Resource Library

Dear Bob,

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Camp professionals know that camp is a positive and beneficial experience for everyone. All too often, when speaking of camp and the benefits of camp, the senior community is overlooked. Camp is not just for kids, and its benefits are not dependent on the age of the camper. Organized camp can be vital for seniors, not only because of the emphasis on diversity and acceptance, but also because of the improvement in mind, body, and spirit that occurs.

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When confronted by newspapermen who had reported incorrectly, humorist Mark Twain replied, "Reports of my death have been exaggerated." In much the same way, the recent furor over a new federal requirement concerning lead paint has been blown out of proportion for most camps and their operations. This month, we're going to look at some of the imperatives of that regulation, and extract the important elements for you to use when you face the next renovation or painting project.

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You Are Your Own Story
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With Mark Victor Hansen, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and co creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, tells how and why the stories of our lives can be motivators for change in every area from personal transformation to corporate management and fund development. With warm-hearted wisdom, wit, and creativity, he shares insights in an engaging interview with Camping Magazine, in which his experiences as a visionary thinker link us to the great possibilities of our own human potential.

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Even in today’s globalized world, many camps and youth-serving organizations still value local connections. While embracing technology to keep in touch with camp alumni or reach a broader audience, the leg work of many youth-serving organizations still gets done the “old fashioned” way — on a person-to-person, mentor-to-child basis.

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Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great camp activities are, which special events seem fun, or even what new facilities have been added if each camper does not feel understood and appreciated. Given the vast number of different tasks a counselor must perform each day, it seems almost impossible to establish a meaningful connection with each camper. Even experienced counselors can become overwhelmed with the prospect of completing assigned duties before the end of the day.

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Soon after we assumed the ownership of Camp Mont Shenandoah in 1996, my husband, Jay, and I were interested in establishing a scholarship program for our campers. We were clueless, however, as to how to go about it; especially since we wanted to fundraise to create an endowment in perpetuity. This, we knew, could pose potential problems as owners of a for-profit business.

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Wow. One hundred and fifty years of organized camping! What an amazing milestone! I don't think that it's too much of a stretch that simply having survived one hundred and fifty years is testament to the intrinsic worth of the programs, opportunities, and growth that is the camp experience. What an ideal opportunity, then, for us to look at some of the facilities that have supported the mainstays of camp over that century and a half.

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More camps throughout the world are offering inclusive programs such as the one described below. In 1995, twenty-four of twenty-seven YMCA resident camps in Canada routinely included children with physical or mental disabilities as part of their camper constituency. The number of inclusive programs in United States’ camps is increasing as well.

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Social cruelty, or bullying, has reached the level of “life and death.” With summer 2012 now here, parents are asking questions about how camp counselors and staff are being trained to keep their children safe. Please note that the parental question is clearly focused on direct caregivers — not on camp administration. Since school teachers have essentially been unsuccessful in preventing bullying nationwide, parents and guardians are not prepared to either waste their money or have their child victimized in a day or residential program.

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E.g., 2021-08-05