Resource Library

What can we do to get more campers? How is our camp perceived by youth, parents, and staff? What do we need to do to stay competitive with other camps?

Camp administrators around the country are exam¬ining their facilities and asking themselves questions like these. The resulting list of items that need to be addressed can prove daunting and even overwhelming! Sometimes, this kind of self-analysis will point to the need for major capital improvements, under the notion: “If we build it, they will come.” But this idea can often be misguided.

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Not Just Another Summer!
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As you are working at camp, here are three thoughts to help you make sure you are getting the most out of your experience as a camp counselor.

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In today's tough, competitive environment, it seems the only thing a camp director can be certain of is uncertainty. Everywhere around us, change is occurring — changes that have forced many camp professionals to rethink the way we look at our business in an effort to ensure our own camps remain a viable and relevant experience for children in the year 2020 and beyond.

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The Invisible Link
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Summer camp was initially established as a “back to nature” retreat for the children of wealthy New Englanders. It was a respite from the degradation of urban life. Over the years, with the help of myriad religious, educational, and social professionals, summer camps evolved into the blueprint for modern childhood. It became an evolving articulation of what our society deemed most beneficial for the growth and well-being of our children; a place where the values of self-reliance, respect, personal responsibility, fun, and camaraderie are instilled.

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By their very nature, camp people are an extremely independent and self-sufficient lot. The most successful among them approach every adversity as a challenge and an opportunity to grow.

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While the benefits of camp are relevant to every child, not every child gets to experience them. Whether it is because of a lack of funding, opportunity, or precedent, children from some communities do not traditionally attend camp. But in order for 20 million children to experience camp by the year 2020, leaders in the camping industry must reach out to these communities.

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From Peg - May 2010
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At this time of year, the "Letter from Peg" is directed to camp staff and counselors as you prepare to enter the summer season. This year is no different.

During camp training and orientation, you will receive a great deal of content knowledge. This information will be very important to ensure you have a productive summer. But to be successful, it takes more than content knowledge. This is true of everything in our world today. We all need twenty-first century skills to be successful. John Dewey, a twentieth century educator said, "knowledge is no longer an immobile solid."

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The story of the summer camp called Green River Preserve and its conservation easement actually starts with my father’s service in WWII. Dad fought in the infantry in both Africa and Europe. He was shot at so often, he decided that if he survived the war, he would buy land in the Blue Ridge Mountains where he could fly fish in peace and quiet. It was a good idea, and my family still believes there is nothing more beautiful or peaceful than fly fishing for trout. At camp we call it “aquatic theology.” Dad’s idea also turned out to be a good investment plan.

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A Ditch in Time
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Rainfall and snow melt runoff are sworn enemies of the roads and pathways in camp. Erosion moves your road surface to places you don’t want roads. Spontaneous, unplanned drainage channels cut themselves into your improvements and through areas you’d rather not have them. Snow that melted at noon refreezes at sunset, causing the surface to heave and buckle over and over until it simply falls apart. If you think that fixing this kind of damage is expensive, then you’ll surely agree that fixing it more than once borders on criminal.

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