Resource Library

Horseback riding has deep roots in the history of American summer camps, but stereotypical images of the expense and elitism of riding may get in the way of a full appreciation of the benefit and relevance of this activity today. Children need activities that foster empathy and compassion, responsibility and self-control. Skill-based riding programs provide for the development of a set of competencies that contribute to self-esteem and physical fitness. And achieving a working "friendship" with a horse remains a particularly empowering experience for both boys and girls.

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Technology and camping? Hearing those two words together often sparks ire among camp management. “We don’t allow our kids to use techie toys!” you declare. Of course, unless you run a computer camp, that philosophy holds true. iPhones and tweets (except those of birds) have no place in kids’ lives near the woods, lake, or farm.

But camp owners and staff are discovering that practical technologies and tools can help them fill bunks and buses faster with quality campers, communicate better with staff and parents, and save thousands of dollars and hours each year.

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Nurturing Campers’ Psychological Needs
Published Date: 2015-01-01

Highly regarded child, adolescent and family therapist, and regular contributor to Camping Magazine since 1987, Bob Ditter will be speaking at the 2015 ACA National Conference. In an interview with ACA, Ditter explores how camps can do a better job of helping their campers thrive by supporting what he calls "the primary colors of psychological need."

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Video Games at Camp? Are You Kidding Me?
Published Date: 2018-11-01

No, in fact, I'm completely serious.

For the record, my 40-year career has been spent entirely within the camp, sports, and community center worlds, and has included positions as coach, athletic director, resident camp director, and day camp CEO. Along the way I have served on the United States Olympic Committee.

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The Role of Supportive Relationships
Published Date: 2006-09-01

Building Camps That Care About Kids — First in a Series of Four Articles

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I don't want to play. I hate kickball. — Sophia, age five

Ben doesn't like me. He's always mad at me. — Betrand, age nine

This place stinks. All the activities are stupid. — Asa, age twelve

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The results from the 2016 Enrollment Survey are in, and here's the bottom line: Camps had a good year as enrollment continued to rise. The majority of camps reported at least maintaining the same enrollment numbers compared to 2015, and, in many cases, they were higher. This enrollment trend is a sign we have recovered from the economic recession, but with strong enrollment comes new challenges. Camps now face issues with capacity, competition, and diversity.

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We’ve explored construction contracts before and the idea that they set the rules for a short-term “marriage of convenience” — from proposal through amicable divorce. But this month, we’re going to consider some of the pieces of that construction document that make things work smoothly for everybody involved.

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It was July 1967, so the story goes, on parents’ weekend in Fairlee, Vermont. A group of camp parents whose children were sleeping soundly at Aloha, Aloha Hive, and Lanakila enjoyed cocktails on the porch of the resort across the lake. As they sipped and visited, a quiet word was passed through the group: The Gulick Family was thinking of closing their camps!

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What About the Children?
Published Date:

Over the past five decades, I have attended and presented sessions at many conferences, seminars, and educational events offered by the Maine Youth Foundation; ACA, New England; and ACA national. I served for six years on the Editorial Advisory Committee for Camping Magazine. Out of all the issues that are discussed, the question for me has always been: "What about the children?"

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