Resource Library

As camp professionals we've got a lock on how to plan for, organize, and deliver high-quality summer learning programs for children and young adults. Amidst the rush of preparing our staff to be effective counselors of youth, establish meaningful mentoring relationships, and model such important constructs as sensitivity, positive risk-taking, conflict resolution, and leadership, we may unwittingly lose sight of the fact that one of the most seminal achievements of our work is creating communities — year after year.

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In the summer of 2001, Congressional Camp found itself hip deep in allergies. Of the 490 campers on our campus, 222 had identified allergies. This fact left us limp and sweaty with concern . . . and it wasn't because of the humid Virginia summers.

We knew that food allergies never take a break, never rest, never leave well enough alone, and never forgive a tiny transgression - "just this one time." The worry about an exquisitely allergic child is continuous - for the parents and for our director and staff.

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Many summers ago, as a young cabin counselor with new campers and programming to do, the last thing on my mind was the history of organized camping. I had places to go and people to see — and besides "that was then; this was now!" Boy, did I have a lot to learn!

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The sometimes heavy rain on the last and closing days of camp only accentuated the tears of sadness shed in this closest of communities. Some were tears borne of the profound sense of loss that the end of another season brings.

Those were the "good" tears.

Others reflected the disappointment of peers, counselors, and camp directors at the last week's actions of five about-to-graduate, and oldest, members of the camp's teen leadership program.

Those were the "bad" tears.

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Leading for Tomorrow - September
Published Date: 2015-09-01

The fall season, for our association, marks a time similar to the first days of staff training. It is a time of bonding when veteran camp leaders are excited to share their stories of the season and grow from others. It is a time of learning, as all of us look back in reflection while looking for solutions to advance our own programs before our next round of campers arrive. It is a time of possibility when new members have joined our ranks and want to add their voice to this community.

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From biking programs to therapeutic camping programs, the 2011 Eleanor Eells Award winners certainly lived up to the criteria of “program excellence.” ACA interviewed the directors at each award-winning program and asked them to share how they have developed creative ways to reach deserving campers — promoting the positive contribution camp makes to the well-being of individuals and the world.

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The year was 1918.

World War I was winding down overseas, the Spanish flu epidemic was raging across the globe, and Woodrow Wilson was in the White House. It was also the year Storer Camps was founded on Stony Lake in Jackson County, Michigan, as the summer camp location for the YMCA of Greater Toledo.

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"The future begins with the past."
—Mary Chapin Carpenter

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The Good Reminder
Published Date: 2018-01-01

Spring is a time of renewal and hope, and nowhere is this hopefulness more evident than in our chosen profession. As camp professionals, we catalog time by the changing of the seasons. Summer speaks for itself as we manage that magnificent chaos that can be summer camp. Fall for many of us is a season of reflection and rest, and winter is the season of planning and preparation. But spring? Spring is the season when we begin putting it all together.

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Plan Now for New Food Activity Programming
Published Date: 2015-09-01

Before the last campfire at summer camp 2015 fades from your memory, focus some energy on developing new camp activities that involve the food service operation. Food activities can range from campers making and mixing their own trail mix before leaving on a hike to offering an entire week of camp for those who want to focus on the culinary arts.

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