An Inside Joke Worth Having

There are many different kinds of relationships you will have in your life.

The relationship you will have with your campers this summer, though, will be among the most unique, powerful, and fragile ones you will likely ever have. With just a few properly timed words, you can become a child’s favorite person in the world. In even fewer ones, you can destroy that forever.

Welcome to Generation Camp

I live in Minnesota where the season’s changing is often dramatic and spectacular. One day it’s ten below zero and the next 65 with bright sun and birds gleefully singing. And although we are all thinking about camp all the time, this is the time of year our list of things to do acquires a sense of urgency. Spring for me is also a time of reflection, to ponder the past and plan for the future.

Play at Camp: Talking to the Funders versus Preaching to the Choir

Camp professionals just get it! Play is a valuable aspect of childhood and, of course, camp. It’s a given, an easy sell. But that’s just preaching to the choir. Explaining to funders the need to support play at camp as a critical developmental aspect of childhood is different. Some people may say that play is childish. Yes! For camp professionals, it is positive to be child-like. We see the multitude of benefits of being child-like, or in this case, playful.

Building Principles: Getting More Out of Construction Projects Without Paying More (and Maybe Even Paying Less!)

We’ve explored construction contracts before and the idea that they set the rules for a short-term “marriage of convenience” — from proposal through amicable divorce. But this month, we’re going to consider some of the pieces of that construction document that make things work smoothly for everybody involved.

Risk Management: An Open Letter to Camp Staff


This letter is addressed to all camp staff / team members — whether this summer is your first or your twentieth, and whether you have primary responsibility for supervising campers, are an activity specialist, or work in the kitchen.

From Peg: Before You Speak — Think

There is a saying that advises, “Before you speak — think.”

Ask yourself:
T = Is it true?
H = Is it helpful?
I = Is it inspiring?
N = Is it necessary?
K = Is it kind?

My advice to you this year is to follow these words. A counselor is in the most influential job at camp. You hold the lives and delicate spirits of each young person in the palm of your hand. That truth comes with both challenge and tremendous opportunity.

So You Got Promoted: Now What?

The camp experience is a very powerful learning process, which is both personal and challenging. It provides children the chance to grow in a protected environment controlled by caring, knowledgeable staff responsible for setting acceptable limits of risk management. Philosophically this is a great premise, but what happens to this construct if staff are inexperienced and not ready to assume the complexities of their job?


What makes a great camp counselor? It’s not what you think.

The 2004 U.S. Olympic basketball team had just as many all-stars as the original Dream Team. They had superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Tim Duncan, and had arguably the best coach in basketball, Larry Brown. So why did they only get the bronze? Why did they have more losses in the 2004 Olympics than in all other Olympics combined?

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?