Resource Library

Will I Be Enough to Make a Difference?
Published Date: 2012-05-01

Last summer I was inundated with questions from counselors who were worried about doing a good job. This theme was repeated over and over in all types of camps in several different states. When I asked staff to tell me more about their concerns, they responded in an unusual way. It was not the typical questions about procedural issues or how to deal with larger complex child development topics that was bothering them; it was a much more direct question. Some staff just wanted to know if they were enough to make a difference. What a magnificent question!

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It started with a camp director’s speech. You know, one of those impassioned, are-you-ready-for-this; get-your-stoke-on; you-can-do-it; don’t-be-scared-but-it’s-OK-to- be-nervous speeches the night before the kids arrived:

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Universal precautions refers to infection control measures that all health care workers and child care providers follow with the goal of protecting themselves and the children in their care from disease-producing microorganisms. The concept requires workers to treat all blood and various other bodily fluids as if infected with HIV, hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens.

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Creating the Exceptional
Published Date: 2017-07-01

The plane climbed steeply, banking left, headed south and east. The early morning hues of brown and beige marked the desert Southwest's approach to the Sandia Mountains, a fault block range on the eastern edge of the Rio Grande Rift.

Beautiful.

But my sense of awe was less about the scenery below than the experience I'd just left behind.

What was it? The 2017 ACA National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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

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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.

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Thirty Feet in the Air
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"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.

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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. . . ."

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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.

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Keeping Staff Training Relevant
Published Date: 2015-03-01

The world of camp is responsible for creating timeless change through temporary communities. It is a chaotic utopia enabling healthy risks and creating lifelong friendships through positive peer pressure. Adults who care about changing lives give up their summers to role model a passion of courage and vulnerability, while intentionally creating safe environments and portals of nondistracted learning for students to engage in life and be loved for who they are. Camp is fun.

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