Biting My Nails: Revisiting Staff Anxiety

It was three years ago when I first wrote about the increasing levels of anxiety that camp directors were seeing in their staff (Ditter, 2016). At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta had been reporting that anxiety in children ages 13–18 was at a 40-year high (CDC, 2011). In a survey conducted by the American Camp Association’s Healthy Camps Committee after the summer of 2015, camp directors indicated that anxiety was their number one concern when it came to staff (Gaston, 2015).

Your MESH Professional: Making Decisions for Success

Wondering what type of mental health professional might be a good fit for your camp’s needs?

Interested in knowing what this professional needs to be successful?

Concerned about having a mental health professional when those services aren’t the focus of your camp?

Did You Know? Update Your Knowledge

Staying abreast of health-related updates that impact camp practices is challenging but worth the effort, especially for readers who supervise staff providing care to campers and/or other staff. Here are some of those updates.

Making Mental Health Matter at Camp

In 1987, I reported to camp for my first full summer as a counselor. The campers were to arrive only a few days later, but I was confident that I would have no trouble as a staff member with a cabin of six 12-year-old campers. To my dismay, the camp leadership insisted that we attend training sessions during "pre-camp" so we could learn and be more prepared.

A Conversation about Fatigue and Camp

Before fatigue becomes a serious problem, here are four suggestions for addressing fatigue at this point in the summer.

Planning for Mental, Emotional, and Social Health (MESH) This Summer

The smiling faces and laughter heard across camps each summer result from days, weeks, and months of planning. We spend considerable time meticulously planning our themes, activities, equipment, food, and schedules, not to mention the weeks spent hiring just the right staff members. As we approach summer, how prepared are we to deal with a MESH situation in camp? Have you planned for MESH?

Why Every Camp Should Be Teaching and Practicing Meditation with Campers

The wonder of a child — it’s something we strive for in adulthood. Imagination, amazement, and the simple appreciation for life’s little treasures: the gold spray of sunlight through a window, or the taste of cool rain on your tongue. Kids are accustomed to using their senses to experience life. They look, touch, smell, and even taste their way through the world. This natural inclination toward mindfulness makes teaching kids to meditate easier than we thought. In fact, it’s a no-brainer.

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