End-of-Summer Check-Up

Just as one has an annual check-up with a personal physician, so too would our camps benefit from an end-of-summer review of their health status. Granted, the last two or three weeks of a summer season can be busy, but that busyness is less frantic when one can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. In anticipation of summer’s end, we start enjoying the laid-back moments tucked into those final weeks.

Ramblings of a Grumpy, Old Camp Cook

With the passing of my 65th birthday, I began reflecting a lot on my life, as I imagine many have done at the passage of this age. Looking back, the many summers I spent as a cook/food service director at camp are the ones of which I am most proud.

Counselors, Campers, Action!

Everyone is taking photos today!

As counselors, you can offer your campers creative ideas for capturing the treasured moments of their summer of fun at camp.

Tackle Your Camp Counselor Job with an Internship Mindset

The young women and men who join us as camp counselors are interested in occupations that range from elementary and high school education to the medical field, the environmental sciences, and more. And as it happens, a camp counselor enjoys experiences that complement many areas of study and the pursuit of a myriad of future career paths.

Counselor Success Kit

“It is not our abilities that determine who we are, it is our choices.” — Harry Potter

Since 1861 when the first organized camp began, awesome people like you have given their time and talents to make camps throughout the United States a life-changing experience. In the early years, camps were created to provide an alternative environment for children to learn through a new experiential model and to promote an appreciation for being in the outdoors. Staff had to be extremely flexible as they adapted to rustic conditions and crude program ideas.

Twenty Tips for the 20-Something Supervisor

Being in that very first supervisory role is hard for everyone — regardless of age. For younger supervisors there are added challenges in building credibility and gaining the respect of others — it’s only natural to be nervous. Those promoted “from within” to a supervisory position after working at camp for multiple seasons must also be prepared to face possible challenges with the change in roles.

With that In Mind, Part II: What Staff Need to Know about Their Own Mental Health

Think, for a minute, about the adults to whom you were most strongly attached as a child. Can you see their faces and remember how they treated you? Perhaps you see parents, teachers, coaches, clergy, or youth leaders, such as camp staff members. Resilient adults can all think of at least one warm, reliable person who served as a defining caregiver and mentor. Their warmth and reliability are what created that resilience, that ability to bounce back from adversity. They brought us joy and boosted our confidence.

The Kids Are All Right

Most kids, most of the time, are totally doing the right thing. They are listening to you, being respectful to each other, playing and having fun in activities (they may not have chosen for themselves), and following directions and instructions without incident. Of course, we would all like to have more of that kind of behavior at camp, but almost all of our discussions about camper behavior revolve around what to do when campers are breaking down, falling apart, or having a hard time.

Staying Out of the Point of Struggle

Scene 1: Tabatha, one of your five-year-old day campers, is going through her fussy-eating routine with you at lunchtime again. What happens is now so familiar to you that you’re certain you can play it out in your sleep. You offer her one food choice after another and she alternates between pretending she doesn’t hear you and screaming, “You know I hate that!” No matter what you try she doesn’t like it. It almost seems as if she enjoys this “dance” with you, even though the stress is taking a toll on both of you and is beginning to annoy the other children.

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