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.

2022 Staff Training Issue of Camping Magazine

Each year, the May/June issue of Camping Magazine is devoted to staff training — perfect for Staff Orientation!

How Do You Spur Culture Change at Camp?

If you’re noticing something that could use a change, there’s a good chance that others are too.

Behavior Management on Steroids: How to Turbocharge Reinforcements and Consequences to Change Kids’ Behavior

Maria and Maksim work at a camp where two staff sit with their nine kids at round tables for lunch. On the first day, they explain basic table manners to their group, not because they work at an etiquette specialty camp, but because they want fewer conflicts and cleanups. Like every staff member supervising a meal, Maria and Maksim hope to minimize spills and ensure every camper gets enough to eat. So, they dutifully explain that everyone should keep their hands below the table prior to beginning the meal, keep their elbows off the table during the meal, and stay in their seats.

Peanut Allergy: Frightening Facts, Emerging Treatments, Ultimate Avoidance

Peanut allergy has historically been the most fatal food allergy, comprising 50 to 62 percent of all food allergy deaths annually (Food Allergies Atlanta, 2022). It is also the leading food allergy anaphylaxis trigger for North American pediatric ICU admissions at 39 percent (Lieberman et al., 2020). Still the most common food allergy in children from 4–17 years of age, it affects up to 2 percent, or roughly a million children of all ages (US Food & Drug Administration, 2020).

From First Contact to End of Contract

We know that staff can be a challenge to find, attract, hire, engage, and retain. What makes the staff journey result in forward progress from start to completion of their camp experience? Current research and promising practices provide information that can help camps succeed throughout this cycle. Join us as we take a look at some of those contributing factors.

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.

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