Category Archives: Sept/Oct 2012


A New Way To Connect Mukwonago, Wis.—iPad apps are not necessarily a new concept, but apps created specifically for parents by the folks who run children’s camps are, says Brad Robinson, manager of customer experience and marketing for B’nai B’rith Beber Camp, a coed, nonprofit Jewish overnight camp for children ages 7 to 17. Staff members spent three months crafting the content for their app, which serves as a portal for parent information, summer photos, email, and social networking. The … Continue reading

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Manners Matter

Yes, table manners DO matter! Photo courtesy of Christopher Thurber

Early in the history of organized summer camps, cooks sparked a debate. Directors on one side of the debate argued that camps should be egalitarian utopias that teach self-reliance. Therefore, children should cook for themselves. No servants. Stoke the campfire and bust out the mess kits, they argued. The more children did for themselves at camp, the better. Hired help–cooks, custodians, or groundskeepers–created a class society. Quite the opposite of camps’ stated mission. Directors on the other side of the debate … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Dr. Chris Thurber, Issues, Sept/Oct 2012, Staff Training, Writers | Leave a comment

It’s More Than Just Words On A Shirt

A T-shirt makes a great camp souvenir! Photo courtesy of CustomInk

It’s the first day of camp: SUVs and minivans are pulling onto the grounds, and parents are hastily unloading children and luggage. While some campers are excited to return and visit with old pals, others are more hesitant about spending an entire week, or more, away from the comforts of home and familiar faces. This extended time with “strangers” can be scary for a child–especially a first-year camper. As a camp director, counselor, or staff member, you know this often … Continue reading

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Investing In What’s Important

Be intentional about camp staff training. Photo courtesy of Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park, Colo.

At a recent camp conference, a between-session conversation among several directors focused on organizational budget cuts and the lack of travel dollars for adequate continuing education. This is a common scenario for organizations big and small. Tighter budgets can correlate to diminished continuing education and training plans for frontline staff, managers, and directors. Yet savvy camp professionals know that maintaining a strong knowledge base and skill set, as well as documenting the acquisition of new knowledge and skills, is important … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Departments, Issues, Programming, Sept/Oct 2012 | Leave a comment

Dining Hall Design And Kitchen Layout

Take into consideration all uses when designing a camp dining hall. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / JanMika

No other building or facility occupies campers’ time like the dining hall. Campers and alumni remember, rather revere, the wonderful experiences they had in their camp dining hall: the songs they sang, the friends they met, and, hopefully, the wonderful meals they ate. While the computer-aided design (CAD) system, drawing board, and T-square are the tools of design, the dining hall is an expression of the camp ownership or management. This individual, or group of individuals, must communicate the purpose … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Departments, Food Services + Concessions, Issues, Sept/Oct 2012 | Leave a comment