Resource Library

We have all seen them — gaggles of teens walking together, each one looking at his or her own mobile phone screen; or couples out at dinner, one checking the e-mails on his Blackberry, the other checking posts and tweets on her iPhone. Screens have become ubiquitous in our society. According to a Pew technology study, 78 percent of children ages twelve to seventeen in the United States have a cell phone. They use it as a phone about one-third of the time (Rainie, 2012). Otherwise, they are texting, tweeting, checking their Instagrams, or taking and sending pictures.

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The Evolving Look of Camp
Published Date: 2011-09-01

Award-winning author and architectural historian Abigail Van Slyck researches institutional buildings in order to find out what was on the minds of the people who built them. In her book A Manufactured Wilderness, Van Slyck illuminates the history of children's camp experiences through camps' buildings. Van Slyck spoke with ACA describing how the look of camp has changed through the years, while emphasizing that the nature component of camp life has always been important.

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Trends in camp business operations are altogether interesting and not interesting. Interesting because the business of camp is dynamic and evolving quickly to meet the demands of the 21st century, and not interesting because, by and large, the business of camp boils down to one thing: it depends. The 2018 Camp Business Operations Report included both interesting and not-all-that-interesting findings, mostly due to the fact that camps today are increasingly diverse, representing a wider range than ever before in size and financial scope.

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My Story of Value
Published Date: 2016-03-01

My Story of Value 

In my role I am often asked, “What is the value of being a member of the American Camp Association?”

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By the time Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University, reportedly claimed in 1922, “the organized summer camp is the most important step in education that America has given the world,” camping in America already had a long history of embracing the educational value of the camp experience (Sharman, 1938). Now, almost a century later, the camp experience is once again at the precipice of education reform, standing at the crosssection of experiential learning and institutional schools.

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Learning about a revolutionary and powerful new understanding of the dynamic of caretaking may change the way you train your staff, talk with parents, and think about yourself.

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#DreamTEAM
Published Date: 2014-05-01

What makes a great camp counselor? It’s not what you think.

The 2004 U.S. Olympic basketball team had just as many all-stars as the original Dream Team. They had superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Tim Duncan, and had arguably the best coach in basketball, Larry Brown. So why did they only get the bronze? Why did they have more losses in the 2004 Olympics than in all other Olympics combined?

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The Cool Counselor: For the Right Reasons
Published Date: 2013-05-01

When I first began teaching and working with kids, I began by thinking, “We are all going to get along. I am going to be the best teacher these kids have ever had, and we are going to be friends.” I actually thought so highly of this “we’re all in this together; we’re going to be friends” mentality that I put my teaching desk directly in the center of my classroom. I was surrounded by my twenty-five seventh-grade students, whose desks were all facing me in a giant circle. “We were one” . . . or so I thought.

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I remember the call clearly. It was in September about 10 years ago when my longtime camp friend and colleague, Dave Tager, called about the transition of leadership at the camp he and his wife, Shelley, had run for almost 25 years. Over the course of that time, Dave and Shelley had built their coed resident camp, now called Camp IHC, into a successful and highly reputable camp. After 25 years of being ultimately responsible for thousands of other people's children, Dave was ready to turn the reigns over to a talented young couple. As Dave said to me, "I love camp!

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Sex is a topic that elicits such strong emotions in people that it often becomes difficult to have a clear, calm, rational conversation about it. When that conversation concerns the sexual behavior of children and teens, things get even more emotional. Lynn Ponton, a well-known adolescent psychiatrist in San Francisco who wrote the popular book The Romance of Risk (Basic Books, 1997) on adolescent risk-taking behavior, once told me how she unwittingly stepped into a maelstrom of controversy and criticism when she followed her best seller with another book titled The Sex Lives of Teenagers.

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