Resource Library

Five Trends in Camp Evaluation
Published Date: 2021-03-10

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), while weather refers to short-term changes in the atmosphere, climate describes what the weather is like over a long period of time in a specific area (National Centers for Environmental Information, 2020). We can use these descriptions of climate and weather as a metaphor for trends in evaluation.

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As we begin our second year within the COVID-19 pandemic and head toward summer 2021, it is especially critical that camp professionals focus on resourcing a supportive camp culture that helps campers and seasonal staff practice identifying and managing their emotions and the emotions of others.

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Food (Justice) for Thought
Published Date: 2021-03-09

Picky camp eaters — we all know them. In surveying the amount of leftovers on a given day and fielding phone calls from families and guardians about the food, this begs the question, “Why does camp food suck?” 

The truth is it likely doesn’t. The more pointed question to ask is, “Do kids typically eat what we are serving?”

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Health screening, a practice typical to most camps' opening day process, has undergone an evolution. Granted, some changes were kick-started by our COVID-19 experience but, like other things, some changes are sticking because they have potential to improve the camp experience. In short, screening has expanded. It can and should start prior to arrival for campers and staff and extend beyond their end-of-session (agreement) date. Specifically, pre-arrival health monitoring has been added.

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Becoming Part of the New Normal
Published Date: 2021-03-09

2020. Shall we say 2020 was a year to remember or one to forget? Camps across the country are even still trying to decide as leadership teams dig deeply to identify how they can shield their organizations from such devastating hits in the future. Even as camper/parent expectations have changed over the years, COVID-19 presented new challenges that very few ever imagined. But now that program, planning, and recruiting teams are devising ways to soften future enrollment [and the associated tuition] downturns, what does the facilities team have to do? 

Plenty.

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Scars
Published Date: 2021-03-09

Mike, Jim, Sarah, Eric, Jake, Marina, Michael, Hunter, Pierce . . . the names roll off my tongue too readily, capturing the enormity of loss too often. 

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Innovation in Camp
Published Date: 2021-03-01

Camp means many things to many different people. At its core, camp is people serving kids. To lifelong summer campers and camp directors, the word “camp” conjures specific and dearly held memories of a particular place of joy and belonging. To camp outsiders, camp is a blank slate. And now, in a world filled with rapid and unpredictable change, camp offers the opportunity to combine tradition and imagination to reconstruct its own boundaries.

Many innovators in the camp world are reimagining how to define camp, how it works, and who it serves best.

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Children’s Association for Maximum Potential’s (CAMP) mission is to strengthen and inspire individuals with special needs — and those who care for them — through recreation, respite, and education. That mission is both very specific and, at the same time, quite broad. Its breadth lies in the fact that the “individuals with special needs” we serve span a wide array of abilities and challenges. Campers may face one or a combination of the following:

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January 1, 2020, I was on a cruise ship in the Gulf, toasting to what I believed would be an amazing year ahead. But this past year was not what I was expecting it to look like. For the first time in over 25 years, I did not run an in-person summer camp. Closing camp was obviously not among my goals for the year; nor was figuring out how to offer the kind of virtual experience our campers needed. Now that we have campers back, we are figuring out screening, personal protective equipment (PPE), when to wear masks, and how to be social at a physical distance.

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In their New York Times best-selling book An Invisible Thread, Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski give life to an ancient Chinese proverb that inspired the book's title. They document the story of an 11-year-old panhandler, Maurice, and a busy sales executive (author Schroff), whose unplanned stewardship of the young boy's life offers dramatic and compelling evidence of the power of connection (Schroff and Tresniowski, 2012). 

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