Category Archives: Columns & Features

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

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3 Decisions I’m Making This Fall That I Didn’t Make Last Fall

What do you do for personal growth?

“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” –Calvin Coolidge Last month I shared with you 5 Tools I’m Using This Fall That I Didn’t Use Last. I’d like to follow that up this month with some “things” that I’m choosing to do this fall. You see, growth and progress are incredibly important to me and I would bet they are to you also. Benjamin Franklin reminded us that without them, “words … Continue reading

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Healthy Competition Is Not An Oxymoron

Photo:  © Can Stock Photo Inc. / serrnovik

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

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Finding Beauty in an Ashtray

Anything creative and pleasing to the senses can be art.

“What is it?” asked my cabin leader, gently. We both eyed my clay creation as it emerged from the camp kiln, glazed and cooled. I was 12, so I hadn’t made a something; I’d made an anything. It had just been fun to pinch and push the clay for our hour-long arts-and-crafts period. Now came the hard part: I needed to identify my project. “Hmm…” I thought out loud. Finally, my cabin leader said confidently, “Oh, I see. It’s an ashtray.” And there it was. The … Continue reading

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YMCA Selects as Preferred Vendor


Ann Arbor, MI–, the leading electronic health record system for camps, and YMCA of the USA, have teamed up to help Y camps improve health and safety for their campers and staff. allows camp nurses to instantly access vital camper and staff medical information, including allergies, medications, and immunization records, as well as track illness and injury in an electronic health log. As part of their commitment to youth development, there are a diverse group of overnight, day and specialty … Continue reading

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