Resource Library

Most people can handle — or tolerate — a certain degree of risk. The edginess provided by risk adds verve to being human, and often gives us that gentle kick in the seat of our pants needed to prod us along in life. Risk tolerance, however, exists on a continuum. There are times when a person is more comfortable with risk than at other times. In addition, risk tolerance varies from person to person. Some thrive on the thrill associated with it, while others may be paralyzed.

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Chill Out!
Published Date: 2017-01-01

Dear Bob,

I have heard you talk about creating a space for campers who may need a time-out at camp because of their behavior. Can you expand on this idea? How do we set up such a space, what might we equip it with, how do we present it to campers, how do we explain it to parents, and how do we get staff to use it appropriately rather than as a "dumping ground?"

Need Relief!

Dear Relief,

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Galileo Galilei did not go blind looking at the sun through his telescope, despite the urban legend promulgated by manufacturers of sun filters and even NASA. Instead, his blindness in his early seventies was caused by cataracts and glaucoma (Mulder, 1922). Sitting close to the television for prolonged periods of time also does no harm, despite what your parents may have told you. Television may have some deleterious effects, but none of them is ocular.

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For most camp professionals, imagining a camp without trees would be hard to fathom. Especially since for the past century, you and other American Camp Association® (ACA) camp professionals have worked to preserve the camp experience for both children and adults. Unfortunately, there is an insect that threatens the camp experience for all of us.

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Forget camp as you know it, because the world is changing faster than camp professionals are holding their ground. Forget camp’s unique combination of community living away from home in a beautiful natural setting with a recreational premise. Forget its proven power to accelerate youth development. This 160-year-old concept has a bleak future if current trends continue unchecked. In the coming decades, I predict these seven revolutions.

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Staff and Food Accountability
Published Date: 2015-07-01

No camp is immune to sneaky food raids. Over the years many camp directors have reported food incidents involving bears, strangers break-ing into kitchens, and, most often, camp staff. Tales of food raids are often legendary among staff, and they provide fodder for staff campfire stories and unspoken challenges that crop up each summer. Making the call about how to approach each food service-related issue falls to the camp director.

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Courage, Not Comfort! Part II
Published Date: 2018-01-01

I am back with Part 2 of our conversation about fund-raising — although I am sure some of you were hoping I would forget! Not a chance. Now we get to the fun part, the rewarding part, and, of course, the part where you will need to remember the joy of facing your fears. I am thinking again of that nervous camper shivering at the end of the diving board, wanting so much to be brave enough to make her first jump into the chilly lake. You are standing next to her and encouraging her, because you know how great she will feel after she takes this scary step.

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As the August sun sets, camps all over the country have just concluded another summer season. Campers have returned home, recounting stories of adventures shared and talking with their friends and parents about returning next summer to that special place, "CAMP."

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Developing a Business Plan for Your Camp
Published Date: 2015-03-01

Whether you are just starting a camp, looking for new investors in your operation, or looking for a loan to improve facilities at an existing camp, a well-thought-out business plan can be an extremely helpful tool. At a recent national conference of the American Camp Association®, several new camp owners and directors representing both for-profit and nonprofit, day and resident, private and agency-affiliated camps, participated in a panel discussion on challenges they had faced in starting their programs in the last five years.

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Campers and staff have equal opportunity to be injured at camp because they spend their days, (and in resident camps, their nights) engaged in the same activities of camp life. Since they are exposed to the same risks, they experience similar patterns of injury. The exceptions of course are kitchen and maintenance staff members, who are engaged in other risky activities.

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