What Would Spider-Man Do? Using Our Power and Responsibility to Create the Camp (and World) We Want

Summer camp, unlike any other space or community, is a place where we can actively and comprehensively create culture. Think about some of the traditions at your camp. Simple things like the songs and cheers at a meal or some of the rituals around traditional programs. These are examples of how your camp community intentionally (or sometimes unintentionally) creates a specific culture that you, your campers, and the next generation of both staff and campers will maintain. The same thing happens in our wider society; it is just harder to predict, change, or understand.


What makes a great camp counselor? It’s not what you think.

The 2004 U.S. Olympic basketball team had just as many all-stars as the original Dream Team. They had superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Tim Duncan, and had arguably the best coach in basketball, Larry Brown. So why did they only get the bronze? Why did they have more losses in the 2004 Olympics than in all other Olympics combined?

Moving from Mainstreaming to Outsourcing: What Everyone Can Learn from Working with Different Needs

I run two different camps for kids with different needs, including a resident camp for kids with autism. A concerned parent called to talk about how she wanted her son to be “mainstreamed” in the camp environment. By definition, there is no mainstreaming at my camp; they are all living with similar challenges.

Where Camp Happens

When was the first time you really felt camp? Whether you are a longtime camp person or this is your f irst summer, chances are that the answer to that question is (or will be) intangible, buried in a moment — something you just can’t quite explain. I like to ask the question this way because camp is a feeling. It is so much more than a collection of activities, schedules, lakes, and songs. Camp is an experience — one that you will deliver to many campers this summer.

There Is a Reason! Understanding Challenging Behavior

I once worked with cat. Not a “meow” cat, although that’s how she identified herself to me. She was a thirteen-year-old girl who insisted she was a cat. You can imagine how hard it was for her at summer camp, in a cabin full of very typical thirteen-year-old girls, being anything but typical (meow). As I worked through the various expressions of her cat-ness — complaints about the food, the bathroom, the waterfront, the lack of a scratching pole, etc. — it became pretty clear that she felt different and she didn’t know how to express it in any other way. So she was a cat.