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.

2018 Staff Training Issue of Camping Magazine

Each year, the May/June issue of Camping Magazine is devoted to staff training.

Enter The 2019 Golden Lens Contest

Enter the 2019 J. Wendell and Ruth T. Howe  Golden Lens Awards Photography Contest

You Could Win

  • A $150 cash prize for first place
  • A commemorative plaque
  • Acknowledgement in Camping Magazine
  • Recognition at the ACA National Conference

Photo Requirements

Send us no more than 10 of your favorite photos that depict the camp experience and represent the best practices in the field and accreditation standards.

"What Is Past Is Prologue" — Investing in Our Future

This past spring break, Pam and I took our ten-year-old son, Daniel, to Washington, DC. Daniel is really enjoying his US history studies at school, and we knew this would be an ideal time to explore the many historical exhibits and museums our nation's capital has to offer. Daniel was particularly excited about the exhibits within the National Archives Building, and we visited them multiple times. Sculptor Robert Aitken's 1935 statue "Future" sits in front of the National Archives Building.

Happy Camping, Y'all!

Being a camp counselor is hard, but it’s the best and most rewarding work you’ll ever do. As someone who spent 17 summers at camp as a camper, counselor-in-training, cabin counselor, lifeguard, horseback wrangler, arts and crafts coordinator, and an assistant director, I can promise your time at camp will be well worth it. There will be early mornings, rainy days, and long nights, but the summers you spend as a camp counselor will stay with you forever and provide countless stories that will always make you want to go back.

Research Camp Staff Can Use at Camp, in School, and Beyond

Working at camp is one of the most memorable experiences a person can have; in fact, you are likely reading this because you have worked at camp in the past and are returning for more, or you are preparing to work at camp for the first time. Whatever your story, chances are you have had a positive experience at camp as a kid and are now looking to continue that experience by working at camp.

Collaboration Fulfills the Mission: Camp Staff Unite

Amber, the food service manager, watched anxiously as the small summer campers tried desperately to carry large trays containing plates of food and silverware from serving line to table during lunch at Camp Marcos. Plates full of food slid from side to side, and then, BOOM! Contents crashed to the cafeteria floor — four times during one meal. As kitchen staff rushed from one cleaned-up catastrophe to clean another, Amber had had enough. She marched over to Evan, a college student who was this year’s summer camp director, and reiterated, “This is not working!”

Learning Perspective in Camp Communities of Empathy

The first time I can remember intentionally practicing empathy, I was an eight-year-old, first-time camper sitting in a circle with my counselors and cabinmates inside our cabin just before bed. It was maybe the third night of camp. I had settled into camp and started to realize how funny my counselors Barry, Chuck, and Tico were, and that camp could be a blast. Everyone was chattering over each other.

Move from New to Normal: Be the Friend You Want at the Beginning

One of the best reasons to go to camp is to experience something new. Yet, at the same time, some of the unpleasant feelings experienced while at camp might be because we are new! It is a paradox. It is solvable. Those of us who are returning need to welcome the newbies into the feeling of being one of us.

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