Resource Library

Shared Values
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More than thirty years ago, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta sang about "Summer Lovin'" when Grease graced the Silver Screen. Although they drove off into the sunset at the end of the film, one can assume that they ultimately went their separate ways, as neither appeared in the sequel. Perhaps their relationship would have lasted longer than the final credits had the pair met at summer camp.

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In November 2012, my article, “Search Marketing on the Web — Drive New Camper Enrollment and Alternative Businesses,” appeared in Camping Magazine. Now, five-and-a-half years later, we revisit this topic for the first time. The 2012 article was a primer with basic strategies and some examples for camps. Based on my involvement with many camps from coast to coast over the past several years, following is a selection of updates that need addressing.

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Dear Bob,
I had a run in with a camper parent last summer that made me very uncomfortable. We have a visiting day for parents once each session, which, as you might imagine, is a stressful day for campers, parents, and staff all around. During the early afternoon, I was accosted by a parent who was demanding to know why her fifteen-year-old son wanted to go home. I tried to reason with her, but she caught me off guard, and I felt awkward discussing this in the open with other parents and campers around.

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Camp directors: Please share this column with your staff. During the camp season it's more important than ever for them to read this.

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The Challenges of Chinese Camp Education
Published Date: 2016-07-01

In the summer of 2015, we partnered with a talented group of Chinese educators called Initiate Development for Education and Service (IDEAS) to operate a resident camp and a day camp in China. The resident camp had been operating for several years while the day camp would be the first of its kind in Beijing. The IDEAS team wanted to bring some expertise and personnel from the U.S. to help improve the training, programming, and developmental outcomes of their camps.

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What Were You Thinking?

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We live in an era of experiences and community. What does that mean? Camp directors and staff just spent the past months creating memorable experiences for their campers, ensuring that every child felt welcome, engaged, safe, and inspired at camp. Parents were reassured that their children were having fun and were well cared for — and they were entertained during visiting days. Relationships were forged, and memories were made.

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The Art of Noticing
Published Date: 2019-03-01

A strong focus on mental, emotional, social health (MESH) elements within the camp community has triggered both strategies to cope with MESH concerns and an emphasis on making camp a more MESH-resilient experience for campers and staff. In support of this, the following information is provided by Cori Miller of URJ Camp Harlam in Pennsylvania. A social worker by profession, Miller works full-time for her camp and focuses on MESH concerns.

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Author's note: The names and certain identifying characteristics of the campers on which this article is based have been changed to protect their privacy. The resulting thoughts, conclusions, and practical suggestions are just the beginning of finding a deeper and more effective understanding of the problem of girls hurting other girls.

July 2009

"The counselors don't really know what's going on," Lori said in all seriousness. "I mean, they're nice and they want to help us, but they don't really know how."

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When I first met Ed, I did not notice that he had no legs.

He sat straight up in a wheelchair with long pants that hung down over the edge. I did not, at the time, find the absence of shoes or feet at the ends of his trousers, remarkable. I did, however, stare, somewhat self-consciously, at the stumps that protruded from the short sleeves of his fire engine red shirt. They were the size of a child's football and had no digits. He used them to propel his wheelchair by leaning forward and pushing on the rubber tires of the big wheels that rose above his seat.

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