Resource Library

The Case of the Melted Fingerprints
Published Date: 2015-05-01

My first time working at summer camp, in fact during my first week, I melted off every one of my fingerprints. I was only 16 at the time, and I remember feeling shocked that this could actually happen. I also remember shamelessly considering what shenanigans I could get away with as a super cool, Justin Bieber-haired, imminently clever teenage boy without fingerprints. (The answer: not much.)

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End-of-Summer Check-Up
Published Date: 2016-06-30

Just as one has an annual check-up with a personal physician, so too would our camps benefit from an end-of-summer review of their health status. Granted, the last two or three weeks of a summer season can be busy, but that busyness is less frantic when one can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. In anticipation of summer’s end, we start enjoying the laid-back moments tucked into those final weeks.

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I have recently had the privilege of working closely with a newly established day camp called Boston Explorers. This urban day camp has a number of features that make it a unique experience for children. Boston Explorers has a small “base camp” that it uses as a launching site for explorations throughout the city — places that many of its younger residents seldom visit in their everyday lives.

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Every child is unique. Every camp is unique. So, unique approaches when responding to the needs of children in camps are essential. Summer camps were started to support children during out-of-school time (Ozier, n. d.) and to offer survival skills for children to thrive in the real world, outside of the immediate relationship of their families. Summer camps are a valuable resource for all children, especially those who have a learning disability and have experienced trauma or situational factors such as homesickness and bullying.

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Following the lead of educators in school communities, recreation professionals across the United States are opening their doors to increasingly diverse participants. There has been a particular focus on the inclusion of participants with disabilities to provide opportunities for these children and youth to attend day and resident camp programs alongside their peers without disabilities (Jaha-Echols, 2017).

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