Author Archives: rauth

Common Ground

For the past several years we have been hearing that special needs camps comprise the fastest growing sector in camping in North America. I believe this growth has occurred due to a variety of underlying catalysts. First, advances in care and treatment for individuals with special needs has improved significantly over the past several decades, creating a “healthier” population of individuals who still face some sort of challenges in their daily lives. Second, greater awareness and education about people with … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Issues, Nov/Dec 2014 | Leave a comment

Night Hike Sensory Activities

Merge the five senses with nature using a night hike.

Night hikes are always a popular offering for a multitude of reasons that play into one overarching theme: the promise of the unexpected. If your night hikes have become stale, try sprinkling in one or more of these options to up the level of interest and camper excitement. Sight Guess the Color Materials: one crayon for each camper As light dims, so too does the ability of our eyes to discern colors. Once campers are deep in darkness, pass out … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Insider Access, Special Website Content, The Week-Ender | Leave a comment

A Recipe For Successful Youth Programming

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc./stevanovicigor

Appetizers I cannot count the number of times my colleagues and I have come up with a great idea for a new program, camp, or class and then watched staff members struggle to turn our vision into reality. After one or two failed attempts, they often revert to some of the more tried-and-true standbys. For example, a company I worked with planned elaborate theme-based summer day-camp programs, complete with activity schedules, materials lists, and instructions for each and every project, … Continue reading

Posted in Issues, October 2014, Parks and Rec Business, PRB Top Stories | 1 Comment

Live More, Play More

Photos Courtesy of Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

While growing up, my personal experience of playground fun was swaying on tall swings that took me up towards the sky. Then my friends and I would race to the huge metal slide for even more fun! Every day after school we would run to this special place: we could be independent, make our own rules, play pretend games, make new friends, or see old ones—it was a real social meeting place.  Indoor Vs. Outdoor Well, in the intervening years … Continue reading

Posted in Issues, October 2014, Parks and Rec Business, PRB Top Stories | Leave a comment

Healthy Competition Is Not An Oxymoron

As a psychologist who works with schools and camps around the world, I am often asked whether competition is good or bad. Proponents of competition speak fondly of their athletic victories and about wanting the same experiences for the young people they serve. Competition, they say, builds character. It’s a competitive world out there, so we had better prepare our children.  Some critics of competition want every child to feel like a winner—always. Or, they want no child to feel … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, CB Top Stories, Columns & Features, Issues, Nov/Dec 2014, Staff Training | Leave a comment