Resource Library

Our uncertain economic times serve as a reminder that the business of camp is full of change. When society, environments, and circumstances change, camp directors and owners are challenged to identify how the changes impact the risk in their camp community.
 

Managing Change and Evolving Risk

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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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In my final few weeks of college, I spent a lot of time working on resumes. Or, more specifically, I spent a lot of time working on one resume — over and over again. A resume shouldn’t be too complicated; it’s basically just a short, professional autobiography.

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A Place to Share
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I did not always love camp. I attended lots of summer programs as a child: day, resident, church, and even family camps. Each experience had its highs and its lows, but, all in all, I didn't find any to be particularly wonderful. I complained about the heat, the bugs, the food, the strangers with whom I had to share living spaces, and the activities that were outside what I now know to be my comfort zone. I did not love camp.

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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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In May 1971, the Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs" peaked at number eighteen on the rock and pop charts. For the unfamiliar, it's about excluding others through signs like job descriptions that refer to applicants' appearance or prohibiting trespassing. And while laws have changed with the times, signs still set the tone for the impressions that people build. In this column, we're going to look at how signs to, at, and around camp can improve the experience of your neighbors, visitors, camp families, and staff.

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In the Trenches
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Dear Bob,
 
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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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E.g., 2021-01-26