Author Archive

  • Camp Industry Professionalism – 2008

    Historical Roots In the late 1800s, when the camping movement began to accelerate in Canada and the US, dozens of new camps were founded by progressive educators. Some of these professionals had doctorates in education; others were seasoned teachers or headmasters at private schools. All of them were looking for alternative pedagogies—methods of educating children [...]

    Read More
  • Can I Trust My Child’s Camp Counselor? – 2007

    Behold the question every parent ponders before and after the camp season. The good news is that hiring protocols and staff training programs at most high quality camps prevent anyone with ulterior or unsavory motives from ever becoming a part of the camp family. Whew. The bad news is that every summer, a tiny fraction [...]

    Read More
  • WebCams at Summer Camp – An Investigation – 2007

    Yesterday, a parent asked me whether I thought it was a “red flag” that her son’s camp didn’t have a webcam on site. (Presumably, this webcam would be used to broadcast a live feed of camp activity from the camp to parents’ home or office computers.) “In what way are you concerned about the absence [...]

    Read More
  • Is Your Camp’s Health Center the Center of Health? – 2007

    In her 1912 book Notes on Nursing, Florence Nightingale wrote, “I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper [...]

    Read More
  • E-xcellent Mail – 2007

    Letter-Writing Advice for Parents in an Electronic Age Oh sure, I could wax sentimental about the bygone days of handwritten letters. Even as I type this on my speedy new laptop, there’s a Mont Blanc fountain pen on my desk, a gift from my wife for our 10th anniversary. Nothing quite matches the look of [...]

    Read More
  • Bullying at Camp is an Opportunity – 2006

    Bullying has received a lot of recent press, especially as more and more schools adopt anti-bullying programs in their curriculum. Witnessing school shootings that were, in part, retaliation for relentless bullying may have increased our empathy toward both bullies and their targets, as well as our motivation to change. But tragic events, additions to curricula, [...]

    Read More
  • Dress Codes Undone – 2006

    Every camp has a dress code. It’s just that at some camps, it’s more formalized than at others. I applaud those camps with a written dress code, such as plain blue shorts and white T-shirts, because established codes equalize social standing, avert materialistic conversations, eliminate stress about what to wear, and allow campers to focus [...]

    Read More
  • Single-Sex or Coed? – 2006

    Fewer choices about which camp to attend are more important than this one. At the same time, every family must realize that there are virtues to both single-sex and coed camps. The choice should depend on which virtues are most important to you and your child this summer. “We live in a coed world,” one [...]

    Read More
  • Picking the Best Specialty Camp for Your Child – 2006

    Finding the best specialty camp is all about finding the best match for your child’s interests and abilities. Consider first the pros and cons of the type (single sex vs. coed) and setting (day vs. resident). These categorical decisions will help narrow the field and here’s what will help you target a high quality camping [...]

    Read More
  • Summer Camp Arts and Crafts – 2006

    Finding Beauty in an Ashtray “What is it?” asked my cabin leader, gently. We both eyed my clay creation as it emerged from the camp kiln, glazed and cooled. I was 12, so I hadn’t made a something; I’d made an anything. It had just been fun to pinch and push the clay for our [...]

    Read More