Category Archives: Departments

Timber!

Photos: © Curt Clayton

Located within 1,100 acres in southwest Michigan, the Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC) Camp is a nature-based summer program serving campers ages 3 to 18 years and committed to providing “fun and meaningful experiences in nature.” But as the nature center reached its 50-year anniversary, the facilities were due for upgrades.   Inspired by that milestone, as well as the 2005 publication, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder,” by Richard Louv and the No Child Left Inside … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, CB Top Stories, Departments, Facilities + Grounds, Issues, Sept/Oct 2014 | Leave a comment

Managing Risk

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / OG_vision

Managing risk—these are perhaps two of the most dreaded words in a camp director’s dictionary, rivaled only by the nickname, “Fun-Sucker.” From the onset, the very phrase seems to challenge creativity, combat ingenuity, and completely destroy hilarity—all essential ingredients in the recipe for memorable camp experiences. This article will explore some practical applications for applying sound risk-management concepts, while keeping creativity and fun intact. Similar to life in general, camps are not—nor will ever be—risk-free or completely “safe.” In fact, … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, CB Top Stories, Departments, Insider Access, Issues, Sept/Oct 2014, Technology + Marketing | Leave a comment

Making Camp Sticky

Photos Courtesy Of Gary Forster

When summer-camp sessions end, most directors make the mistake of thinking their job is complete. They brag about how summer camp makes lifelong memories and has a positive impact on kids when they return home. But all of the responsibility for that happening is put on the campers.   Even when kids have a great time at camp, their parents often don’t know how to talk to them about it. Parents ask the wrong questions, receive short answers, and eventually give … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Departments, Issues, Jul/Aug 2014, Technology + Marketing | 1 Comment

Harnessing The Power Of Nature

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Few experiences go together as well as wilderness and adventure when kids are involved. It’s virtually a genetic, almost magnetic pull, even when most children and young adults don’t even know what ”wilderness” is on a practical level. The Road To Wilderness My own journey began in the mountains of upstate New York, and then through an extended apprenticeship with Tom Brown, Jr., in 1984. I was 20 years old, and the thirst for learning Native American wilderness-survival skills was … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Departments, Issues, Jul/Aug 2014, Programming | Leave a comment

A Purposeful Climb

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Even though I grew up in southern California, water is not my favorite element. I enjoy rafting, but kayaking terrifies me. I’ve tried it once, and I’m willing to try it again, but it’s certainly not “my thing.” Land adventures are far more my speed. At CampBighorn in western Montana, where I work, there are two ropes courses—a higher and a lower—and two challenge elements called Jacob’s Ladder and the Vertical Playpen. These four elements—known as the Challenge Course—are my wheelhouse. I could spend every … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Departments, Issues, Jul/Aug 2014, Programming | Leave a comment