhaps more than anything else, parents hope that their children will be prepared to be productive and successful young men and women of good character. I call this “readiness.” They also want their children to avoid risky behavior that might very well interfere with healthy development.

Camps play a critical role in promoting readiness and reducing risk by helping children build four essential pillars of success:

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It is not easy for parents to make the decision to send their child away into the waiting arms of strangers who promise to take care of them — people who promise to show them the wonders of nature, fun, new skills, and friendships. As a parent of two children, even I struggle with the idea, and I have been around summer camps my entire life.

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A Sample of Issues from Camp 2018
Published Date: 2018-11-01

I spend time with camp professionals from May to August consulting with directors on the more perplexing and complicated issues they face with campers, staff, or parents during the camp season. This year I met with or heard from 61 camp directors from around the country. Some of the issues I encountered included a heightened level of anxiety in both campers and staff. Many camp directors reported that they had several staff members who could not complete the season because of anxiety.

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E.g., 2019-11-15