Resource Library

Take Your Horse to Camp
Published Date: 2007-09-01

Another way to increase usage at camp facilities is to allow people to bring their own horses to camp. Both youth and adults will have this interest and appreciate having a location to camp with their equine friend. Attending camp with a horse can strengthen the understanding and communication between the two and four-legged members of the team. The therapeutic value of horses at camps is well documented. (See the March/April 2004 Camping Magazine article, "Equestrian Programs at Camp—Tradition and Fun.")

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The question is often asked, “So now that we have this research, how can I tell parents about it?” A fair question. Directors and camp administrators require action plans rather than theories and are tight on both time and resources. There is little opportunity to seek out the latest studies and findings, let alone put them into practice. It’s a fact that even with our electronic devices and specific apps, informative and relevant studies still languish in databases little accessed except by graduate students in search of citations.

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The Atypical Camper- Jason's Story
Published Date: 2015-03-01
Whenever a parent called with an interest in our camp for a child diagnosed with Asperger’s, I tried to meet the child to feel confident he could successfully adjust to camp. Jason was referred through a camp referral service. His mom said her 11-year-old was musically precocious and gifted. His dad was a musician with a renowned orchestra, so I assumed Jason’s talents were encouraged or inherited from him.
 
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In the middle of last summer, we received an update from our camp insurance agent about one of the biggest challenges facing camps in 2018 — camper and staff mental health issues. At that point in the season, we already had four teenage campers who had discussed suicidal thoughts with their counselors. We'd been conferring with parents, therapists, and social workers at the local hospital to ensure the campers' safety, and ultimately, we were able to navigate each situation successfully. These incidents, however, highlight an alarming and uncomfortable trend.

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The Role of Youth Involvement
Published Date: 2007-03-01

Building Camps That Care About Kids—Fourth in a Series of Four Articles

“The fact that campers are happy and active does not necessarily mean that the camp is achieving important objectives. Children often have superficial objectives which make them happy. We all want our campers to be happy and reasonably active, but we cannot judge the effectiveness of the camping experience on that alone . . . it is not a complete criterion of success (Richard S. Doty, The Character Dimension of Camping, 1960).”

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"People don't understand. Those three weeks hurt more than any punch in the face could hurt. It took my breath away, and my whole self-confidence." — Will, a camper

Have you ever been bullied — at school, on the playground, at camp? Have you observed others being bullied? Have you ever bullied anyone? Most people have experienced or witnessed bullying some time in their life. Bullying hurts and memories of bullying can often last a lifetime.

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Miguel is trying his best to get 11-year-old Amir to do something he doesn't want to do. As a first-time Leader-in-Training (LIT) at Boston Explorers, Miguel, 16, is finding out firsthand that being a counselor is not as easy as it looks. It turns out that campers don't just jump up every time a counselor asks them to do something. After a side consultation with Ayanna, one of the directors of the teen leadership program, Miguel tries a different approach.

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Team,

This letter is addressed to all camp staff / team members — whether this summer is your first or your twentieth, and whether you have primary responsibility for supervising campers, are an activity specialist, or work in the kitchen.

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For many camps, the benefits of partnering with an existing nonprofit for the purpose of scholarship fundraising far outweigh the extensive challenges of starting their own nonprofit. If your camp is ACA-accredited, you don’t have to look any further than the ACA to fill this role!

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There are times when general camp staff respond to injury-illness events. These staff are not the camp's officially designated healthcare providers, but rather the staff who, by happenstance, are closest when an incident occurs. They must "do something." There are also times when general staff make decisions about seemingly minor injuries and illnesses that campers may show or talk about: a scraped knee, a scratchy throat, a bruise from a fall.

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