Resource Library

  • Manage Time. Have staff do both reactive and preventive maintenance. Do not focus energies only on what's visible, or reactive maintenance.
  • Train staff in preventive maintenance. Staff need to be trained in planning, setting up the record keeping for preventive maintenance schedules, and implementing.
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Economically speaking, 2014 felt a little better across the nation. The Dow was up a bit, the jobs reports were somewhat positive, and people seemed to be spending money. Early in 2015 it still feels cautionary given the backdrop of the past few years, but there is a reason to feel optimistic after reviewing the results of the 2014 Enrollment Survey.
 
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"If You Build It . . ." Revisited
Published Date: 2016-03-01

Some years back, I shared a column with the readers here called, "If You Build It, Will They Come?" The premise turned that familiar movie line on its head, asking owners and executives to reconsider the wisdom of installing new features in hopes of building camper enrollment. The bottom line was that only the Disney machine has successfully implemented that model, because only it has the economic mass to take a large part of its park off line and redirect guests while that "something new and really WOW!" is built.

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Programming with a Theme
Published Date: 2014-03-01

The positives for a child who attends a summer camp experience are widely known. Children and youth develop independence, self-esteem, and confidence; they experience positive role model influences; they make friends; and they learn new skills and have new experiences in a safe environment. In recent years, camps have also been asked to focus on improving educational benefits to stay relevant for today’s kids. In response, pop culture and literary-themed camp programs that encourage reading, critical thinking, and character development have evolved.

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From Art
Published Date:

The 2012 ACA National Conference will be held in Atlanta. My first national conference was in 1974 in Atlanta, so for me, returning to the same city thirty-seven years later brings back a flood of memories of not only my first national conference, but also a multitude of others (including a second one in Atlanta that I have attended!).

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What do campers need from the counselors who work with them? They need caring relationships with adults they can trust. They need clear limits, high expectations, and healthy challenges. Campers need to be accepted for who they are. They need counselors to support them in taking positive risks and avoiding negative ones. In short, they need you to be the very best you can be.

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Universal needs, tireless visionaries, transplanted ideas, unique character.

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We had a missing camper. I was seconds away from sending my staff to search the dark lake on a moonless night when I received the news that we’d found him. I made my way headlong toward the child. Thankfully, I was stopped by the head counselor before I could mess up one of the best pieces of camp counseling I had ever witnessed, coming from Carlos, a 16-year-old, first-year counselor-in-training.

“I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to make this week better for you,” said Carlos.

“It’s not your fault,” Jacob, the missing camper, mumbled.

“But it’s my job.”

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In one of her 2010 commentaries in Camping Magazine, former American Camp Association CEO Peg Smith reflected on her conversations with award-winning researcher Marge Scanlin nearly a decade earlier about establishing a strong research tradition in the ACA). She said, “We wanted to find a way to create a culture that could not only say, ‘Camp Gives Kids a World of Good,’ but demonstrate science-based evidence of such” (Smith, 2010). This contrasting desire for both anecdotes and evidence resonates with me.

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The Globalization of the Camp Movement
Published Date: 2010-09-01

In American history books, 1987 will be remembered as the "dark year" of the Reagan administration, with shadows cast by the Iran- Contra affair, the Unabomber, and detonation of an atomic weapon in Nevada. But in the annals of the American Camp Association (ACA), the National Conference in Washington, DC, proved to be like no other in the organization's history.

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