Bullying Prevention: Are You Up to Speed?

Most people understand the “old” concept of bullying — big guys picking on the little guys. It’s hard to find someone who has never been on one side or the other of such a situation, whether male or female or as an “observer” of bullying behavior. Many people shrug off bullying as part of the growing-up process. However, the effects of bullying often cause damage that lasts a lifetime. Consider the statistics: Around the globe, 15 percent of kids ages five to sixteen are bullied repeatedly.

Preventing and Addressing Bullying at Camp

In her new bestselling book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, Emily Bazelon tackles the subject of bullying — the hows, whys, and prevention strategies of one of today’s most pervasive topics. Bazelon, a senior editor for the online magazine Slate and a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, recently spoke with ACA about camp’s ability to foster empathy and problem-solving skills in children.

Let’s Be Friends: A Paradoxical Approach to Bullying Prevention

Despite years of study and progressive program development, bullying behaviors (or “peer mistreatment”), especially among school-aged children, remain a significant public health problem, says the Centers for Disease Control (2012). Indeed, according to the Committee for Children (2012), a nonprofit working globally to promote children’s social and academic success, nearly one in three students ages twelve to eighteen reports being bullied at school.

Camp Is No Place for Bullying Behaviors!

Social cruelty, or bullying, has reached the level of “life and death.” With summer 2012 now here, parents are asking questions about how camp counselors and staff are being trained to keep their children safe. Please note that the parental question is clearly focused on direct caregivers — not on camp administration. Since school teachers have essentially been unsuccessful in preventing bullying nationwide, parents and guardians are not prepared to either waste their money or have their child victimized in a day or residential program.

Important Bullying Resources

For over a decade, the American Camp Association has provided camps with a variety of resources regarding bullying. The 2012 edition of the ACA standards include a standard requiring that training be provided to help staff:

A Cyberbullying Protection Plan

"Kick a Ginger Day." Fair to say, the majority of adults reading this article have no idea what this means. A bunch of junior-high-aged kids in Calabasas, California, did, however. On November 20, 2009, at least four girls and two boys were subjected to physical and/or verbal bullying and abuse because of their red hair, freckles, and pale complexions. Ginger. Gilligan's Island. Redheads. It's quite a leap.

Girls at Camp: Overcoming Relational Aggression

Author's note: The names and certain identifying characteristics of the campers on which this article is based have been changed to protect their privacy. The resulting thoughts, conclusions, and practical suggestions are just the beginning of finding a deeper and more effective understanding of the problem of girls hurting other girls.

July 2009

"The counselors don't really know what's going on," Lori said in all seriousness. "I mean, they're nice and they want to help us, but they don't really know how."

Eyes on Bullying: What YOU Can Do to Prevent and Stop Bullying at Camp

"People don't understand. Those three weeks hurt more than any punch in the face could hurt. It took my breath away, and my whole self-confidence." — Will, a camper

Have you ever been bullied — at school, on the playground, at camp? Have you observed others being bullied? Have you ever bullied anyone? Most people have experienced or witnessed bullying some time in their life. Bullying hurts and memories of bullying can often last a lifetime.

Bullying Behavior in Boys . . . And What to Do About It

Ty, an eleven-year-old returning camper, is sitting on the porch of your cabin. You have brought him out away from the other boys, just as you were trained to do, because he has been relentlessly annoying another boy in the group named Chad. During staff training, you were told to address bullying behavior as soon as you see it so that you not only stop it before it intensifies, but also send a clear message that such behavior is "not okay" at camp. Ty is just the kind of boy who would influence the rest of the group in the wrong direction.

Critical Things Staff Need to Know about Bullying Prevention

Bullying is here to stay in summer camp and this course is designed to help you be prepared and ready to act this summer as well as between the seasons. Bullying can happen in 4 ways: physical, verbal, relational, and cyberbullying (through technology). You may face some or all of these situations with campers and staff. The way you respond to bullying and role model appropriate behavior sets the stage for a great summer or one that that can lead to very unhappy consequences.