Resource Library

By the time Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University, reportedly claimed in 1922, “the organized summer camp is the most important step in education that America has given the world,” camping in America already had a long history of embracing the educational value of the camp experience (Sharman, 1938). Now, almost a century later, the camp experience is once again at the precipice of education reform, standing at the crosssection of experiential learning and institutional schools.

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Learning about a revolutionary and powerful new understanding of the dynamic of caretaking may change the way you train your staff, talk with parents, and think about yourself.

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#DreamTEAM
Published Date: 2014-05-01

What makes a great camp counselor? It’s not what you think.

The 2004 U.S. Olympic basketball team had just as many all-stars as the original Dream Team. They had superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Tim Duncan, and had arguably the best coach in basketball, Larry Brown. So why did they only get the bronze? Why did they have more losses in the 2004 Olympics than in all other Olympics combined?

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The Cool Counselor: For the Right Reasons
Published Date: 2013-05-01

When I first began teaching and working with kids, I began by thinking, “We are all going to get along. I am going to be the best teacher these kids have ever had, and we are going to be friends.” I actually thought so highly of this “we’re all in this together; we’re going to be friends” mentality that I put my teaching desk directly in the center of my classroom. I was surrounded by my twenty-five seventh-grade students, whose desks were all facing me in a giant circle. “We were one” . . . or so I thought.

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I remember the call clearly. It was in September about 10 years ago when my longtime camp friend and colleague, Dave Tager, called about the transition of leadership at the camp he and his wife, Shelley, had run for almost 25 years. Over the course of that time, Dave and Shelley had built their coed resident camp, now called Camp IHC, into a successful and highly reputable camp. After 25 years of being ultimately responsible for thousands of other people's children, Dave was ready to turn the reigns over to a talented young couple. As Dave said to me, "I love camp!

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Sex is a topic that elicits such strong emotions in people that it often becomes difficult to have a clear, calm, rational conversation about it. When that conversation concerns the sexual behavior of children and teens, things get even more emotional. Lynn Ponton, a well-known adolescent psychiatrist in San Francisco who wrote the popular book The Romance of Risk (Basic Books, 1997) on adolescent risk-taking behavior, once told me how she unwittingly stepped into a maelstrom of controversy and criticism when she followed her best seller with another book titled The Sex Lives of Teenagers.

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This article is part of Camping Magazine’s series on inclusion, identifying and exploring both big picture and on-the-ground actionable pathways for application through participant reflection, discussion, and active engagement. Contact Niambi Jaha-Echols (njechols@gmail.com) if you would like to participate or contribute to this series.

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When it comes to providing safe experiences for children, knowledge is often the most powerful tool an organization possesses. Knowledge about safe conditions and practices and the ability to identify areas for improvement are keys to ensuring the health and safety of program participants and staff and decreasing the likelihood of adverse health events. An important key to developing a sound knowledge base about health and safety conditions is careful monitoring of the factors that cause significant injury and illness events in camps.

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Almost everyone who has ever been to camp can quickly tell a story about something they did, learned, or observed that had a profound impact on their life. How do these experiences happen? Who creates them? Sometimes, through the magic of the camp, situations that create a lasting memory just happen. Occasionally a series of events build to a dramatic conclusion, which can lead to a truly life-changing experience. So how can you be more intentional in creating inspirational memories?

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Patience
Published Date:

When I sat down to write this article, I could still hear Axl Rose (lead singer of the ’80s rock band Guns N’ Roses) whistling the opening of the group’s hit song “Patience” like it was yesterday. The chorus of the song went like this: “I need a little patience, yeeaaahhhh . . . Come on patience, yeeaahhhh.” As I processed that song and focused more intently on the word “patience,” I realized it is one of the most important words you will hear, learn, and, hopefully, put into practice this summer.

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