Resource Library

A Camp Director Remembers World War II
Published Date: 2003-07-01

Running a camp during World War II took creativity, ingenuity, and some sacrifice. While friends and family were being asked to give their lives for our country, those of us at camp wanted to do our share. We wanted to provide our campers — eighty girls who were twelve to sixteen years old — with good memories of their time at camp, but at the same time, we knew it wouldn’t always be easy.

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Martin was sitting in the office of the boys' head counselor again. He'd been playing "Ga Ga" when another camper got him out. In what had quickly become an all-tootypical response for nine-year-old Martin, he lashed out at the camper, charged him with cheating, and then got angry and swore at the counselor who had been trying to intervene. He accused the counselor of "always picking on" him and favoring the other camper. Eventually, Martin stormed off with the counselor in hot pursuit.

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More Than a Great Summer
Published Date: 2016-05-02

I had been a camper at Cape Cod Sea Camps (CCSC) in Brewster, Massachusetts, from age 12 to 17, when I graduated from CCSC’s Junior Counselor Teen Leadership Program. Those summers at camp were some of the best of my life. Camp was where I made the strongest friendships, laughed the hardest, and felt the most at home in a place where I was not with my whole family. And this admiration for camp only intensified during the summer that I began to work as a camp counselor.

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The Prediction. The Trifecta. The Promise.
Published Date: 2014-01-01

The Prediction

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How many texts did you send yesterday? How about e-mails? Did you tweet any of your opinions? Was this distracting to you or anyone else? Were you misunderstood or did you get your point across? These questions and many resembling them are common concerns for people who are faced with a community living situation like day or resident camp. Last summer, while conducting camp staff trainings, I noticed an alarming trend in staff communication behavior.

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Camp Staffing: We Can Avoid a Crisis!
Published Date: 2019-02-26

Over the past few years, directors all over the country have reported struggling with the fact that good staff are harder to find. They also indicate that it is much more difficult to convince quality applicants to accept summer camp jobs and stay for the entire summer. In the late spring of 2018, with minimum wage issues, the shortage of male candidates, low unemployment rates, and the increased number of internships, we heard more urgency. In some circles, the staffing situation was being labeled as a “threat to our industry.”

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School violence is an all-too-frequent headline and no prevention measure has yet been found. But camp experiences of being close to nature, participating in wholesome activities, and forming community with others can help children affected by violence heal and learn to trust again. One camp director reached out to the community of Jonesboro, Arkansas, after two young boys from Westside Middle School opened fire on classmates killing four children and a teacher and wounding ten others.

Camp Can Make a Difference

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Standing on a dark platform at Grand Central Station in June 1965, I saw a huge pile of black trunks with silver latch hooks and little locks just like mine. I had watched my mother pack my trunk with blue wool blankets, white sheets, shorts, pants, shirts, underwear, a few bathing suits, and a pink bathing cap with a strap. The trunks that all looked alike were ready to be loaded on the train. Girls were laughing and hugging each other in pressed blue shorts and crisp, buttoned-down, white shirts that were measured especially for each one of them at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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The following case study is based on a real-life situation at a camp for girls in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. I have altered the names of the specific campers and some identifying information to protect their privacy.

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There’s an old joke that starts, “A pig fell in the mud . . .” and while mud at camp can provide a fine program opportunity, there’s nothing funny about mud tracking into all of the indoor program and living spaces. Also, mud in waterways and streams can quickly lower water quality and attract the attention of all sorts of uninvited guests (like insects and regulators). This month, by examining how mud is created, we’ll be able to devise strategies to reduce or even eliminate it.

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