Resource Library

Staff sign a contract, then inform you the week before camp begins that they won’t be coming after all. Or staff commit to working the entire season only to tell (not ask!) you they are leaving for six days to attend a family reunion. Does this sound painfully familiar? Unfortunately, in today’s world, signing on the dotted line for this generation of camp staff often means only a temporary commitment until something better comes along.

Read More

What an opportunity! Camps began in the late 1800s as a way to connect kids with nature. The first camps introduced boys to hiking, fishing, and adventure in the wilderness. Over the years "camp" has changed. Camps today include a wide variety of experiences like sports, education, and recreational skill development in both day and resident settings. They may offer fun and creative programs, but "camp" has strayed far from its roots. The outdoor environment that once inspired the camp movement slipped from our sight as we focused on developing new programs.

Read More

Picture the scene: A camp director makes a job offer to a counselor and receives a response of outrage that he has not been offered the job he wanted and, additionally, was not placed with his friends. The applicant has spent the previous eight summers as a camper and has now graduated through the system with certain expectations about what he prefers his job to be. Such is the epitome of the struggle in hiring former campers as staff members for the first time.

Read More
Camp People
Published Date: 2016-07-01

I think on a Facebook post someone asked:

“How do YOU define ‘camp people’? We use that term all the time, and one of my parents asked me. I know what I mean, but how do the rest of you define a camp person?

So here is MY definition of camp people. It is not a short definition, but it is what I think of when someone says “camp people,” and it is why I think we need them so much.

Read More

Employers are “observing a lack of critical soft skills such as communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking” in today’s youth (Pace, 2012). Really? Schools are more rigorous than ever. What is missing? What has changed over the generations?

Read More
Camp as Vital Engagement
Published Date:

More and more children are trading true engagement for electronic connection. What are the costs and how does camp counter this trend?

Read More

Whether you are a first-time counselor or veteran staff member at a summer camp, it can be difficult to nail down the step-by-step process of how to grow professionally within the field. You may be all the way at the top as director, but if you are not open-minded about constant growth, are you really living your life to the fullest? Offered here are a director’s and a counselor’s perspective on how to be a competitive and competent individual, no matter what your position in the camp field.

Read More
Thirty Feet in the Air
Published Date:

"Amanda, I know you can do this." The counselor Ashley held out both hands to the girl in front of me on the ropes course, looking her directly in the eye. It was good that Ashley had so much faith in her, but I was coming to the opinion that, in fact, Amanda could not do this. We were thirty feet from the ground and I, still tight in my harness, had long since sat down on the wooden platform between elements. Despite the wait, I wasn't particularly impatient to get down from the sky.

Read More
AEDs at Camp: Yes or No?
Published Date: 2006-01-01

A colleague recently asked whether her camp should have an AED (automated external defibrillator) on site. Just three or four years ago, I would have responded to that question with a resounding "No." My opinion has changed. "Maybe. . . ."

Read More

I remember when it occurred to me that working as a camp counselor was more than just having fun with campers. I was a first-year counselor at a boys' resident sailing camp on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. One of the boys in my cabin had the unfortunate luck of being both impulsive and having a temper. I say "unfortunate" because whenever "TJ" got into trouble—and because of his impulsivity that was much of the time—he had a temper outburst. Certainly TJ, I, and the other boys were having a lot of fun learning new skills in sailing and other activity areas.

Read More

Pages

E.g., 2019-12-05
E.g., 2019-12-05