Resource Library

Great Things Have Small Beginnings
Published Date: 2018-01-01

In 1861, Frederick W. Gunn and his wife, Abigail, took their students on a two-week summer camping trip. The very popular program was repeated for the next several years — a small thing that is credited as the first summer camp. As the idea gained momentum for this new summer experience, more camps opened and, in 1910, some of the camp directors came together and founded the Camp Directors Association of America. This evolved into the American Camp Association (ACA). Today the association has over 14,000 members and 3,100 camps.

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When was the last time you gave a second thought to going out to dinner? Attending a gathering of friends? Sending your children to school? Participating in a leisure activity? These are daily events and interactions that shape each of us. We develop a sense of self, build communication skills, and foster an environment to engage with others through these events. A prevalent commonality within these events is the inclusion of food. Rarely do we participate in family or community activities where food is not associated.

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation
Published Date: 2013-11-01

If you were looking for me in the middle of August, you wouldn’t have had a banana’s chance at a gorilla convention of finding me. I was incommunicado, far beyond any cell phone reception or Internet connection, without a television or even a radio, and no sign of a newspaper anywhere in sight. But I wasn’t being held captive by a roving UFO of extraterrestrials, or running a top-secret mission with Seal Team Six, or a woeful contestant on an episode of this season’s Survivor.

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UniCamp has a rich tradition of reaching out to campers from underserved communities in the Los Angeles area. For over seventy-five years, UniCamp — which is largely operated by student volunteers and is the official student charity of the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA) — has given a residential camp experience to children of low-income families ages ten to seventeen. In 2006, UniCamp received an Eleanor Eells Award for Program Excellence.

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Enhancing Staff Return on Investment
Published Date: 2019-01-01

Jenae pensively evaluated whether to continue as the camp food service manager. "There are so many things I like — even love — about my job. It gives me a mix of menu planning, cooking, and guest relations. However, I just don't feel valued. I see other management staff go to national or regional conferences, and sometimes attend meetings at a local restaurant. Yet our director tells me it's not in the budget for me or my kitchen staff to participate in a national camp or food service conference or invite a chef to give a demonstration/ cooking lesson in our kitchen. And my last pay raise?

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Counselor Success Kit
Published Date: 2016-05-01

“It is not our abilities that determine who we are, it is our choices.” — Harry Potter

Since 1861 when the first organized camp began, awesome people like you have given their time and talents to make camps throughout the United States a life-changing experience. In the early years, camps were created to provide an alternative environment for children to learn through a new experiential model and to promote an appreciation for being in the outdoors. Staff had to be extremely flexible as they adapted to rustic conditions and crude program ideas.

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Camp can be an ideal setting to help children cope with the death of a loved one. Since 1991, Camp ReLeaf, a weekend camp hosted by Triangle Hospice of Durham, North Carolina, has been helping children develop positive coping skills for dealing with the recent death of a family member. Camp ReLeaf offers all the fun of a traditional residential camp, while creating a safe place for youth to express and deal with their grief. Over the years, therapeutic recreation has become one of the cornerstones of this camp’s program.

The Role of Therapeutic Recreation

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"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." — Girl Scout song based on a poem by Joseph Parry

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Big Questions

Perhaps no question weighs more heavily on the minds of parents, teachers, and camp staff than "Will this child do what I ask?" Sadly, there is no magic formula for obedience. So, this question is perennial; its answer elusive. Sure, we try to manage children's behavior. A keyword search for books on parenting yields 23,096 titles. There is no shortage of advice. But as any parent will tell you, there is a chasm between child behavior theory and practice. As Bill Cosby said, "Parenting can be learned only by people who have no children."

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WOW Your Campers’ Parents
Published Date: 2013-05-01

“Hey, wazzup?” is a perfectly good greeting when meeting one of the counselors you’ll be working with this summer for the first time. But what will you say when you meet your campers’ parents?

Maybe manners and social skills come naturally to you, but even so, you need to give some thought to the impression you will leave with your campers’ parents. Your interactions with them will have a profound impact on how they feel about you, your camp, and their child’s experience. Have you thought about what impression you want to give?

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