Resource Library

Sesame: The Fastest Growing Allergy Threat
Published Date: 2020-05-01

Fifteen-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and her father were flying from London to France on a British Airways jet in July of 2016. Natasha was eating a baguette purchased before boarding from the Pret a Manger bakery at London’s Heathrow airport, when she suddenly had difficulty breathing. Her father quickly injected her with two EpiPens, but Natasha succumbed to anaphylaxis, tragically dying in flight. Natasha’s cause of death: sesame seeds. These food allergens were not listed on the baguette packaging ingredient list (Doward, 2018).

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A Place to Grow
Published Date: 2020-05-01

The Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC), a 264-acre camp in northwestern New Jersey, suggests on T-shirts, water bottles, and its website that it is "A Place to Grow." This, despite being a concise summary of what is truly a multidimensional campus devoted to experiential education, didn't resonate with me while I sat in my dorm common room scrolling through what felt like thousands of listings for summer internships. "A Place to Grow" wasn't as important at the time as potential salary, living conditions, better-than-average food, and duration of work. 

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Be a Kind Leader
Published Date: 2020-05-01

I am 16. My peers and I have always relied on kindness and support from one another. Despite the political polarization and toxic narratives that can drive society today, kindness isn't just a buzzword. It isn't limited to kindergarteners on a playground, or even first-year campers. Kindness is a positive-sum way to live in any field of work or study, but especially in the camp world, where it allows individuals to listen to each other's truth, learn from each other's experiences, and lift each other up.

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You may be reading this before you arrive at camp or within the first few days of making your way to your (new) summer home. Regardless, at this moment you are most likely not thinking about a few weeks, months, or even years from now in terms of your camp path. Your focus is probably on getting adjusted and learning as much about your camp role as possible, so you feel equipped to provide the best possible experience for the campers in your care.

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Light shed on any situation makes it look different. It follows that the tone we set, both internally and externally, casts shadows and highlights different points of view. As a new supervisor, the most important “lights” to shine allow us to know self (to understand our reaction to circumstances), to be able to separate self-worth from the work produced (because work will not always go smoothly), and to foster self-development in the workplace (by reaching out to role models while not mimicking them).

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Influencing Green Behavior at Your Camp
Published Date: 2020-05-01

Two summers ago, I led a staff training workshop with 180 camp staff from Blue Star Camps in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They had recently spent around $30,000 to replace their lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs and fixtures. But while these kinds of upgrades can make a huge impact on reducing energy consumption, camp leaders found that the lights were being left on in unoccupied buildings.

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Mariana and Jessica are exasperated with one another. Mariana thinks the girls they share responsibility for as co-counselors are way too noisy and messy. She is always the one who gets these rambunctious fifth graders to quiet down or finish their cabin cleanup chores. Because she is typically the counselor who speaks up first, the girls have begun to favor Jessica, whom they see as "nicer." Jessica, who went to camp here as a camper, thinks that Mariana is too strict.

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What Five Service Trips to the Dominican Republic Have Taught Me About CIT Training Back Home

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You've probably read those statistics about the number of people who buy gym memberships in January and then never work out. Maybe that's totally you. The stakes for physical fitness are high — we all want to live longer, healthier lives — but the motivation to act, more often than not, simply falls flat.

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The camp community knows as well as anyone that kind kids can change the world. With Camp Kindness Day coming up in July, we recently reached out to Laura Kikuchi, program director at Riley's Way Foundation, an organization focused on empowering youth to elicit positive change through kind leadership, and some amazing kids who have taken part in the foundation's Call for Kindness, a nationwide movement of youth-led, kindness-centered projects that build stronger communities.

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