Resource Library

An Interview with Nancy Cheever, PhD

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Welcome to Atlanta
Published Date: 2016-01-01

Although we as camp professionals are fully aware of the joy of camp and get to experience it with those campers and staff members we serve, we're never completely free to truly experience camp for ourselves. We are always sidetracked by the cook who didn't show up for work, the staff member who is underperforming, the concerned (possibly helicopter) parent, or the camper who thinks that slugging someone else is an acceptable method of conflict resolution.

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Described as one of the world's foremost high-altitude mountaineers, Luis Benitez gives Camping Magazine a personal account of struggle, valor, and resilience as he rose above his own physical limitations to gain world-wide fame in a merciless sport that claims the lives of many and offers reward to a very few. The reward?

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Returning from the 2011 ACA National Conference in San Diego, I began to reflect on how camps can impact a student's education. For the past forty years, my school district has sent fifth graders to camp to enhance their science education. Our fifth grade students participate in a three-day, two-night program. During this time, the students get to experience science at a school without walls. The hands on classes have a great impact on student comprehension. More camps should increase their involvement in this type of school year endeavor.

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Many of us who grew up going to summer camp feel like it was the place we could most be ourselves. If we had the option, we would make it our second (or first) home.

You probably have a story about your favorite counselor who you looked up to, who helped you imagine the personality traits you wanted to have when you grew up and opened your mind to new experiences.

It makes sense that many campers continue on to become staff members, because they want to do what their most memorable role models did.

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Many residential and day camps are experiencing their older and most experienced counselors aging out because they now need full-time employment and can no longer remain at camp for the summer. College students who used to return each summer have graduated and now wait for alumni activities and events to continue their relationship with their camps. Those senior staff played a very significant and essential role during their tenure at camp. They were the “culture carriers” who taught new and inexperienced staff what is special about your intentional community.

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In preparation for the 2010 camp season, the American Camp Association® (ACA) enlisted the expertise of Rachel Simmons and Dr. Michael Thompson, best-selling authors and specialists on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of childhood. Both professionals offer insight into why camp is so valuable to kids today and how the mentoring nature of the camp counselor-camper relationship can provide the positive role models kids need in building self-awareness and figuring out who they are and who they want to be.

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I got a Nakamichi cassette deck for Christmas in 1983. It had two kinds of Dolby noise reduction, auto-detection of tape substrate (normal vs. chromium dioxide vs. metal), manual level adjustments (crucial for creating stellar mix tapes gifted to would-be romances), and a ridiculously slow eject speed that made my inner gearhead swoon. My maternal grandfather, who was spending the holidays with us, asked for a demonstration that afternoon but recoiled when he saw the brand.

"Nakamichi? Why did your parents get you a Nakamichi? What's wrong with RCA?"

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So You Got Promoted: Now What?
Published Date: 2014-05-01

The camp experience is a very powerful learning process, which is both personal and challenging. It provides children the chance to grow in a protected environment controlled by caring, knowledgeable staff responsible for setting acceptable limits of risk management. Philosophically this is a great premise, but what happens to this construct if staff are inexperienced and not ready to assume the complexities of their job?

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