Resource Library

Is There Anything I Can Do to Help?
Published Date: 2013-07-01

As camp professionals, we hear many stories about the impact of our camps on the lives of our participants. Often, when these alums come back and share a story or two with us from the past, they finish with a wonderful line that we probably have all heard:

“I loved my time at camp, so please let me know if there is anything I can ever do to help.”

When was the last time you followed up that offer with a request? If you never have, the time is now to get the courage and respond immediately with, “Fantastic! Have I got a job for you!”

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Despite my more than forty years in organized camping, I have scant experience in the other kind. In fact, one of my few forays into the world of site camping — accompanied by a long-time camp friend — resulted in a frighteningly hilarious expose of how not to assemble a tent. So much for our combined expertise in the great outdoors. Maybe we should have enrolled in that pioneering mod after all.Then there’s the hiking part.

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#yourcamptoo?
Published Date: 2019-01-01

Sexual abuse. Sexual misconduct. Child pornography. Your camp's nightmare.

These events represent the majority of crises we respond to on behalf of summer camps, schools, and youth-centric organizations.

The onset of the event is usually the same. A victim comes forward, rarely right away, but sometimes. They allege a staff member caused harm. Camp leadership expresses surprise and shock. "We did a background check. It was clean." "We trained our staff on boundaries." "They know they are not allowed to be alone with a camper."

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Camp staff beware and be ready! You may have already been warned about your adolescent campers. Wild mood swings and impulsive behaviors will happen, or if you are lucky, you may simply be ignored. Adolescents do not get a free pass to act this way over and over at camp. Yet, the rest of us do need to take a deep breath and consider that these biological changes are perfectly normal and that we are the ones who must adjust our behavior.

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More camps throughout the world are offering inclusive programs such as the one described below. In 1995, twenty-four of twenty-seven YMCA resident camps in Canada routinely included children with physical or mental disabilities as part of their camper constituency. The number of inclusive programs in United States’ camps is increasing as well.

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Lance Ozier, EdD, Interviewer 
Alphonse Litz, executive director and Ayanna Michel-Lord, associate director, Boston Explorers, Boston, Massachusetts (bostonexplorers.org
Lorilee Chien, LIT and college and career access coordinator, Project Morry, Elmsford, New York (https://projectmorry.org

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I Am. Therefore, I Think
Published Date: 2003-07-01

"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain." "I know," said Pooh humbly.
— from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne

Big Questions

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Scared or Prepared?
Published Date: 2015-01-01

For campers to have a successful experience we must prepare them for the unknown, build their confidence, and give them the tools needed to succeed in our camp's environment. As camps will always have new participants entering at some level, there is a great benefit in implementing a camper preparedness program to ensure campers and staff are prepared to attend as participants and employees.

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To camp professionals, camp enrollment trends serve as an important indicator of the overall health of the industry, and are particularly important in uncertain economic times. Every year, day and resident camps from around the US are invited to complete the American Camp Association (ACA) online enrollment survey in the spring as a "preview" of the coming summer and again in the fall to provide an accurate read on enrollment and staffing trends.
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Generating Your Backup Plan
Published Date: 2018-03-01

Most people recognize that generators come in different “sizes” and understand that bigger “things” require bigger generators. After that, though, eyes glaze when the discussion turns into techno-babble about kilowatts, horsepower, amps, and loads. Unlike many inconsequential topics, however, these things do matter when you’re thinking about backup power for even part of camp. Simply put, the size of the generator should be determined by the amount of power you want it to deliver.

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