Always Thank the Bus Driver...And Other Words of Wisdom for All the Campers I'll Never Meet

On the occasion of my fiftieth birthday, I contemplated the unthinkable: retirement. Not that I am anywhere near ready to conclude my career, but I now know what before I refused to acknowledge: Some day there will be no more kids for me to counsel, lead, or direct. Yikes.

When I speak in schools, something I do quite a bit of, I often tackle the subject of legacy — challenging kids to think about what they want to be remembered for when they have moved on to new places and new people. What is the reputation, the legacy, they want to leave behind?

Summer Camps in Popular Culture

"Hey, you must be the short, depressed kid we ordered. Glad you made it." — Meatballs, 1979 (Reitman)

Camp Counseling in the Twenty-First Century: Connecting the Disconnected

Throughout the year, Camping Magazine publishes articles for full-time camp professionals. Once a year, it is written specifically for you — the camp staff who are on the front lines doing the intricate work that makes camp come alive and makes the experience so magical and successful for children.

Ways to Make Camp Memorable

Building a warm rapport with the campers in your group as well as the coworkers you live and work with day to day is the single most important way to positively impact the camp experience for everyone. Counselors who really get to know their campers will find it easier to motivate them. Campers who trust their counselors tend to follow the rules and guidelines more easily. We all need to be heard and appreciate those who listen. As you discover your counseling style and learn to mesh it with other staff, remember to listen to one another and remain open to ideas.

Aquatic Safety for Staff

It's a bright, sunny, warm day and you and your friends have the next twenty-four hours off. Not far from camp, about an hour away, is a remote yet popular swimming area where you can hang out, swim, play in the water, and have fun. Before you go, here are ten quick tips to keep in mind that will keep you safe when making plans for aquatics fun on your time off.

Creating & Maintaining a Healthy Camp Environment: Strategies for Camp Staff

As summer begins and all those carefully recruited campers begin to arrive, camp professionals often revisit orientation to assess if they've adequately prepared staff to handle various aspects of camp life. Based on what was presented during last February's Healthy Camp Symposium at the 2011 ACA National Conference, there are several strategies that staff can routinely use to support and maintain the health (wellness) of camper groups.

From Peg

“We may have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I review ACA’s enrollment and business data (see page 44), I think of this quote by MLK. The ACA camp community is more alike than different — we are in the same boat. Yes, we may have different affiliations and even different tax statuses, but at the end of the day, we share more in common than not.

A Place to Share: Share Your Time, Talents, and Knowledge

It was seven years ago when I attended my first ACA National Conference in sunny Orlando. Seven years ago when I showed up not even knowing what region/section I belonged to. Seven years since I was the wide-eyed "newbie" who didn't know a soul. Well, I've come a long way since then, and I can say without any doubt that my first conference experience is why I am so involved in ACA today.

Strategies for Managing the Risks of Food Contamination and Communicable Disease at Camp

It is easy to become casual about food preparation and food safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, each year one in six Americans, roughly 48 million people, become sick and 3,000 die as a result of foodborne illness.