Parachute Pants, Pokemon, and iPods: Understanding Your Campers at Various Ages and Stages

Rewind to the time in your life when you were seven, ten, or thirteen (or any other desired childhood age). Who was your best friend at that age? What style clothing did you wear? What did you like to do in your free time? What music do you recall from that age? What was your favorite toy? What book did you enjoy reading? What device could you hardly wait to get because it was the “in” thing to have? What is your worst memory of that time in your life? What is your best memory of being that particular age?

Autonomy, Mastery, and Connection: True Gifts of a Quality Camp Experience

Maddie, a seven-year-old camper, sits on her bed looking frustrated. Her counselor hovers over her trying to get her to finish tying her shoes so she can join the rest of her cabin as they head for their first morning activity. Maddie can’t seem to get her laces quite right, and she is worried the rest of the girls will leave her behind. Julie, her counselor, has the urge to finish the job for Maddie, but something tells her to hold back.

Restoring the Human Touch

We've all seen them — gaggles of teens walking together, each with their eyes glued to the screens of their smartphones, texting, tweeting, and posting. Or that couple in the restaurant with their faces buried in their BlackBerry®, iPhone®, Galaxy® or iPad®. According to the Pew Internet Project update on mobile technology in January 2014, over 90 percent of American adults own a cell phone, though the percentage among staff-age adults ages eighteen to twenty-two is 98 percent. According to the same study, about 82 percent of children twelve to eighteen years of age have a cell phone.

The Big Eight . . . and Other Culinary Menaces to Camper Society

“The gluten-free cinnamon rolls are amazing!” Those emphatic words are emblazoned in my brain, stamped into my memory. As tears began to well in her eyes, Annalise, one of our counselors, looked around as if sharing a secret and said, “I haven’t eaten a cinnamon roll in five years! Could I please have your recipe?”

Fight, Flight, or Form: Use Brain Research to Connect Campers

We are lucky to be at camp, in the modern world, and not living in a jungle where each new thing might kill us. The fight or flight response comes from ancient times when a person encountered a unique threat — like a tiger — and the brain needed to make a snap decision. Will I run (flight) or will I fight? While most of us do not encounter tigers on a regular basis, we are constantly exposed to new or novel things. These could be ideas, people, situations, food . . . the list goes on and on.

Deceleration: How Radically Slowing Your Pace Can Make You Smarter

Galileo Galilei did not go blind looking at the sun through his telescope, despite the urban legend promulgated by manufacturers of sun filters and even NASA. Instead, his blindness in his early seventies was caused by cataracts and glaucoma (Mulder, 1922). Sitting close to the television for prolonged periods of time also does no harm, despite what your parents may have told you. Television may have some deleterious effects, but none of them is ocular.

Camp Belongs on Your Resume: Highlighting the Professional Development Value of Working at Camp

First of all, thank you for working at camp — it makes a world of difference. If you’re reading this article you already know that, but not all hiring managers do.

A Circle of Support: Restorative Justice at Summer Camp

It may very well be the case that matters of discipline, often grounded in interpersonal conflict, consume a disproportionate amount of time for counselors at summer camp. Or at least it seems that way.

Education for Global Citizenship: A Role for Summer Camp

What is global citizenship and why promote another seemingly bookish concept into a summer camp program? There are good reasons: positive youth development, influx of multicultural young people living in North America, the interconnectedness of most through social media, and because camp is an optimal learning environment (Fine, 2005). Camps are simply great places to learn (Bialeschki, Fine, & Bennett, 2015).

Leading for Tomorrow - September

The fall season, for our association, marks a time similar to the first days of staff training. It is a time of bonding when veteran camp leaders are excited to share their stories of the season and grow from others. It is a time of learning, as all of us look back in reflection while looking for solutions to advance our own programs before our next round of campers arrive. It is a time of possibility when new members have joined our ranks and want to add their voice to this community.