Resource Library

Dear Camp Counselor:

This summer you will join, figuratively, with more than 320,000 staff working at some 2,400 accredited camps serving more than 7.4 million children nationwide (ACA, 2013). And, suffice it to say, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Why? Because you will greatly influence young lives. And, in my opinion, there’s no greater gift than that.

Read More
Dreams for Our Children
Published Date: 2016-05-01

Every parent dreams for their child.

In the training of camp staff over the years, one of the most challenging assignments that we have as directors is to share with our staff what it is like to be a parent. While it can never truly be taught until it is experienced, the goal is always to make sure staff are aware of the importance of the role they have undertaken.

Read More

The power grid has gone down.
Forest fire is threatening the camp property.
The water supply is contaminated.
There's been an industrial spill, and camp must be evacuated.
Critical computer systems have been hacked into.

These crises — all stemming from sources outside camp — are getting more attention from camp professionals. We used to focus most on incidents that were camp-bound, incidents such as a lost camper, a waterfront emergency, or a building fire. But in today's world, we must also attend to events arising from the external community.

Read More

In the next five years, two out of every five new US campers five to 17 years old will be Hispanic. Because of their immigrant heritage and historical camper diversity challenges, many of them and their families will not be familiar with the summer camp experience.

Read More

In the dedication of my book, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, I wrote, "Summer is like childhood. It passes too fast. But if you're lucky, it gives you warm memories from which you take strength in the cold days ahead. As camp professionals, we all want children to feel loved, to be happy now, and to grow into responsible, caring, content adults in their own right. But that isn't always as easy as we'd hope.

Read More

As camp professionals become more effective risk managers, the need to periodically review camper and staff injury and illness events is a given. One of the best sources of this information is a health center’s log. Knowing why people seek healthcare not only provides an indicator about the effectiveness of risk management strategies, but can also inform incoming nurses about anticipated camper and staff needs, help determine if medical protocols cover anticipated injuries and illnesses, and inform decisions about what supplies are needed in the health center.

Read More
The Healthy Camp Study has been completed. As a result, the camp community now has an initial understanding of camp injury/illness events founded on evidence. This understanding is already making an important difference in the quest to make camp an even healthier experience. The good news is that, based on data, camp is as safe as or safer than many other youth activities (see Table 1). Attention to risk management, thorough staff training coupled with effective supervision, and rigorous incident analysis all contribute to improving a given camp's risk profile.
Read More
Preparing for Happiness in Career and Life
Published Date: 2018-09-01

Some of the best times of my life have been my carefree summers swimming, exploring, sharing, and making friends as a child at camp. But many of my life’s greatest lessons were learned over six summers working on camp staff. As a newly minted staff member recently graduated from high school, I strived to become part of the model community I found in our camp’s staff culture. Selflessness, servant leadership, and teamwork were encouraged and celebrated. I learned the more you gave of yourself to camp, the more you received in return.

Read More

What an opportunity! Camps began in the late 1800s as a way to connect kids with nature. The first camps introduced boys to hiking, fishing, and adventure in the wilderness. Over the years "camp" has changed. Camps today include a wide variety of experiences like sports, education, and recreational skill development in both day and resident settings. They may offer fun and creative programs, but "camp" has strayed far from its roots. The outdoor environment that once inspired the camp movement slipped from our sight as we focused on developing new programs.

Read More

Picture the scene: A camp director makes a job offer to a counselor and receives a response of outrage that he has not been offered the job he wanted and, additionally, was not placed with his friends. The applicant has spent the previous eight summers as a camper and has now graduated through the system with certain expectations about what he prefers his job to be. Such is the epitome of the struggle in hiring former campers as staff members for the first time.

Read More

Pages

E.g., 2019-09-23
E.g., 2019-09-23