Resource Library

How to Speak So Others Listen
Published Date: 2014-01-01

When you speak, do people listen? More importantly, do they remember what you’ve said? Or, do you feel others simply tolerate or ignore you? If you’ve found yourself repeating messages or fighting to keep someone’s attention, you’re not alone! Your message has to cut through a lot of noise in today’s society, and the competition is brutal. You’re up against stress, technology, multitasking, and information overload. While it’s a challenge to be heard over the roar, it’s not impossible.

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Camps Help Make Children Resilient
Published Date: 2012-09-01

When Jacob arrived at his city’s day camp for his third season, the camp director was determined to avoid the problems Jacob was experiencing at school. Now eleven years old, Jacob had grown into a heavy child who spoke in a squeaky pre-pubescent voice. He had been tormented by bullies who thought him effeminate. The other boys in his group occasionally did the same, at least until staff intervened. Jacob’s parents weren’t his best allies either. A business woman and a university economics professor, neither seemed to have very much time for their son.

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Inspiring Healthy Staff Culture at Camp
Published Date: 2019-03-01

I’m ardently proud of the high-quality camp staff experiences that professional camp directors strive to offer young adults each season. Full of career-enhancing and life-benefitting skills, a summer spent working at camp is chock-full of core social and emotional learning.

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Camps and Classrooms
Published Date: 2009-11-01

Rustling footsteps blend with plumes of voices rising to the open sky where stars twinkle like city lights in distant worlds. And not far from the peaceful glow of fireflies and flashlights, summer's dreams take flight inside young heads laid to rest in tents and teepee, fields and forest.

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Starfish Values Program
Published Date: 2002-09-01

Moral education — the training of heart and mind toward the good — involves many things. It involves rules and precepts - the do's and don'ts of life with others - as well as explicit instructions, exhortations, and training. If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance.
— William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues

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At the close of every season at a ceremony inside a large celebratory white tent, each counselor makes his or her way to the microphone to address an enthusiastic, if somewhat sad, throng of boys and girls holding tight to the waning hours of their summer at camp. What many of these staff members have only recently recognized, perhaps while voting on the award they are about to present or hastily jotting down some things to say about its recipient, are the special relationships they have forged with the youth they served.

But the kids knew it all along.

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Mini Camp . . . A Taste of Sleep-Away Camp
Published Date: 2013-07-01

In the early 2000s, at one of ACA’s national conferences, Bonnie and Sam Dawson were discussing with several other camp directors ways of improving programs and increasing enrollment at Camp Alleghany, a residential tent camp for girls located in Lewisburg, West Virginia. One idea being considered was adding a “Mini Camp” — a one-week session to introduce younger children to sleep-away camp.

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“Can I have another bowl of cereal?”

The shy boy was one that regularly asked for seconds at breakfast, and I suspected he didn’t eat dinner regularly at his house. He was a camper at my small YMCA day camp in Northeast Georgia. We struggle financially, as do our campers’ parents, and the fees we charge only cover staffing and program costs.

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Did you know that two out of every three adults have experienced at least one adverse childhood event (ACE) by the time they reach 18 years of age? In addition, one in eight adults reports experiencing four or more ACEs by age 18 (CDC, 2018). What are ACEs? They include experiencing emotional, sexual, and/or physical abuse; chronically feeling unloved or unwanted; the divorce or separation of one’s care-givers; and living with substance abuse or other mental health issues in the home.

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The recent "Senior Salute" revelations that engulfed the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, offer a cautionary tale to educational institutions unable or unwilling to directly address campus cultures that propel, or at least tolerate, bad behavior (Bidgood, 2015a). And those likely include summer camps.

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