Resource Library

What do teens think about things that affect their health and well-being? What role does camp play? To find out, members of the American Camping Association New England Section, in conjunction with the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System and the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth College designed and conducted a project called "Conversations with Campers." Inspired by the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, the project asked youth attending New England camps in the summer of 1998 to participate in a series of focus groups.

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Building Principles: Wisdom Overhead
Published Date: 2015-11-01

American poet and diplomat James Russell Lowell is quoted as saying, “Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is temporary expedient, often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship.” Beyond politics, that’s an exceptional concept and a worthy approach to many facilities topics. Even more to the point this month, it’s also been said that without a weather-tight roof, everything beneath is in jeopardy.

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“The camp is in a turnaround . . . climbing back after multiyear decline.” — Respondent, Fall 2012 Enrollment Survey

The Spring 2012 Enrollment Sneak Peek seemed to indicate a good summer ahead with 56 percent of responding directors indicating they had higher enrollments and 24 percent reporting about the same compared to a year ago.

This fall, we heard from directors who wanted to know:

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Having managed hundreds of camp crises, we have come to realize that the majority of events that cause harm to people and reputations fall into four major categories: waterfront accidents, transportation accidents, communicable illness, and sexual misconduct. Camps, similar to the one you call home, have fallen victim to crises in all four categories.

As a staff member, it is your duty and responsibility to prevent as many injuries, accidents, and crises as possible during the camp season. You may be thinking a few things:

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In her book The History of Organized Camping: The First 100 Years, Eleanor Eells wrote, “[Camp] has become an important part of the American scene, rich in its diversity and in its adaptation to changing needs and challenges. Its common bond is the concern for people in their relationship to one another, to the environment, and for their sense of community.” Through her review of camp’s history, Eells provided a blueprint for modern camps — adaptability is essential, innovation is critical, and personal relationships are fundamental.

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Shimi Kang, MD, is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, researcher, author, and speaker who specializes in adolescence and addiction. She is the author of The Self-Motivated Kid: How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children Who Know What They Want and Go After It (Without Being Told) (2015) and The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids (2014), which is a national best-seller and reflects her drive to promote essential health and wellness information relevant to our daily personal and professional lives in an accessible way.

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Collective Impact
Published Date: 2016-01-01

A young woman walks down the trail to the next station. There, in front of her, is a wall towering over her. The wall is ten feet tall and six feet wide, and as she and her group of peers walk up to the structure, a counselor comes out from behind it. A fabricated tale ensues where the counselor gives the outline for the team-building exercise. But the girl is clear about one thing: The goal is to get everyone in their group over the wall to the other side. Looking around at her group, she does not know how she can tackle this problem.

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A look in any rearview mirror will tell you a lot about where you have been, but little about where you are going. Unless, that is, you are driving at summer camp — where a quick look back can be an important, even lifesaving, reminder of the responsibilities that come with driving kids, counselors, or oneself.

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Fighting for Free Play
Published Date: 2014-11-01

It seems a tug-of-war is going on in Canada. On one side are those who, in the name of safety and reducing liability, want to mandate the risk right out of childhood activities and free play time. On the other side are those who believe free play and safe risk-taking are vital to healthy childhood development.

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I love language. The beauty of a poem, the lyricism of a novel, the passion of a political speech, the sentiment of a heartfelt toast, the humor of standup comedy, and the simplicity of a handwritten letter are testaments to the expressive power of words. And although language is not uniquely human, the capacity to create an infinite number of utterances that follow a finite set of rules probably is. Every human language on the planet has a grammar that allows us to combine words in unique ways.

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