Resource Library

A Different Kind of Mentor
Published Date: 2020-05-03

Mentors come in all types, shapes, and sizes. There are loud ones, quiet ones; short ones, tall ones; young ones, old ones.

The common denominator is “one” — as in “Be one!” While there are many things each of us cannot do, there is one thing we must do: mentor our youth.

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2020 Golden Quill and Golden Lens Winners
Published Date: 2020-05-03

2020 Golden Quill Award Winner

Elizabeth Marable and Ariella Randle Rogge

“Where Are Their Adult Pants? Tools, Catchphrases, and Understanding for Choosing Today’s Staff Members” (January/February 2019)

Photo of Elizabeth Rundle-MarablePhoto of Ariella Rogge

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Regardless of the camp where you have chosen to spend your summer, many campers you’ll work with will be “differently wired.” In fact, one in five kids have ADHD, dyslexia, giftedness, autism, anxiety, or some other type of neurodifference. The exceptional kids you’ll lead this summer may have unique challenges that can impact their experience at camp both positively and negatively.

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Be a Kind Leader
Published Date: 2020-05-01

I am 16. My peers and I have always relied on kindness and support from one another. Despite the political polarization and toxic narratives that can drive society today, kindness isn't just a buzzword. It isn't limited to kindergarteners on a playground, or even first-year campers. Kindness is a positive-sum way to live in any field of work or study, but especially in the camp world, where it allows individuals to listen to each other's truth, learn from each other's experiences, and lift each other up.

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You may be reading this before you arrive at camp or within the first few days of making your way to your (new) summer home. Regardless, at this moment you are most likely not thinking about a few weeks, months, or even years from now in terms of your camp path. Your focus is probably on getting adjusted and learning as much about your camp role as possible, so you feel equipped to provide the best possible experience for the campers in your care.

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Light shed on any situation makes it look different. It follows that the tone we set, both internally and externally, casts shadows and highlights different points of view. As a new supervisor, the most important “lights” to shine allow us to know self (to understand our reaction to circumstances), to be able to separate self-worth from the work produced (because work will not always go smoothly), and to foster self-development in the workplace (by reaching out to role models while not mimicking them).

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Influencing Green Behavior at Your Camp
Published Date: 2020-05-01

Two summers ago, I led a staff training workshop with 180 camp staff from Blue Star Camps in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They had recently spent around $30,000 to replace their lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs and fixtures. But while these kinds of upgrades can make a huge impact on reducing energy consumption, camp leaders found that the lights were being left on in unoccupied buildings.

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Mariana and Jessica are exasperated with one another. Mariana thinks the girls they share responsibility for as co-counselors are way too noisy and messy. She is always the one who gets these rambunctious fifth graders to quiet down or finish their cabin cleanup chores. Because she is typically the counselor who speaks up first, the girls have begun to favor Jessica, whom they see as "nicer." Jessica, who went to camp here as a camper, thinks that Mariana is too strict.

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As former camp directors, we've both had experiences where we pushed ourselves to the point where we weren't safe. Imagine this scenario:

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Energy & Enthusiasm: Find Your Sweet Spot
Published Date: 2020-05-01

As you can probably imagine and were most likely told in your interview, working at camp requires a lot of energy and enthusiasm. This is 110 percent true. Camp is, without a doubt, a place where these two attributes can be found at very high levels. You may be wondering just how much of them are needed on an individual or daily basis. Chances are, you will hear on multiple occasions throughout the summer from camp leadership that staff are lacking energy and enthusiasm. But high levels of both are neither realistic nor sustainable (or desirable) all the time.

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