Resource Library

Building a Community: One Rock at a Time
Published Date: 2010-07-01

Imagine taking a prospective family on a tour of your wholesome, backto- nature camp. You lead them down a dirt path, over a log bridge, and along the lake's edge on a route that also includes a visit to a pink- and red-striped candy shop, a purple pizza joint, an ice cream parlor shaped like an ice cream cone, and a spherical video store . . . all on your camp grounds. Wholesome? Back-to-nature? Is that an airstrip over there? Such is the tour route when an inventive and inexpensive program activity is a hit with campers, staff, and visitors.

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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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Camp Songs — History and Traditions
Published Date: 2010-07-01

Harriet Lowe, editor of Camping Magazine, and Rita Yerkes, historical series editor, were kind enough to invite me to write about the history and traditions of camp songs. However, you should know I failed history class in grades ten and eleven and I can't read a note of music. Besides, I have only been around for eighty-four of the one hundred years of the American Camp Association's existence!

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From the very beginning, the camp experience has been unique — teaching lessons and creating community in a way that reaches almost everyone, and touches a camper's soul. Camp memories last a lifetime, and often grow stronger with time.

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The time has come to get rid of the desks in neat rows, get creative, look outside the box, and bring the camp experience to the classroom. Kids need the chance to develop life skills, develop strong character, and create their own knowledge through authentic learning experiences that allow them to be creative problem-solvers all year round — not just for a week in the summer. The education system in the United States is failing to meet these needs in today's students. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan referred to low achieving schools as "dropout factories." The U.S.

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In my work as a camp counselor and director, real "self esteem" has always been at the heart of most issues that arise. My point is that issues that arise in life, relationships, work, and even play are, at their very center, a reflection of how we see ourselves. Now, this is not a new thought. It is, however, a most important tool that may be used to measure the depth of most problems that arise in our lives, and certainly in our lives as part of a camp community.

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Not Just Another Summer!
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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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From Peg - July 2010
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In today's world, relevance and added value are important to everyone. Being essential in a world that often must eliminate discretionary expenses is of paramount importance. And, the ability to articulate worth is equally imperative.

Over the last three years, the American Camp Association® (ACA) has focused on five outcomes for children and youth as they relate to our mission to enrich the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience.

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What's stopping your camp from improving its existing programs or introducing new ones? At the same time, what's standing between your organization and "going green?" Each to its own extent, cost, culture, and commitment drive the decisions that shape camp whether you're considering programs, facilities, administration, or being greener. This month we're going to see that camps can tackle green initiatives the very same way that they've overcome program obstacles for years and years and years.

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No Superheroes Need Apply

Does criminal behavior increase during difficult economic times? Some superheroes might say yes and some experts and researchers would agree.

What implications does this have for camps, both for-profit and nonprofit, and small businesses in general? Does this mean camp directors should be more vigilant during bad economic times? Is it time to post a job opening online for a superhero? No, wait! Look up in the sky! Here comes "Risk Management" to save the day!

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