Resource Library

Morning flag raising ceremonies have been camp routine staples probably as long as there have been camps. It seems, though, that there is much confusion over how to properly display and care for the flag and its attendant components. This month, we’re going to look at some history and traditions, some relevant laws and customs, and some of the details that can help make sure that your flag flies well all the time.

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People in medical professions call it a “post mortem” — an unfortunate term that literally means “after death.” People in human services and professional development call it “debriefing,” while the rest of us call it “learning from our past.” Whatever you call it, there can be great value in reflecting on the summer and thinking about how what you have just experienced might inform your work with parents, staff, and campers in the coming year.

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Doing good work with and for youth has been a hallmark of the camp experience since its inception. Very quickly, there was recognition that the place and space of camp was also "good" for the staff leading and supporting the experience. As we celebrate the past and look toward the future, it is important to reflect on the educational partners and integral influences on the camp profession. This article reminds us of some forerunners in recreation and outdoor education, showcases reciprocal connections, and explores ways to raise the bar in future educational offerings.
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Rain doesn't have to be an unwelcome guest at your camp. It can be an inspiration for camp activities. Rainy days offer an opportunity to teach campers more about weather and for them to see firsthand how rain affects plants, animals, and the environment.

Though you may be undaunted, you should not be oblivious to the weather conditions. Staff training should include sessions on recognizing storm conditions, reviewing emergency plans, and planning all-camp program alternatives. Remember never to go outdoors during a severe thunderstorm or when there is lightning.

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As you consider the future of your camp, it’s easy to focus on the external factors that are likely to affect its operation, the demographic influences that shape your markets, the impact of technology on your operations and programming, and on the challenges of an increasingly diverse clientele. Certainly all of the factors identified by your futuring exercises are worth considering. However, the most significant variable that will shape the twenty-first century is the human response to these factors. In other words, the future is you.

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Christine Carter, PhD, will be giving a keynote address at the 2012 ACA National Conference. Carter is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. In an interview with Camping Magazine, Carter explains why happiness is integral to success and how we can promote positive emotions in campers.

The basic premise of Raising Happiness is that happiness is a skill we can teach kids. Why is happiness so important?

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Not Just Another Summer!
Published Date:

As you are working at camp, here are three thoughts to help you make sure you are getting the most out of your experience as a camp counselor.

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Since the outbreak of H1N1 during the summer of 2009, camps have been diligently updating their health and safety protocols and practices for the management of communicable diseases. By accessing and integrating information from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Camp Association® (ACA), the Association of Camp Nurses, and other related resources, camps are improving their health practices by incorporating new knowledge into their day-to-day health center operations.

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I once worked with cat. Not a “meow” cat, although that’s how she identified herself to me. She was a thirteen-year-old girl who insisted she was a cat. You can imagine how hard it was for her at summer camp, in a cabin full of very typical thirteen-year-old girls, being anything but typical (meow). As I worked through the various expressions of her cat-ness — complaints about the food, the bathroom, the waterfront, the lack of a scratching pole, etc. — it became pretty clear that she felt different and she didn’t know how to express it in any other way. So she was a cat.

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Most people can handle — or tolerate — a certain degree of risk. The edginess provided by risk adds verve to being human, and often gives us that gentle kick in the seat of our pants needed to prod us along in life. Risk tolerance, however, exists on a continuum. There are times when a person is more comfortable with risk than at other times. In addition, risk tolerance varies from person to person. Some thrive on the thrill associated with it, while others may be paralyzed.

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E.g., 2020-07-11