Teens and Physical Health Issues

Abstract: Improving public health and particularly addressing the rising childhood obesity epidemic are goals that camps can address. Obesity and overweight problems are a result of energy imbalances between eating and moving. Camps have a role to play in promoting and modeling healthy eating and enjoyable physical activity.

Computer Network Security — Evolving Risks

According to some experts, 2012 could be the worst year ever for computer network security breaches. In 2011, major companies were victims of massive computer network security breaches. If you listen to the news surrounding this issue, the impression you might get is that only big, publicly owned companies like SONY and Citibank are being affected.

The Impact of Camp Experiences on Social Skills and Happiness

With depression, anxiety, and addiction rates high among adolescents (Keyes, 2006), and many youth engaged in relational aggression and other damaging social practices like bullying, there is clearly a need to find effective interventions to improve social skills, relationships, and overall well-being in our young people. Camp professionals know from experience that camp can serve as a positive, often life-changing, psychological intervention for youth, but for the "noncamp" world to understand the potential benefits of summer camp, rigorous research needs to be conducted and disseminated.

Camping Magazine’s 20/20 Toolbox

The 20/20 Toolbox series provides resources to help camps realize ACA’s 20/20 Vision. We are calling this series a “toolbox” for a reason — our intent is to focus on providing hands-on, real-life, “how-to” ideas — ideas that can be implemented and go beyond theory.

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Make a Commitment: Encouraging Wellness and Healthy Living at Camp

An alarming study purports that the current generation of children may have shorter life expectancies than their parents for the first time in over two centuries. The rapid rise in childhood obesity in America may shorten children’s lifespan by two to five years (Olshansky et al., 2005). Almost one-third of children between the ages of two and nineteen years are overweight and 17 percent of those are classified as obese. The number of obese children has DOUBLED since 1980! Some studies suggest that this rate has tripled or even quadrupled.

Noticing Deficit Disorder - How Camp Can Restore The Art of Seeing the World

We are in the midst of an epidemic of visual impairment no medical doctor can fix — but which camps might cure. Back in the `60s, artist, researcher, and psychologist Rudolf Arnheim (1969) lamented that the American school system had become a “12-year apprenticeship in aesthetic alienation,” — producing children whose eyes could no longer see. Today, our children’s entire minds (and many of our own) have become serfs to technology, seduced into acquiring contrived world views presented on a dizzying array of digital platforms.

A Place to Share: I Said, “I Think I Am Disposable”

At a 2014 ACA National Conference session, I was asked by seasoned camp professionals, “Why do young staff ask us so many questions when we give them a task?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Because we think we are disposable. If we do it wrong, you will get someone else.” The collective gasp of the professionals registered astonishment, but all of the young staff serving on the panel starting nodding their heads. If you feel this way, you are not alone.

Disposable misconceptions — let’s talk about them, so we can trash them.