Resource Library

“Better Camping for All.” It’s not just a long-time slogan of members of the American Camp Association; it’s a call to action. As we strive to embody this phrase and create excellence in programming, we are inspired by those who take an innovative approach to bring this phrase to life.

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What's stopping your camp from improving its existing programs or introducing new ones? At the same time, what's standing between your organization and "going green?" Each to its own extent, cost, culture, and commitment drive the decisions that shape camp whether you're considering programs, facilities, administration, or being greener. This month we're going to see that camps can tackle green initiatives the very same way that they've overcome program obstacles for years and years and years.

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The Myth of Middle Management
Published Date: 2017-09-01

There’s an interesting trend happening in the camp profession: If your program director, assistant director, or other full-time middle management employee has not recently left your organization, they may soon, leaving a large staffing hole to fill. Likely, this wasn’t something that you were planning to devote your time and energy toward over the next few months or years. What a waste! These individuals came into these middle management jobs prepared for the long haul, and now they are burned out and want to move on. Why?

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Camp "Whatever" Letter
Published Date: 2012-03-01

Camp Hancock’s director Bill Young and I conceived the “Camp Whatever Letter,” originally written more than a decade ago, as a response to our observations and frustrations about the changing culture of parents and children. Many (not all) young people of all ages had an agenda that included drugs, sex, alcohol, and a fascination with violence. In addition, consulting parents many times about their child’s troubling behavior at camp proved unsuccessful. “That’s the way they are today” was a response heard one too many times.

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I would like to tell you a story about what it means to be a “finder” and a “funder.” At 12:00 p.m. the bell would ring to signal the start of my freshman world history class. John, Sam, and Tim would walk in less than excited to learn about history for the next ninety minutes, but very excited to visit with their friends and hang out. They were each uniquely charming and charismatic. They were the life of the party, despite the fact that my history class was not supposed to be a party.

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Each year, camp staff members spend days — if not weeks — preparing facilities, activity areas, and programs so their campers can enjoy fun, educational, and life-enhancing experiences. Whether operating on a public grassy field or nestled in the woods, one key to successes is knowing about programs and facilities. Every three years, ACA conducts the Sites, Facilities, and Program Survey (SFPS) as a part of the larger, annually conducted business operations surveys. This article focuses on the SFPS completed during the fall of 2010.

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Camp Includes Me Series

This feature article is part of an ongoing series of articles in Camping Magazine that will focus on inclusion, diversity, and cross-cultural agility to share in our individual communities and out in the world.

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A Snapshot of Camper Enrollment in 2015
Published Date: 2016-03-01

After reviewing the results of the 2015 Enrollment Survey, in general, camps had a good year as enrollment continued to rise. The majority of camps reported at least maintaining the same enrollment numbers compared to 2014, and, in many cases, they were higher. Generally, the camps in the sample were representative of overall ACA membership (231 camp directors responded). The following data, charts, and graphs are based on camp directors’ responses.

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The Edge: The View Ahead
Published Date:

At my camp we have a special ceremony for the campers who will be aging out of the camp program. Many of those campers have been attending Camp Broadstone for the past six years, and the thoughts of not being able to return weigh heavily on them. These are fifteen-year-olds who are in the midst of much transition: being seen more and more as an adult and less as a child, moving through high school into the exploration of the next academic possibilities, and taking the exciting steps that bring them more independence.

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How Clean is Clean?
Published Date: 2017-01-01

During a recent birthday celebration dinner at a casual dining restaurant with table service, our friendly server, Bella, escorted our family to a table laden with dirty dishes. She left our family awkwardly standing in a busy aisle as a last-minute cleaning took place — leaving the tabletop and booths wet from the visibly soiled cleaning cloth. Have you ever encountered this or any other kind of sanitary issue in a restaurant? How about in the dining hall at camp?

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