ACA Accredited Camps and Members in the News

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Take 10: Seaside camp is a family affair: For Executive Director Nancy Garran, “camp,” as she calls the entire experience, is a place to “take risks and try things you’ve never done before.”

It’s also a family affair.

Founded by her grandfather, Robert Delahanty, nearly 95 years ago, camp is where she met her husband, David Peterson, and where they were married. Their two sons also met their wives and were married at camp. 

Today, they all work together and the family has grown to include five grandchildren under the age of 3. Garran also considers her staff — some of whom started as campers decades ago — and the children under her care as an extension of her family.

“Carrying on the legacy of what my grandfather started is a privilege,” she said. “I’m very blessed to have my family all around me.”


Staying afloat: Private-camp lifeguards resuscitate swim program: Every Child A Swimmer, run by the Raymond Recreation Association at Crescent Lake, has provided affordable swim lessons to area children for nearly five decades. But this year, the program’s mission faced a difficult challenge when organizers couldn’t secure a lifeguard.

The solution, as envisioned by Pat Smith, former president of the rec association, with help from three of Raymond’s private summer camps, was to borrow a lifeguard from a local summer camp every day of the program.

Smith said she recognized in late May there was a real threat to the program, and called some of the area camps to see if they had ideas about how to find a lifeguard.

“Linda Suitor, director at Camp Timanous, suggested that ‘if every camp donates a guard, we can make this work,’” Smith said. “I was intrigued by the idea and her enthusiasm.”

That was approximately two weeks before the program’s June 27 start date, she said. One week before the lessons were scheduled to start with instructor Pam Synk, camps Agawam and Kingsley Pines had also agreed to supply a lifeguard and a schedule for coverage was pieced together.


Tabor's new sunscreen dispensers help fight melanoma: The school recently received two sunscreen dispensers through the Melanoma Foundation of New England’s Practice Safe Skin program.

“All of our counselors carry sunscreen, we ask that our campers carry sunscreen, but to have them in places where they can use in passing is key," said Tabor Academy Summer Program Director Bobbi Krein.

According to the foundation, the number of people diagnosed with melanoma is rising faster than any other cancer, with one person dying from the disease every 50 minutes. To reduce the risk, this year, the Practice Safe Skin program expanded to 54 new locations in 12 states, totaling 190 new dispensers.

“We hope sunscreen dispensers will become as commonplace as hand sanitizers over the next few years,”said MFNE Executive Director Deb Girard


An oasis from the violence and hardships of the streets: “I love the fact that this program exists and that the Boston police recognize that there are children here that need this escape,” Lopes said, her voice growing thick with tears. “This is not just an opportunity for my son to get out and play. This is an opportunity for the Boston police to help me, as a single mother, raise my son and save my son.”

This year, the police-YMCA partnership, underwritten by donors, has enabled 75 children to attend camp, usually for two or three weeks each — time they would otherwise spend in sometimes toxic environments they can now escape.

As police-community relations across the country are put to the test, following police-involved shootings in several cities and the targeted killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., Boston police and YMCA officials said they hope children will learn officers are their friends.


Maine camp for Mideast peace shifts focus to divided U.S.: “People are coming to the realization that this stuff doesn’t just happen all over the other side of the world. It’s happening here,” said 17-year-old camper Matt Suslovic of Portland.

Executive Director Leslie Lewin said the goal is to tackle deep-seated racism, anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiment, socioeconomic issues, gender discrimination and LGBT issues through the sharing of personal stories and discussion.

That sounds like a tall order. But camp officials say their formula of dialogue has worked since 1993, when Seeds of Peace first brought together Israeli and Palestinian teenagers.