Resource Library

If you went to camp, you probably didn't serve yourself lunch from a salad bar. Times have changed! Now the majority of camps offer salad bars—just one sign that camps' menus are reflecting all our families' changing tastes. This is one of many updated ways camps are encouraging the longstanding tradition of healthy behavior—in the dining hall as well as on the playing field or at the swimming pool.

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ANN ARBOR, MI 2010 — A new report urges parents and children's doctors to change their thinking about homesickness among children, to see it as a nearly universal but highly preventable and treatable phenomenon — rather than an unavoidable part of childhood.

The report, published in the journal Pediatrics, gives parents and physicians specific guidance to help anticipate and lessen the distress that homesickness can cause among kids and teens at summer camps, hospitals, boarding schools and colleges.

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Not surprisingly, parents may be reluctant to discuss difficult economic times with their children.  Viewed as the province of adult anxiety, the burdens imposed by tumbling stock prices, falling home values, and rising unemployment are a powerful force, with 8 out of every 10 Americans blaming the U.S. economic crisis for much of the stress in their lives, according to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association.

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Right now, many parents are contacting camp directors across the country trying to make sure their son or daughter gets into the “right bunk.” The only question is, what is the “right bunk?” What does that even mean? For parents, the purpose of sending a child to sleep-away camp remains unchanged — they want their child to make friends, enjoy the activities, learn new skills, and make an easy transition to living away from home.

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So-called "helicopter parents" have been recently criticized in the popular press for hovering over their adolescent children, hyper-involving themselves in young lives more in need of independence than nurturing. Such recriminations follow on the heels of studies suggesting that parents are not paying enough attention to teens, thus spawning an epidemic of destructive behavior.

So, who's a parent to believe?

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My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. Two weeks later, she came home transformed. She blossomed. She made friends, learned a multitude of activities, felt safe, loved, confident, and happy — really, really happy. As hard as it was on me, it was all worth it for her. It was the single best thing I have ever done for her.
—First-time camp parent

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William Shakespeare wrote, "Summer's lease hath all too short a date," apparently foreshadowing the all-too-soon approach of fall. But a short summer season is time enough still for even the most unlikely of kids to find trouble in the most likely of places: cars and roadways. 

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At camps across the country, campers and staff have the opportunity to interact with international staff members who participate in the Camp Counselor and Summer Work Travel J-1 Visa programs. These staff  make rich contributions to a camp’s culture, affording children the opportunity to build friendships and learn more about the world outside the U.S. 

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High school seniors everywhere will soon embrace a graduation season marked by pomp and circumstance, risk and reward.  Staying safe means balancing freedom with responsibility and communicating honestly with parents.  For many teens, those aren't easy assignments.

Young people venturing closer to true independence yearn for the freedom that parents extend based on assurances that nurture trust.  But, something funny often happens on the way to commencement. 

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So the moment has come! You are pulling up to the freshman dorm of the university that will be the home of your child for the next four years. Classes have been selected, a roommate has been randomly drawn and this is the moment of truth. So many questions pour through your mind: Will they make friends? Will they buckle down and work hard? Where will they end up heading after this? As a parent it is really easy to fret, isn’t it?

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E.g., 2020-04-09