Camp stories and features are already making for some excellent reading online and in print this summer!
ACA New England is the region’s hub for all things summer camp. We are ready for reporters' camp questions.
"Camps know best. Pack what’s on the list -- no more, no less.," advises Bette Bussel, Executive Director of the American Camp Association, New England, in NECN Money Saving Monday's online piece July 7th focused on what campers need to bring to camp.
There’s no better place than camp to pay it forward.
Sometimes camps are on the receiving end and benefit from volunteer power, as in this article, while other times camp staff and campers are the ones doing the volunteering. Mary Constance, recently retired Executive Director of ACA Accredited Camp Allen (Bedford, NH) shared this about recent volunteer efforts to build a sensory garden for campers with sensory issues by Build America volunteers completing another project at the camp for people with special needs, “It’s incredible what they do. They built a sensory garden for our campers with sensory issues, and it’s everyone’s favorite part of the camp now. The campers all clap for them when they come into the dining hall,” in the July 19 Boston Globe article, Home improvement meets self-improvement.
Working at camp is tremendously meaningful, often leading to a rich and rewarding career as it did for members of the camp professionals in this story. Camps jobs are an excellent introduction into the world of work, allowing young people to acquire fundamental, transferable skills that will be valued in many different professions in the future. Rachel White, daughter of the Owners/Directors Caroline and Marc White at ACA Accredited Kutshers Sports Academy (Great Barrington, MA) on growing up at camp, “I never understood what it was like when other kids said they didn’t go to camp in the summers…It’s where I’ve made some of my best friends in the world,” in this boston.com Jobs section piece on July 15th that profiled the “family business.”
The summer camp season has a rhythm and purpose and intention.
The annual launch of the season is highly anticipated and well-planned. June 28th's The Valley News focused on some camps in VT at the beginning of the summer while they were in the excitement of launching the summer season at each camp: Camp Billings, Camp Aloha, Aloha Hive, Lanakila, Horizons Day Camp, and Ohana Family Camp—all accredited by the ACA. “A certain level of excitement builds up in the days before staff members arrive, followed by an even greater sense of anticipation for when the campers get there, said Bob Green, director of Camp Billings, who compared the first day of camp with a theater production’s opening night. We’re putting on a show, and we’re ready.” Laura Gillespie, director of communications and alumni relations for the Aloha Foundation said on behalf of the foundation’s six camps, “But the anticipation of summer involves “a certain joy and energy. I’m an alum myself and I’ve been a camp parent, and there is a wonderful rhythm to the beginning of the season and families returning.”
Camps are wonderful community partners that play a vibrant role in the lives of people who live and work nearby.
Camp Braveheart, for grieving kids and teens in its ninth year, which will be held at ACA Accredited Camp Aldersgate in North Scituate, RI, was featured in the Valley Breeze on July 16th. Like many ACA Accredited camps, Camp Aldersgate is providing the setting for a short term camp experience after their traditional season concludes in late August. Partnerships like this one with Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island (HHCRI) are typically win-win. "Oftentimes, youngsters who have experienced loss are isolated in their circle of friends or even in their classroom settings. Our goal is to help them to understand that loss is universal and connecting with others in grief can be a healing opportunity," says Deanna Upchurch, grief and volunteer programs specialist for HHCRI.
Camps reflect the real world interests of children and families; camp programming often includes and highlights what’s new without giving up traditional activities.
Golf is now offered at many camps that have not offered this sport historically. ACA Accredited Channel 3 Kids Camp in Andover, CT is partnering with First Tee of CT this summer to enhance the quality of their programming. "It means the world to us to have professional golf coaching available to our campers for the entirety of the 2015 summer season," says Kids Camp Summer Program Director Luke Smith. "Golf is a sport that many children would never be exposed to were it not for this program." he adds in this July 9th Hartford Courant article.
Photo Credits from top to bottom of page:
Farm & Wilderness Camps, Plymouth, VT (ACA Accredited) and Camp Howe, Goshen, MA (ACA Accredited)