Resource Library

What will this industry look like in twenty years? That depends on us. That's right; don't look over your shoulder to see who else is going to step up. As leaders of youth, we know that we shape the future. But how much thought have you put into how you will shape the future of your organization and our industry?

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For many camps, the benefits of partnering with an existing nonprofit for the purpose of scholarship fundraising far outweigh the extensive challenges of starting their own nonprofit. If your camp is ACA-accredited, you don’t have to look any further than the ACA to fill this role!

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Camp can be an ideal setting to help children cope with the death of a loved one. Since 1991, Camp ReLeaf, a weekend camp hosted by Triangle Hospice of Durham, North Carolina, has been helping children develop positive coping skills for dealing with the recent death of a family member. Camp ReLeaf offers all the fun of a traditional residential camp, while creating a safe place for youth to express and deal with their grief. Over the years, therapeutic recreation has become one of the cornerstones of this camp’s program.

The Role of Therapeutic Recreation

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I don't know anyone, within or outside of camp, who isn't looking for ways to improve their cash flow either by cutting costs or growing their income. Operationally, there are lots of places to look for savings, including equipment leases and rentals and service agreements, among others. This is certainly the time to consider slaying the age-old sacred cow of how you've "always done things." People are creatures of habit and are generally reluctant to rock that particular boat since it's worked before.
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Staff play an important role in your camp operation. After all, it is your staff who are in day-to-day contact with campers, facilitating the positive experiences of camp. Therefore, your staff must share your camp’s philosophy and be aware of the values that make your program unique. Collaborating effectively with your summer staff is a critical element in achieving your organization’s goals and objectives.

The Philosophy Behind the Mission

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As summer begins and all those carefully recruited campers begin to arrive, camp professionals often revisit orientation to assess if they've adequately prepared staff to handle various aspects of camp life. Based on what was presented during last February's Healthy Camp Symposium at the 2011 ACA National Conference, there are several strategies that staff can routinely use to support and maintain the health (wellness) of camper groups.

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Your Field of Dreams?
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There is no "great camp" without "great programming." And while there are many great programs that require almost no facility support at all (what do you really need for a campfire sing-along?), the right property improvements can surely enhance campers' experiences. Yet far too often, those supporting facilities — even very fancy and expensive ones — seem mismatched to the programs that they're intended to support. Too large, too small, too sophisticated, and even too remote are all descriptions of fields, buildings, and activity areas that simply do not match the programs that they host.

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What I Learned in the Woods
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I spent the las t four summers of my life hidden behind a mass of trees and rolling hills. Separated from civilization by mere miles, I entered a world that sent my imagination whirling and my sense of reality to a screeching halt. As I woke every morning to the reminder of hundreds of trees waving and undulating over the expanse of nettles and clovers, I somehow had to convince myself that this place really existed. My heart still owns much of those 200 acres, where even the smell of rotting forest only serves to remind me of what it will become.

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A camp director is stumped by negative changes observed in a veteran camper. Juan first came to camp as an energetic and enthusiastic eight-year-old. This year, at age fifteen, he walks away from opening campfire, telling his counselors that his mother made him come to camp. He would have preferred hanging out with his friends and wants to go home. Juan is furious when his cell phone is taken away from him according to camp policy. For the next few days he mopes around camp, disengaged and unenthusiastic.

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The camp experience is a part of America's heritage and culture. Today, 10 million children and youth go to camp annually, yet, the American Camp Association (ACA) only directly impacts 5 million of those experiences. By 2020, ACA wants no fewer than 20 million children attending camp annually with the ACA camp community directly impacting the lives of those 20 million children.

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E.g., 2020-07-10