Pranks or Projects? How to Make the Last Weeks of Camp Your Best

In late July 2014, I sat on my bed, alone for the first time all day, reeking of garbage and motor oil, and listening to rain pummel the tin roof. Satisfied I’d done my duties for the night, I had started to unzip my raincoat when an angry knock sounded on my door.

Children's Mental Health and Camp: What Is Our Role?

Few children's issues have drawn more attention, or been more controversial, than those involving their mental health. For example, in the past twenty years, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a household term; depression has attained the status of a "real" illness; and the use of medications to treat children with emotional problems has become commonplace. As these issues permeate the public domain, intense debate has followed regarding the assumed dangers of assigning diagnostic labels to children, as well as giving them powerful drugs for treatment.

Strategic Planning: Moving Ideas to Practice

Strategic planning, when used properly by a nonprofit organization, will result in a plan of action that moves ideas to practice. Those who have not been a part of strategic planning before might be asking questions like: “What does strategic planning look like?” “How does it get completed?” Or perhaps most importantly, “How do you effectively use it?” This article highlights the importance and benefits of strategic planning, and breaks down the strategic planning process so that all organizations can effectively utilize it.

A Five-Star Recipe for Excellence in Camp Food Service

Moving about confidently, two cooks snatched the garlic bread from the oven, prepped the salad bar, whipped up chocolate pudding, and a meal was complete. As the new food service director at Camp Gilmont, I marveled at the vigorous activity around me in the camp kitchen. From the outside looking in, it appeared as if an intentional routine had been established, as if the employees’ activity was magically orchestrated. However, as I scrutinized the routine over the next few days, I realized that serious change needed to happen in this kitchen.

A Snapshot of Camper Enrollment in 2015

After reviewing the results of the 2015 Enrollment Survey, in general, camps had a good year as enrollment continued to rise. The majority of camps reported at least maintaining the same enrollment numbers compared to 2014, and, in many cases, they were higher. Generally, the camps in the sample were representative of overall ACA membership (231 camp directors responded). The following data, charts, and graphs are based on camp directors’ responses.

Putting Nature in Perspective: An Interview with Scott Sampson, PhD

Scott Sampson, PhD, is a dinosaur paleontologist, science communicator, and passionate advocate for connecting people with nature. He currently serves as vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where much of his work focuses on rethinking 21st-century cities as places where people and nature thrive. He is perhaps best known as “Dr. Scott,” host and science advisor of the Emmy-nominated PBS KIDS series Dinosaur Train, which airs in more than 100 countries.

Grab the Teenage Window of Opportunity

The camp experience provides an outstanding opportunity for personal growth. The adolescent brain, which is undergoing tremendous physical and neurological development, can benefit greatly from the unique attention of the camp environment. When approached with awareness, we can help adolescent children develop positive tools that they will be able to count on for the rest of their lives.

With That In Mind, Part 1: What Directors Need to Know About Staff Mental Health

Hiring young adults to care for other people’s children seems like folly, from a neurodevelopmental perspective. Nobody’s brain is fully developed, many activities are dangerous, the weather can be violent, kids’ behavior is unpredictable, and all staff could use more training than directors have time to give. Pepper that risk and lack of preparation with a few mental health problems, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the right prevention, training, and support can help you thwart catastrophe and create a formative experience for your young participants.

Reclaiming Conversation: An Interview with Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle, PhD, is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT; and the founder and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. She teaches about the psychology and sociology of how computers and cell phones change the way we learn, how we feel, and how they affect not just what we do but who we are.