Resource Library

Are Apps a Game Changer for Camps?
Published Date: 2020-07-01

Running a summer camp is no easy feat. Demands on camp administrators are unrelenting. Attention gets divided among children, staff, budgets, supplies, transportation, and other operational logistics. Factor in parents’ insatiable appetite for photos, videos, and updates (but lack of attention to emails), and you surely know firsthand why camps are struggling to keep everyone in sync.

In fact, an American Camp Association survey identified “parent communication” as one of the top issues facing camps.

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Each year, ACA’s Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence recognizes camps that epitomize the spirit of the award’s namesake through their efforts to provide sterling programming that effectively and innovatively addresses the needs of people and society through the camp experience. We applaud the 2020 recipients. They are all definitive proof of the right camp program’s capacity to equip campers of all abilities and backgrounds with the resiliency and conviction to build better futures for themselves and their communities.

 

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Weak Board vs. Strong Board: Why Care?
Published Date: 2020-07-01
What happens when the purpose, focus, talent, and emotional strength of a board of directors goes haywire? Chaos, confusion, frustration, heartache, and spiraling negativity are just some of the side effects that can accompany this avoidable situation. Most importantly, the agency itself suffers and relationships are stretched to the point where they often irreparably break. This is the story of a weak board versus a strong one. Does this sound familiar? If not, based on working with and for many nonprofits and for-profit camps, chances are it will at some point.
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Challenging Your Comfort Zone
Published Date: 2020-05-03

Making decisions is a part of life. Growing means you have to test your comfort zone. You can do this by empowering yourself with knowledge, desire, and the necessary skills to expand your perceived limits.

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Develop Your Skills at Camp
Published Date: 2020-05-03

I am going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you are not planning on becoming a professional camp counselor. True, some of you will fall in love with camp this summer and may end up changing your major so that camp becomes your career path. And for those of you who grew up going to camp, perhaps you are already on this professional summer camp path. After all, the owner of Camp Robindel, where I work, knew as a 12-year-old camper he wanted to be a camp director, so certainly that is possible.

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A Different Kind of Mentor
Published Date: 2020-05-03

Mentors come in all types, shapes, and sizes. There are loud ones, quiet ones; short ones, tall ones; young ones, old ones.

The common denominator is “one” — as in “Be one!” While there are many things each of us cannot do, there is one thing we must do: mentor our youth.

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2020 Golden Quill and Golden Lens Winners
Published Date: 2020-05-03

2020 Golden Quill Award Winner

Elizabeth Marable and Ariella Randle Rogge

“Where Are Their Adult Pants? Tools, Catchphrases, and Understanding for Choosing Today’s Staff Members” (January/February 2019)

Photo of Elizabeth Rundle-MarablePhoto of Ariella Rogge

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Regardless of the camp where you have chosen to spend your summer, many campers you’ll work with will be “differently wired.” In fact, one in five kids have ADHD, dyslexia, giftedness, autism, anxiety, or some other type of neurodifference. The exceptional kids you’ll lead this summer may have unique challenges that can impact their experience at camp both positively and negatively.

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Light shed on any situation makes it look different. It follows that the tone we set, both internally and externally, casts shadows and highlights different points of view. As a new supervisor, the most important “lights” to shine allow us to know self (to understand our reaction to circumstances), to be able to separate self-worth from the work produced (because work will not always go smoothly), and to foster self-development in the workplace (by reaching out to role models while not mimicking them).

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Influencing Green Behavior at Your Camp
Published Date: 2020-05-01

Two summers ago, I led a staff training workshop with 180 camp staff from Blue Star Camps in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They had recently spent around $30,000 to replace their lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs and fixtures. But while these kinds of upgrades can make a huge impact on reducing energy consumption, camp leaders found that the lights were being left on in unoccupied buildings.

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