Resource Library

Fred Miller has more than three decades of experience as a senior executive and consultant working in the areas of governance, strategy, and organizational effectiveness. With a long camp history that includes attending camp as a child; working at camps as a counselor, program director, and assistant camp director; and serving as chair of the American Camping Foundation and on the American Camp Association (ACA) National Board, he is a strong advocate of the camp experience and a long-time valued friend of ACA.

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From Peter
Published Date: 2010-01-01

Because of Camp . . .™ — there are millions of powerful answers to this leading statement. We know that all participants — campers, counselors, supervisors, owners, and directors are changed by each camp experience. Even the most reluctant and unenthusiastic campers grow from the experience. Participants who "jump in feet first" gain even more, returning home with the ability to create stronger human relationships (they are more able to meet new people, speak their minds, and negotiate).

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Staff and Support
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Hi Bob!
I am new to camp life, specifically as a new camp director. I have inherited an administrative staff that grew up at camp and spent many years working with the former director. They all have a serious attachment to the former director, and I do not get the respect of my staff. I will be re-interviewing everyone soon, and was wondering if you had some feedback? I have been feeling the need to clean house and get new staff.

Thanks so much!
Destiny

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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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Most people can handle — or tolerate — a certain degree of risk. The edginess provided by risk adds verve to being human, and often gives us that gentle kick in the seat of our pants needed to prod us along in life. Risk tolerance, however, exists on a continuum. There are times when a person is more comfortable with risk than at other times. In addition, risk tolerance varies from person to person. Some thrive on the thrill associated with it, while others may be paralyzed.

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The Edge: The View Ahead
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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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A return to camp reminds our writer how it feels to be home.

A school teacher in Pinckney, Michigan, Jeff Miner had been a camp counselor or program director for just about every summer for the past fourteen years. But this summer was his last. He had plans on actually taking summers off, playing golf, and eating steak on his back patio. He was going into summer camp retirement.

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Your personal brand matters. Wait — before you roll your eyes or flip the page because personal brand sounds cheesy, consider this: What three words would your camp supervisor and peers use to describe you? Do those words match with how you want your best references to describe you? Personal brand isn’t a made-up concept; it is a powerful tool, and it’s easy to use.
 

This Is Relevant for Camp Jobs

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By the time Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University, reportedly claimed in 1922, “the organized summer camp is the most important step in education that America has given the world,” camping in America already had a long history of embracing the educational value of the camp experience (Sharman, 1938). Now, almost a century later, the camp experience is once again at the precipice of education reform, standing at the crosssection of experiential learning and institutional schools.

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In preparation for the 2010 camp season, the American Camp Association® (ACA) enlisted the expertise of Rachel Simmons and Dr. Michael Thompson, best-selling authors and specialists on the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of childhood. Both professionals offer insight into why camp is so valuable to kids today and how the mentoring nature of the camp counselor-camper relationship can provide the positive role models kids need in building self-awareness and figuring out who they are and who they want to be.

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