Resource Library

The young women and men who join us as camp counselors are interested in occupations that range from elementary and high school education to the medical field, the environmental sciences, and more. And as it happens, a camp counselor enjoys experiences that complement many areas of study and the pursuit of a myriad of future career paths.

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Ahhh, oil! Black gold. Texas tea. At least that’s how the opening to the television show Beverly Hillbillies referred to it. (Anyone else besides me remember black and white TV?) While some folks will tell you that there’s nothing new under the sun, I can say with certainty that there has been much happening and I’ve been evaluating all sorts of new products to lubricate your internal combustion engines.

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Centuries ago, our ancestors did business informally. One informal business practice was “never buy a pig in a poke” (bag). Now this advice may be obvious to us, but at one point it was cutting edge business and risk management thought! The advice to never buy a pig in a poke became caveat emptor — Latin for “let the buyer beware.” When you buy something or make a business arrangement for a product, a service, or the use of a facility, you are responsible for making sure what you receive is what you intended to buy or arrange.

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What Were You Thinking?

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We live in an era of experiences and community. What does that mean? Camp directors and staff just spent the past months creating memorable experiences for their campers, ensuring that every child felt welcome, engaged, safe, and inspired at camp. Parents were reassured that their children were having fun and were well cared for — and they were entertained during visiting days. Relationships were forged, and memories were made.

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The Art of Noticing
Published Date: 2019-03-01

A strong focus on mental, emotional, social health (MESH) elements within the camp community has triggered both strategies to cope with MESH concerns and an emphasis on making camp a more MESH-resilient experience for campers and staff. In support of this, the following information is provided by Cori Miller of URJ Camp Harlam in Pennsylvania. A social worker by profession, Miller works full-time for her camp and focuses on MESH concerns.

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Author's note: The names and certain identifying characteristics of the campers on which this article is based have been changed to protect their privacy. The resulting thoughts, conclusions, and practical suggestions are just the beginning of finding a deeper and more effective understanding of the problem of girls hurting other girls.

July 2009

"The counselors don't really know what's going on," Lori said in all seriousness. "I mean, they're nice and they want to help us, but they don't really know how."

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When I first met Ed, I did not notice that he had no legs.

He sat straight up in a wheelchair with long pants that hung down over the edge. I did not, at the time, find the absence of shoes or feet at the ends of his trousers, remarkable. I did, however, stare, somewhat self-consciously, at the stumps that protruded from the short sleeves of his fire engine red shirt. They were the size of a child's football and had no digits. He used them to propel his wheelchair by leaning forward and pushing on the rubber tires of the big wheels that rose above his seat.

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Essential Staff Training Activities
Published Date: 2009-03-01

You expect your staff to think on their feet — so why not train them on their feet?

For more than three decades, I've been assisting camps, outdoor education centers, youth development agencies, and park and recreation organizations with their summer camp staff trainings. Over the years, I've created, collected, and shared hundreds of activities that I think make a significant difference in the unity, community, connection, and culture of a camp.

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