Resource Library

Camp can offer a child more than mere fun. Camp is also the ideal environment to help campers develop their problem-solving skills.

Children learn problem solving through trial-and-error and modeling (watching how adults solve problems). Camp, with its community living focus, presents a constant source of potential conflicts and, thus, incidents in which to practice problem-solving skills. Camp also offers endless observation of how others (especially counselors) solve daily problems.

Successful Problem Solving

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Giving of Your Time
Published Date: 2017-07-01

Investing my personal time as an American Camp Association volunteer has always been fun and rewarding for me throughout my career as a camp professional. I remember well the day — over 25 years ago — when I first raised my hand to help on a local ACA committee. It was towards the end of the regional conference that I was attending as a relative ACA newcomer. A handful of western North Carolina camp professionals had gathered for a "district" meeting and we had recently learned that we were slated to host the next year's conference.

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Several years ago, the editor-in-chief of this magazine asked me to write a piece describing the outcomes of underserved kids who had the advantage of attending summer camp. This article examines select alumni of three ACA-accredited camps serving traditionally under-represented camp populations to describe the accomplishments of these former campers and attempt to understand how their camp experiences influenced their outstanding outcomes.

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Molly couldn’t wait until the end of the summer camp season, and even though there were only three weeks left, she was tempted to quit. She loved the idea of working at camp, especially the camp in which she had grown up and worked at for the past two seasons, but she was just mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.

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Conquering Burnout
Published Date:

Burnout can creep in at any time during the summer. If it does, know you are not alone. To conquer it, try to get away from the camp property on your days off; change your schedule if possible or alter when you do certain activities; and remind yourself that you will make it through this.

Signs of Burnout

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Why are kids at camp so darn happy? It’s a relevant question as we embark upon another camp season. Of course, an important part of your job this summer will be to promote and enhance that happiness and to create a pathway for successful camper outcomes.

What do those outcomes look like?

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Most camp professionals have known intuitively for years what new Teens Today research from SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual Group now makes statistically clear — young people who take positive risks are less likely to take negative ones. And there's no better place to learn about positive risk taking than at camp.

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A Place to Share: Lessons from Summer Camp
Published Date: 2014-07-01

Bobby arrived later than all the other campers, a habit I would soon come to expect. He waited awkwardly in the rec hall doorway. He clutched a black plastic bag of clothing and toiletries, and in his eyes he carried a dim light of glazed-over confusion.

I introduced myself.

"Hi, Mr. Ben," he said in a lilty, sing-songy pitch, dragging out each syllable.

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Every camp director has been there. In fact, if you’re like most camp leaders, you’re there right now. If asked, you could immediately name two or three people with whom you should have a crucial conversation about some topic, but you haven’t. Perhaps you’ve even brought it up, but you danced around the real issue and never laid all your cards on the table. When you think about facing it again, your mouth gets dry, your head aches, and your muscles start to twitch.

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Enrollment Highlights from Summer 2013
Published Date: 2014-03-01

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Each fall, the American Camp Association (ACA) requests enrollment information from camps across the country. The statistics and information allow us to chart industry trends and identify enrollment issues that camps are facing on an annual basis.

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