Configure the Ideal Smartphone: "Apps" for Camp Staff to Download and Install

By now you have probably figured out that you have very limited cell service at your camp and/or that you will be asked to turn off your phone while working with campers. In the technological world we now live in, it is hard to imagine life (even for a few hours) without it. I recently went shopping online for a new phone and was blown away by the number of "apps" at our fingertips (over 200,000 for the iPhone alone!). As they say, there are apps for "appsolutely" everything! There are apps for the cook, the music lover, the traveler . . . you name it, and it is out there.

Do You Want To . . . Hey, Look Over There! Strategies for Working with Children Who Have Attention Deficits

There are opportunities to teach every child better self-control. Of course, being spontaneous — even a little out of control — is fun. It’s just that learning to listen, concentrate, and sustain attention are also important life skills. Camp is an ideal setting for cultivating self-control and controlled chaos. It offers both energetic, physical activities — such as water basketball or capture the flag — as well as restrained, contemplative activities — such as listening quietly to a story during rest hour.

Building Principles: Money for Nothing (with Thanks to Dire Straights)

I don't know anyone, within or outside of camp, who isn't looking for ways to improve their cash flow either by cutting costs or growing their income. Operationally, there are lots of places to look for savings, including equipment leases and rentals and service agreements, among others. This is certainly the time to consider slaying the age-old sacred cow of how you've "always done things." People are creatures of habit and are generally reluctant to rock that particular boat since it's worked before.

Hints of Positive Enrollment Trends in Turbulent Economic Times

To camp professionals, camp enrollment trends serve as an important indicator of the overall health of the industry, and are particularly important in uncertain economic times. Every year, day and resident camps from around the US are invited to complete the American Camp Association (ACA) online enrollment survey in the spring as a "preview" of the coming summer and again in the fall to provide an accurate read on enrollment and staffing trends.

Assessing Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders for Their "Fit" at Camp

One of the best experiences for a child is that of being a camper. The opportunity to be in a child-centered environment, a setting that uses Mother Nature to help deliver a program resulting in outcomes such as improved self-confidence, self-esteem, and fun is tough to beat. Most readers believe that every child should have a camp experience — but not every camp is a good fit for every child. There truly is a camp for everyone; the secret is finding the right fit between child and camp.

After the Deluge — Part III: Letters from My Campers

Huck Finn enjoyed a rare opportunity to attend his funeral and hear what folks had to say about him after he faked his death to escape the confines imposed by the Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson — not to mention his abusive father, Pap. A recent near-death experience afforded me a similar chance to hear some feedback about my work with youth and families. Especially since it happened smack dab in the middle of the camp season.

The Essence of a Positive Camp Culture

The culture of a camp is essential to evaluate on a regular basis. Is it noticeably and measurably acceptable or does it need help and/or remediation?

Ask yourself the following ten questions:

The Value of Being a Camp Counselor: A Study of the Experiences and Personal Growth of Missouri 4‑H Camp Counselors


Nationally, 4‑H camp programs often utilize the leadership and energy of teenage camp counselors (ages fourteen to eighteen) to plan and conduct local and area 4‑H camp programs. Since the value of camp to campers has been well documented in Missouri and elsewhere (University of Missouri, 2007), one must ask the next logical question: What value does serving as a 4‑H camp counselor hold for teens?

How Do Your Campers Really Feel? The Benefits of Mid-Session Evaluations

The dreaded call comes the day after camp ends. A parent is calling to report that his child had a miserable camp experience because of a bully in their group, a mean counselor, or . . . (you fill in the blank).

Shared Values

More than thirty years ago, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta sang about "Summer Lovin'" when Grease graced the Silver Screen. Although they drove off into the sunset at the end of the film, one can assume that they ultimately went their separate ways, as neither appeared in the sequel. Perhaps their relationship would have lasted longer than the final credits had the pair met at summer camp.