Camping Magazine

Learn the skills you need to succeed. Camping Magazine is your primary source for the most recent trends in the camp industry-the latest research in the field of youth development-critical management tools and innovative programming ideas. Camping Magazine is the official publication of the American Camp Association, under the authorization of the National Board of Directors.

Mitigating Long-Term Bereavement Risks — Addressing Family Grief

Bereavement camps for children are now commonplace around the United States (McClatchey & Wimmer, 2018). Some of these are recreational, and others are more clinically focused. Most do not include a parent/guardian component in which parents participate in the activities with their children or in a separate adult session over the duration of their children’s bereavement camp (McClatchey & Wimmer, 2018).

Changing the Framework of Abuse-Prevention Training

This past summer was one of navigating “firsts.” For many camps, it was navigating a reopening in the middle of a pandemic. For others it was dealing with the challenges created by quarantines and positive COVID-19 test results. But even more challenging was  a summer run and attended by a collective community of trauma survivors. Whether a counselor or camper lost a relative or friend due to the pandemic or spent an entire year alone in a Zoom room with an online teacher, the collective trauma experienced impacted most, if not all, summer camps.

The Retreat Conundrum — Is There a Pot of Gold?

The last year and a half have seen many organizations stretching, shifting, and praying for the financial wherewithal to keep operating into the future. This may have also included discussing how to leverage existing assets and/or identify new ways to generate income. Even before COVID-19 hit, a number of camps had already diversified and were offering retreats in one form or another in an attempt to get the most from their largest asset — the facility.

Preventing Burnout: Caring for Your Staff’s Mental Health while Camp Is in Session

A camp job is hard work. Camp is so worth it, as evidenced by all the positive outcomes research has shown campers achieve. But that does not make the job any easier — especially for the teenagers and young adults camps employ, who may be vulnerable to the ever-increasing mental health crisis in the United States. So it is important to check in with staff all season long to make sure each and every one of your employees is in a healthy state of mind.

Rethinking Risk: How to Build Resiliency and Reward

So much of a camp director’s time is oriented toward risk reduction. From hiring lifeguards to teaching CPR, the number-one priority is “keeping kids safe,” followed by fun and learning in form or fashion.

But what if we’re going about this all wrong?

Risk Management: Supervising the Young Supervisor

Because frontline staff, such as cabin counselors or activity leaders, typically spend the most time directly with campers, most accidents involving campers occur under their care. Therefore, it is critical that those who supervise frontline staff have the skills, knowledge, and capacity to recognize, address, and prevent actions that may put campers at risk.

Enrollment: A Risky Business?

Risk comes in many forms, some of which we spend more time considering and mitigating than others. On the “yeah, obviously” side of the ledger: we don’t allow campers on the ropes course without belay, we don’t swim without a lifeguard, and we don’t dismiss campers into the care of an adult without checking that person’s ID against the approved pick-up list.

Enter The 2022 Golden Lens Contest

Enter the 2022 J. Wendell and Ruth T. Howe  Golden Lens Awards Photography Contest

You Could Win

  • A $150 cash prize + $500 ACA professional development gift card* for first place
  • A commemorative plaque
  • Acknowledgement in Camping Magazine
  • Recognition at the ACA National Conference

*The gift card can be used for ACA’s Online Learning Center, virtual events, webinars, and/or in-person events including but not limited to ACA’s National Conference.