Resource Library

Consider these scenarios:

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This may seem like an unusual subject for an article on camp counseling, but as you read on, I think you'll find it actually is a most relevant topic. Consider this: Anyone can perform well when things are going his or her way and circumstances make it easy. It is a rare person, though, who can continue to perform at his or her best, even when things aren't going their way.

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How many of these sentences have you heard from inexperienced leadership staff?

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An Inside Joke Worth Having
Published Date: 2014-05-01

There are many different kinds of relationships you will have in your life.

The relationship you will have with your campers this summer, though, will be among the most unique, powerful, and fragile ones you will likely ever have. With just a few properly timed words, you can become a child’s favorite person in the world. In even fewer ones, you can destroy that forever.

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Plan Now for New Food Activity Programming
Published Date: 2015-09-01

Before the last campfire at summer camp 2015 fades from your memory, focus some energy on developing new camp activities that involve the food service operation. Food activities can range from campers making and mixing their own trail mix before leaving on a hike to offering an entire week of camp for those who want to focus on the culinary arts.

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For generations, the family was known throughout the area as masters of making the most amazing fudge. Taking days to prepare, fudge making was an event — and those lucky enough to receive some would savor it as long as they could. The fudge recipe was a heavily guarded family secret, traditionally passed down to just one relative in the next generation. The grandmother had been the last maker. When it was time to pass the torch, she brought the next family member in line to her kitchen for instruction and ceremoniously gave them the recipe.

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Building Principles: Magic From the Tap
Published Date: 2010-05-01

Most children are fascinated by magicians. I remember being certain that a magic wand, would indeed, produce whatever I wanted. As you get older though, you come to realize that behind the "magic" is much preparation and careful planning to create an illusion of something out of nothing. It's funny, but though most adults recognize the "tricks" behind a stage magic show, they still regard safe, potable water as magic. You know, turn the faucet and Shazam! Water springs forth! But you know differently.

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On Becoming a Mentor
Published Date: 2017-05-01

Back in the early ’70s, my favorite counselor’s name was Billy, but everyone called him “Banjo Billy” because he was an accomplished singer/songwriter. He was caring, funny, adventurous, fair, and inspiring. For my 10- and 11-year-old cabinmates and me, he could do little wrong — he was a paragon of a nonparent, adult mentor. Billy taught us how to get along, love one another, and be respectful of everyone in our camp community in spite of our differences. Today he is Bill, a former rabbi and a distinguished attorney who attended Yale and then Harvard Law School.

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During the summer, I have many opportunities to see and discuss camper behavior at the several camps I visit during the season. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly even some well-educated, experienced adult leaders resort to tactics that involve shaming children or threatening to take things away from them as methods of managing their behavior. I believe children sometimes need firm guidance. I also believe that guidance can be offered respectfully, without shame or threats. I offer two examples from this past summer.

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