This-N-That

Kay Park Reflects On 60 Years          In the 1950s, there was a national push to restore public parks for American families. During the World War II the previous decade, many manufacturing facilities had altered their plants to facilitate the ‘war effort.’ There were few places making equipment for public parks.  In 1954, an entrepreneur named Keith Borglum heard from his brother that the city of Cedar Falls, Iowa was looking for someone to fabricate steel charcoal grills for public parks. … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Issues, Jul/Aug 2014 | 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, CB Top Stories, 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

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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

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Novelty: Naughty or Nice?

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / diego_cervo

It’s fun to ponder our love/hate relationship with newness. We wrap presents for birthdays, Chanukah, Christmas, and other special occasions, in part, because it’s pleasant to be surprised. Not only do the event of receiving something and the object itself bring us joy, but we also enjoy the feverish unwrapping of an unknown article. Call it the “Ta-Da!” factor. The sudden reveal amplifies our happiness—usually.  Some surprises, however, are unpleasant. I’m not talking about sudden bad news, where the unexpected … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, CB Top Stories, Issues, Jul/Aug 2014, Staff Training | Leave a comment
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Swift Nature Camp

We provide each child a safe, fun and rewarding summer program away from technology, celebrity culture and academic pressures. Through fun activities and positive staff role models, we help children develop life long skills such as confidence, teamwork, leadership, compassion [...] More