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The ACA New England copy of Hello Mother, Hello Father: Celebrating Summer Camp has just arrived. What a great time to see a book that recognizes the remarkable influence of camps over the last 150 years. Its nostalgic perspective, including iconic camp photography and essays by campers, counselors and camp professionals, is perfect for this time of the year. We encourage you to check this book out – whether you’re a camper parent, a former camper or staff person, or you’re simply camp curious (curious about the unique world of summer camp), this book has a message.

“This book is nothing short of a letter home to the institution that has profoundly affected millions nationwide, providing a transformative experience for children and adults alike.”

Congratulations to the author, Daniella K. Garran, Assistant Director of Cape Cod Sea Camps (ACA Accredited) in Brewster, MA.

Camp people are now counting the moments until opening day. Staff training is underway. It requires a phenomenal effort to get the staff team ready and the physical space ready. But all the extraordinary efforts to prepare for this season programmatically, educationally, and logistically are about to benefit everyone—most importantly the campers. In the midst of all this camp prep (for families and for camps) it’s useful to remember why camp experiences are such an essential part of childhood. Camp gives kids a world of good. Its benefits and impact, which are explored by Daniella Garran in the book, are apparent as well to parents and guardians, to teachers, and to campers themselves.

Writer, blogger, and author, Rachel Levy Lesser, in a post called Generation Camp that was sparked by the camp packing process highlights so many benefits of a camp experience for her son and herself. 

“I wanted my son to have many of the same experiences and learn many of the same things I did back in my day. Camp, for me, was more than just playing sports during the day and sleeping in a cabin in the woods at night. My all-girls eight-week sleep-away camp in Maine was a place where I grew into myself and in many ways, discovered who I was. It was a place where far from the pressures of home, of school, of boys, I formed lifelong friendships with other girls from all across the country. It was where I learned how to do things that I never could have never done at home -- like climb a mountain, water ski, write a song and lead the gray team against the blue team in my last summer as color war captain. At camp, I learned to truly appreciate the simpler things in life like friendship, natural beauty, the outdoors, tradition and teamwork.”

This week we will highlight more of the countless benefits of camp so make sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page! You can feel the energy in the air as we enter the final countdown to Summer 2014!! 

Photo Credits: Top, Left: cover of Daniella K. Garran's new book. Middle, Left: Staff training at Beaver Summer Programs (ACA Accredited). Bottom, Right: Staff and campers out on a trail at Camp Aldersgate (ACA Accredited).