Resource Library

Raymond (not his real name) is an experienced camp director on the East Coast. When it comes to interviewing staff, Raymond feels especially confident about his ability to "sniff out the good ones." Raymond says of his interviewing strategy: "I like to get them into a spontaneous conversation and see what kind of a feeling I get. I watch for good eye contact, spontaneity, give-and-take, and other nonverbal signs of communication. With the guys I like to schmooze about baseball. It gets their guard down and shows me how they really relate to people.

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Building Community through Camp
Published Date: 2018-09-01

For children and families who feel isolated or misunderstood, camp can offer the connectivity and support needed to finally feel like part of a community.

It takes a village.

No man is an island.

Better together.

There is no shortage of sentiments about the power of community — and there is no place where that is more evident than at camp. Around the world, camps are creating communities of support for children and young adults who feel sidelined or isolated because of a personal condition, challenge, or circumstance.

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Hiring young adults to care for other people’s children seems like folly, from a neurodevelopmental perspective. Nobody’s brain is fully developed, many activities are dangerous, the weather can be violent, kids’ behavior is unpredictable, and all staff could use more training than directors have time to give. Pepper that risk and lack of preparation with a few mental health problems, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the right prevention, training, and support can help you thwart catastrophe and create a formative experience for your young participants.

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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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Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in seven states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) and Washington, DC. It is still a federal offense to possess, transport, grow, or sell marijuana. Extension faculty who work with 4-H Youth Development programs are funded under the United States Department of Agriculture, and it is not legal for faculty or staff to advocate or provide education that would support the cultivation, distribution, or use of marijuana.

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It may very well be the case that matters of discipline, often grounded in interpersonal conflict, consume a disproportionate amount of time for counselors at summer camp. Or at least it seems that way.

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It’s another blisteringly hot day at Camp John Marc in Bosque County, Texas, and the van doors are slamming shut as twenty young men pile in for the short trip over to the little town of Morgan. In a few minutes, the young men will burst out of the vans at the small Baptist church in Morgan, equipped with games, toys, snacks, and crafts in hand. Kids from around the town will shortly begin appearing from nowhere, arriving by bike, on foot, and getting dropped off by parents. The only day camp that this town has ever seen is about to begin.

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"You learn about things that you do not learn about in school. It's actual reality and not sugar-coated. We learned how to work together. In school, they tell you to work together. I learned that when you work in a team, you have your own rights. If you have a good idea and another person has a good idea, you can actually accomplish what you want to do instead of it crashing."
— Mabel, Camp Fiver camper, age thirteen

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Exploring the Power of Moments
Published Date: 2018-01-01

An Interview with Dan Heath

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Our society is in need of leaders for the future. The demands we have yet to face will require leaders who are flexible problemsolvers and have the ability to communicate with diverse people. Camps can assist in the development of leaders because of what is learned in camp —responsibility, independence, getting along with others, cooperation and teamwork, the willingness to try new things, awareness of the environment, and positive values — all attributes future leaders will need.

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E.g., 2018-09-20