Category Archives: Columns & Features

Easy is Easy – Systems that Get Things Done

Get creative with organizational systems.

Quick. Name something at your camp that you have to remind people to do on a daily basis. I bet you can name at least three. And I bet it drives you batty. What did you come up with? Sanitize hands? Return cups to the dining hall? Clean up the craft shop? Gather tennis balls from the woods after a period? We can all think of procedures that require frequent reminders. And we all know what a pain it is … Continue reading

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Teeter-Totter Effect

Balance! That’s my word for the year, or maybe for the next decade. In other words, where is the balance between building character and risking harm; between overcoming challenges and feeling defeated, or, even between having fun and skinning knees? Perhaps it’s the fear of uncertainty—or harm—that paralyzes our efforts and causes us to swing the pendulum drastically in the other direction. Championing risk and safety always has two opposing sides to every discussion—risks vs. opportunities. So, when activities like youth survival or aviation … Continue reading

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August List

Treat yourself to experiences that move you at a soul level.

Your Summer (List) Starts Today We’re all familiar with the idea of a bucket list, an individual collection of activities, experiences and accomplishments most of us hope to enjoy before, well, we kick the bucket. The diversity of bucket list items mirrors the variety of lives we lead as humans, but the one commonality all bucket lists share is that they’re created with an eye toward the life that’s yet to come, the ‘someday’ in life when we have the … Continue reading

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August Is Tree Check Month


Make the most out of that stroll in the park, fun in the backyard, or hike in the woods. Keep an eye out for a devastating tree-killing pest. Mark your calendars for this August and help watch over our nation’s hardwoods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging people to take ten minutes to get outside and take a closer look at their trees. August is a peak time of emergence for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). Since its … Continue reading

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How To Talk To Parents…So They’ll Listen

Your campers listen; here's how to get their parents to.

During the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I discovered an essential truth about myself: I enjoy working with kids. Between tutoring elementary school students in spelling and reading, babysitting when my schedule allowed, and spending my summer as a 4-H camp counselor, keeping kids safe and having fun at the same time naturally led me into a career as a middle school teacher and summer camp program director. Not until my student teaching experience did … Continue reading

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