Resource Library

“The number-one reason I found that parents don’t send their children to summer camp is that parents fear their child will be sexually abused while at camp,” said writer Allison Slater Tate. The gasp was audible as she finished her sentence. A room full of camp directors at the Tristate Camp Conference in 2015 shook their heads and began to murmur. Tate quieted the room and continued to explain how she conducted an informal poll among her friends and acquaintances and shared direct quotes of their responses of fear to her questions about camp.

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Strong interest in promoting the concept of a healthy camp continues. Supported by data from ACA’s five-year Healthy Camps Study from 2006 through 2010, improved understanding about camp injuries and illnesses triggered more effort among camp professionals to minimize — if not eliminate — these injuries and illnesses. Promising practices were identified, parent materials became more robust, and a variety of online courses for staff training appeared.

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End-of-Summer Check-Up
Published Date: 2016-06-30

Just as one has an annual check-up with a personal physician, so too would our camps benefit from an end-of-summer review of their health status. Granted, the last two or three weeks of a summer season can be busy, but that busyness is less frantic when one can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. In anticipation of summer’s end, we start enjoying the laid-back moments tucked into those final weeks.

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“Success of an organization is measured in terms of its contribution to society.” — Viljoen, 1944

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As the busyness of summer gives way to a more laidback autumn, many camp professionals find themselves considering changes and adaptations to make the next camp season even better. Part of that consideration is an assessment of your camp's health services.

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Following the lead of educators in school communities, recreation professionals across the United States are opening their doors to increasingly diverse participants. There has been a particular focus on the inclusion of participants with disabilities to provide opportunities for these children and youth to attend day and resident camp programs alongside their peers without disabilities (Jaha-Echols, 2017).

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Campers with Food Allergies
Published Date: 2004-07-01

Summer camp is a time for children to have nonstop fun indulging in their favorite activities. For children with food allergies, going away to camp is not a simple decision, yet many parents have worked successfully to enable their children with food allergies to have these enriching experiences. Janet Erlich, whose two children are severely allergic to milk products and eggs, admits to feeling anxiety when they go away to camp but, she says, "My children love camp. It's the highlight of their year."

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Fred Miller has more than three decades of experience as a senior executive and consultant working in the areas of governance, strategy, and organizational effectiveness. With a long camp history that includes attending camp as a child; working at camps as a counselor, program director, and assistant camp director; and serving as chair of the American Camping Foundation and on the American Camp Association (ACA) National Board, he is a strong advocate of the camp experience and a long-time valued friend of ACA.

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We can't really define it, but we know it when we see it. We lament the loss of it to our friends and neighbors as we continually look for new ways to build it. What is IT? It is a sense of community! Within organized camps, professionals have long advocated the link between sending a kid to camp and learning the skills necessary to be a part of, as well as give back to, a community.

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What is global citizenship and why promote another seemingly bookish concept into a summer camp program? There are good reasons: positive youth development, influx of multicultural young people living in North America, the interconnectedness of most through social media, and because camp is an optimal learning environment (Fine, 2005). Camps are simply great places to learn (Bialeschki, Fine, & Bennett, 2015).

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