Resource Library

A Humble Beginning

Camp owners are thrilled, educators are motivated, and economically disadvantaged children are positively changed forever. Focus For a Future began with a very simple concept that proved beneficial to everyone involved.

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Social Marketing: Where Should You Start?
Published Date: 2012-11-01

Marketing has changed drastically over the last few years. We are now in an era where brands are expected to be online — listening and engaging with their customers. There are so many avenues open to camps to get their message out to consumers. Where should you start? How did we get here? In this article, we look at how we arrived at this time of heightened consumer engagement and review the top five social marketing tools camps can employ to get their message out to prospective parents and campers. Brochures and registration forms used to be the bread and butter of summer camp enrollment.

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"I Just Want My Kid to Be Happy!"
Published Date: 2019-01-01

Dear Bob,

We had a 14-year-old returning male camper last year in our two-week resident camp who is generally a great kid but who presented with some behavior last summer that caused us to send him home. His parents were extremely upset given that they have had two other children in our camp for many years. They felt that we “owed them” more, that kids make mistakes and we should have figured out a way to let him stay. Another reason for their displeasure was that the boy was in his last year as a regular camper and would have been eligible for our LIT program next year.

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Welcome to camp! Whether you are a resident or day camp counselor this summer, you will soon find yourself working with a variety of camper groups. These groups will most likely consist of kids of similar age, gender, or activity interest who randomly come to camp for the same period of time. Each group will remain just that — a group — unless some magic occurs and you do your part to guide them on their journey to evolve into a community.

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What day is it when hugs earn points and strange hats with funky costumes are the norm? It’s Wacky Wednesday — a fun-filled day where everything is topsy turvy, a bit bizarre, and very extraordinary.

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I used to roll my eyes at the mere mention of the word diversity. Four factors explained my defensive rejection of the topic. First, I resented the shortsighted practice of equating diversity with skin color. I’m proud of my English and Swedish heritage. Second, I rejected the possibility that I was prejudiced. As a clinical psychologist, I fancied myself radically empathic and accepting. Third, I felt embarrassed participating in multiculturalism workshops that kept highlighting my contemporary white, male privileges but neglecting my poor immigrant roots.

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My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.

Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet
— by William Shakespeare

BIG Questions

Children learn language not by rote, but by a seemingly effortless interaction between their sponge-like brains and their language-rich environments. This breathtaking process begins as rapidly as Juliet learned to recognize Romeo's voice.

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Lessons on leadership abound in the summer camp environment. And as we know, leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Some are loud; some are quiet. One is bold; another cautious. Many seek to lead while others naturally attract a following. Regardless, we are well positioned to embrace and enhance our youth leadership development opportunities, including our leadership vision.

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One of the best experiences for a child is that of being a camper. The opportunity to be in a child-centered environment, a setting that uses Mother Nature to help deliver a program resulting in outcomes such as improved self-confidence, self-esteem, and fun is tough to beat. Most readers believe that every child should have a camp experience — but not every camp is a good fit for every child. There truly is a camp for everyone; the secret is finding the right fit between child and camp.

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Nurses newly hired for your camp’s health center need orientation. What they need to know differs from the orientation needed by general staff. Providing it is critical to a smoothly functioning health center. But what should a camp professional explain to a newly hired camp nurse? In essence, everything. Even nurses who have worked at a different camp need orientation to your camp’s policies and practices. Come to think of it, returning nurses may need orientation too.

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