Connecting with Campers in the Age of Screens, Social Media, and Fortnite

Connecting with campers can be difficult for summer camp counselors now that campers have more screen time than ever.

Begin with the End in Mind

The first thing summer camp counselors should do going into camp season is decide how they want campers to remember them once the season ends.

When Competition Is Just Right

"I don't want my child to take part in this contest you've dreamed up," a visiting parent told me on the grounds of my camp. "I don't want him to lose. He's not good at this." She pointed out to the playing field where campers were practicing throwing bamboo spears, hurling rock ‘shot puts,' and leaping over high jump crossbars."

"It's called the 'Primitive Olympics,'" I explained. "Everyone is excited about it. Including your son."

She frowned out at the activity on the field. "But he can't do these things. He'll lose."

2018 Camping Magazine Editorial Index

View an archive of editorial indexes.

Featured Articles

The Quiet Ones
Scott Arizala, May/June

A Meeting of the Minds: Camp Directors, Higher Ed, and College Students
Kim Aycock, MST; Debra Johnson, ReD; and Gwynn M. Powell, PhD, January/February

"What Is Past Is Prologue" — Investing in Our Future

This past spring break, Pam and I took our ten-year-old son, Daniel, to Washington, DC. Daniel is really enjoying his US history studies at school, and we knew this would be an ideal time to explore the many historical exhibits and museums our nation's capital has to offer. Daniel was particularly excited about the exhibits within the National Archives Building, and we visited them multiple times. Sculptor Robert Aitken's 1935 statue "Future" sits in front of the National Archives Building.

Happy Camping, Y'all!

Being a camp counselor is hard, but it’s the best and most rewarding work you’ll ever do. As someone who spent 17 summers at camp as a camper, counselor-in-training, cabin counselor, lifeguard, horseback wrangler, arts and crafts coordinator, and an assistant director, I can promise your time at camp will be well worth it. There will be early mornings, rainy days, and long nights, but the summers you spend as a camp counselor will stay with you forever and provide countless stories that will always make you want to go back.