Sankofa: The Value of Meaningful Debrief to End the Camp Season

Another camp season is complete. After working overtime to ensure that every session was special, enriching, and fun-filled, we camp professionals are finally able to exhale. We did it! The energy, dedication, and tenacity that it takes to run a summer camp is nothing short of heroic, which is why it is typical for camp professionals to use the weeks following the end of camp to squeeze in some well-earned rest and rejuvenation before diving back into planning for the next camp season.

Evaluating Your Camp Staff Orientation during Orientation

You did it! You’ve checked all the boxes and hired a full team of staff for the summer — counselors, lifeguards, ropes experts, and everything in between. As spring fully begins its transition into summer, there’s one more major item on the checklist before the campers arrive: staff orientation. As camp professionals, we all know the importance of this critical period of time. It builds community, sets expectations, and teaches staff many of the skills and strategies they’ll use to be successful throughout the summer.

New Director Orientation (NDO) Online Course - Asynchronous

ACA’ New Director Orientation (NDO) is designed to give you a solid foundation in the competencies and responsibilities necessary to your work as a camp director.  The course has been arranged so you can work at your pace and with the freedom to explore the sections in the order you choose.

This course covers five critical areas to help directors and supervisors develop the skills they need to be effective leaders. The core areas covered include:

Update on the Camp Program Quality Initiative

Building systems of continuous quality improvement within our camps and greater community ultimately supports our goal of positive youth development — and this is exactly what the Camp Program Quality Initiative has set out to do.

Camp Middle Manager Package (2.0)

Improving the quality of your camp programs and activities requires attention to your own continuing education and professional development.  Yet many middle managers and camp program directors struggle for time and funding for professional development.

What to Evaluate in Virtual or Alternative Programs

Hello camp friends, and welcome to the second in our short Research 360 series focusing on evaluation during the time of COVID-19. In our first blog we suggested that, like trees, your evaluation systems might contract as you focus on the health and safety of your camp community — and that’s OK! Those systems will expand again when things get back to normal.

Trees and What They Can Teach Us about Evaluation in Uncertain Times

Picture this: You notice that a small sapling you planted a while ago is at last large enough that it no longer requires stakes to stay upright. It takes two hands to wrap around its now-sturdy trunk, and the branches, in midsummer, provide shade. It might even be a fruit tree, and you think that, after years of nurturing that tiny sapling, you might actually taste one of its fruits.

Eval 2020: Tricks and Trends for the Next Decade of Camp Evaluation

In the past ten years we’ve welcomed tremendous growth in how and why camp professionals use evaluation to support program planning, staff training, marketing, and funding efforts.  The year 2020 promises continued demand for evidence-informed practice, as well as new challenges to gathering useful feedback from campers, staff, and parents.  In this webinar we examine best-practices in camp evaluation from the past and consider how we might use what works to tackle some of the challenges that lay ahead.  We will specifically cover ACA’s Youth Outcomes Battery, Camp Program Quality Assessmen

From Activities and Programs to Outcomes and Impact

Helping Kids Change Their Stories — A Taste of Camp Measurement North of the Border is a short blog series that explores Tim Hortons Foundation Camps’ summer and school programs and their approach to impact measurement and camp research. The series outlines Tim Hortons Foundation Camps’ research journey from a practitioner perspective, while highlighting challenges and early learnings in their research process. This is post 2. See post 1.

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