Resource Library

From Ross - November 2016
Published Date: 2016-11-01

I am pleased to introduce myself as the new chairperson for the Board of Directors of the American Camp Association. My name is Ross Turner and I have been an ACA member since 1983.

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From Peg: Moments. Magic. Meaning!
Published Date: 2014-09-01

Peg Smith, ACA CEOIt only takes a moment — to change a life, make an impact, or create significance. It is remarkable how persuasive a moment in time can be to one's life. The camp experience is full of such moments.

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In between all the wonderful events you have during your camping program this year, there will always be those random moments of opportunity. Every one of you should have a dozen or more ideas of how to fill that time. But more importantly than just filling the time, you should have some ideas for how to create something wonderful and even memorable with those special moments and minutes. Using that time to create unity, community, and connection can make your entire camp’s culture a very positive one.

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It’s Friday afternoon at the Belle Isle Summer Nature Camp, a day camp in Detroit, Michigan. As parents and younger siblings mill around the auditorium, a happy murmur of conversation is heard as campers proudly display the work they’ve done over the week of summer camp. Students show off the ceramic tiles they created earlier that week, now glazed and fired. Student journals, drawings, and other art cover the tables. One group of campers plays a video they created encouraging people to plant milkweed and native flowers for monarch butterflies.

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The Cycle of Camp
Published Date:

When I mention to people that I'm a Girl Scout, they give me the "once-over." You know, moving their eyes up and down my body, then adding; "Aren't you a little old to be a Girl Scout?" I'm thirty-three! How is that old? Ah well, I love that I'm still a Girl Scout (lifetime member, thank you) and am proud of being part of an organization that truly helped mold me. I joined because of my sister; I stayed because of camp.

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This article is part of Camping Magazine’s series on inclusion, identifying and exploring both big picture and on-the-ground actionable pathways for application through participant reflection, discussion, and active engagement. Contact Niambi Jaha-Echols (njechols@gmail.com) if you would like to participate or contribute to this series.

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All camps are proud of their program offerings and the skills they teach children. They are equally proud of the traditions that may in time grow to be part of campers' lives. However, as wonderful as the programmatic aspects of a camp may be, what we teach campers may not be the most important part of their summer experience. The most crucial and unexpected moments of a summer may be when children are left alone to engage in free, undirected play. For many campers, the experience of playing outside "alone" or with a group of friends may be a truly new and joyful one.

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Gone are the days when most, or even many, camps offered only full sessions of seven or eight weeks. Shrinking summer vacations for all age groups, staggered college start dates for staff populations, and encroachment on dates of availability by an ever-increasing cadre of specialty camps (often offered, recommended, or even mandated by leaders/coaches of organized, year-round sports and other activities) have all made it more challenging for families to consider sending their children to traditional, full-season camps.

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A decade ago, the United States market voluntarily abandoned the long-standing wood preservative and treatment method where an arsenic and copper compound was forced into the fibers of the lumber. When the fluid was removed, this preservative was left behind and was extremely effective at retarding decay. The copper displaced water (and the microbes that cause rot), and the arsenic deterred wood-consuming insects like ants and termites. Contrary to popular belief, there was never any evidence that these chemicals would leach from the product or caused harm from splinters.

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