Resource Library

By their very nature, camp people are an extremely independent and self-sufficient lot. The most successful among them approach every adversity as a challenge and an opportunity to grow.

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Crisis Management
Published Date: 2017-01-01

Merriam Webster dictionary defines a crisis as "an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome <a financial crisis>".

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First of all, thank you for working at camp — it makes a world of difference. If you’re reading this article you already know that, but not all hiring managers do.

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Humans are social creatures by nature, driven by a need to belong. Camps are social institutions by definition. As camp professionals, it is critical that we take time to understand the intricacies of the human need to belong because it is a key component to summer camp success. From anecdotal evidence, we know too well that creating a sense of belonging at our camps is critical. We strive to ensure that everyone fits in and makes friends. Our industry’s recent focus on bullying shows how attuned we are to the problems of social rejection, especially in prolonged or very extreme cases.

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While the benefits of camp are relevant to every child, not every child gets to experience them. Whether it is because of a lack of funding, opportunity, or precedent, children from some communities do not traditionally attend camp. But in order for 20 million children to experience camp by the year 2020, leaders in the camping industry must reach out to these communities.

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In examining the etiology behind the widely diagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), one school of thought, championed by Thom Hartmann, author of the Complete Guide to ADHD, speaks to the concept of “hunters and farmers in modern society.” This approach describes ADHDers as “leftover hunters,” positing that, from an evolutionary perspective, people were either hunters (heads on a swivel, looking for prey and seeking to not become prey) or farmers (methodically planting seeds and plowing fields).

And then there’s the present.

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Two years ago Carlos Vega was a shy, middle-school student.

The summer after eighth grade he received a scholarship to attend a month-long session of camp from Blue Star Camps in Hendersonville, North Carolina. While attending the camp, he met young people from all across the country and many who live in different parts of the world. In his cabin alone, there were boys from Israel, France, California, and Florida.

He says this camp experience at Blue Star changed him.

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Getting Social With It
Published Date: 2015-03-01
It is said, even among the youngest of audiences, that if you are not on social media you don’t exist. Think about it: You may have already researched my credentials on LinkedIn® or checked to see if I have a Twitter®, Google+® or Facebook® account. While I am a social creature by nature, I teach my students that it is not about how many media outlets you have, personally or professionally. It’s about two things: Are your social media goals attainable and can you keep up with all your social outlets and foster successful engagement with your audience?
 
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People in medical professions call it a “post mortem” — an unfortunate term that literally means “after death.” People in human services and professional development call it “debriefing,” while the rest of us call it “learning from our past.” Whatever you call it, there can be great value in reflecting on the summer and thinking about how what you have just experienced might inform your work with parents, staff, and campers in the coming year.

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The illiterate of the 21st century are not those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. — Alvin Toffler (1991)

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