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For the Love of Summer Camp

Monday, December 21, 2009

8:38AM - LGBT Summer camp staff needed for inverview

LGBT Summer Camp Staff

Volunteers needed for a research study about the experience of LGBT or non-heterosexual staff at residential summer camps.

Who is eligible?

Individuals who are 18-25 who:

* Have worked at a residential or sleep-away camp within the last three years
* Identify oneself as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or non-heterosexual

How will research be conducted?

Should you choose to volunteer, you will be asked to participate in one 90-minute interview to share your thoughts and opinions in your own words. During your confidential interview, you will be asked to relate and reflect on your experiences as a staff member at summer camp.

How can I learn more about volunteering?
Complete information about the study will be provided before you participate, and any questions you may have about the research will be answered.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please call Linda Oakleaf at 336-460-2032, or e-mail her at lloaklea@ncsu.edu.

Please pass this on if you know someone you think might meet the criteria for participating in this study.


Sunday, December 13, 2009


So this summer I will be celebrating my 10th year as camp staff (yey!) but I do have a small problem. Having been staff so long at the same camp, I found myself this past summer recycling a lot of old ideas. What I'd really love to do is bring something new and fresh to my camp. That being said...

What are some of your favourite activities at camp? Is there a game you think is awesome beyond all words that every camp should do? Is there a craft that you think everyone must try at least once?

One thing my camp does, for instance, is geocaching. Mind we do it on a small scale with temporary boxes just so the kids can learn it, but it's still amazing.

So what do you do that's incredible?

Current mood: busy

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Hey guys! I am going to be a counselor next summer and there were some scenerios that I ran into last summer that really gave me trouble dealing with. Can you tell me how you would have dealt with it?

1) Homesickness during parts of the day when you cant get a camper preoccupied with something else (rest hour, bedtime). You can't talk them out of homesickness and it is really, really hard to get them to go to sleep if they are homesick at night.

2) Scary dream...as well as being too scared to go to sleep because the camper is terrified of getting a scary dream.

3)Campers freaked out over a ghost story at bedtime (Earlier that day a high-school aged camper told one of my 10 year olds a story about a "ghost centipede" and it started out as the girl freaking out and imagining that a centipede was in her bed at every possibility, to freaking out about ghosts in general and the fear spread to the rest of the cabin).

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

8:45PM - Hmm.

Does anyone know anything about Camp May Flather in Virginia?

Current mood: busy

Friday, October 30, 2009

12:20AM - To A Camper, by Mary S. Edgar

You may think, my dear, when you grow quite old
You have left camp days behind,
But I know the scent of wood smoke
Will always call to mind
Little fires at twilight
And trails you used to find.

You may think someday you have quite grown up,
And feel so worldly wise
But suddenly from out of the past
A vision will arise
Of merry folk with brown bare knees
And laughter in their eyes.

You may live in a house built to your taste
In the nicest part of town
But someday for your old camp togs
You'd change your latest gown
And trade it for a balsam bed
Where stars all night look down.

You may find yourself grow wealthy
Have all that gold can buy.
But you'd toss aside a fortune
For days 'neath an open sky
With sunlight and blue water
And white clouds sailing by.

For once you have been a camper
Then something has come to stay
Deep in your heart forever
Which nothing can take away,
And heaven can only be heaven
With a camp in which to play.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Thank you everyone for the help. Keep the help coming though please!
Wat camps do/did you guys go to?????


Hi, I am 13 years old and I want to go to camp. Can anyone give me a good camp and what to look for in a camp? I live in NY so a camp by there would be great!
PS. Nothing to exspensive, I would only want to go for two weeks for my first summer


Current mood: bored


Hey guys! Thanks to the people who helped in my last question! Now I have another one...what questions do they ask during interviews?

My last camp never made me do an interview and so far between the initial application and the 2nd application they told me to fill out, they already asked me most of the interview questions I can think of:

-Why do you want to be a counselor?
-What are your greatest strength and weakness?
-What is your relationship with God/spiritual background? (Christian camp)
-Tell us about yourself (They asked me to write a brief autobiographical sketch including family background, spiritual background, activities, honors or awards from high school and college, and special training that is relevant to the application)
-What interests, aims, qualifications, and/or experience do you have that are relevant to the application?
-What would be some of your goals for the girls in your cabin?
-They asked me about my home church (the name and the name of the pastor) and what denomination I am

What else could they ask? Can any of you remember specific questions from your interviews? Especially situational ones?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

12:45AM - Hey camp people!

Just wondering - our camp has boats we call "viking boats" - they have brightly painted heads - some are dragons, some are animals, etc. They hold 6 rowers and up to 8-12 people, depending on size and weight, and plenty of room for stuff to fit if we want to overnight across the lake.

We've always been told that we are the only camp that features these, I've also heard that we are the only camp that has them west of the mississippi - but now that our 75th anniversary is coming up, we'd like to check if that is true.

So I ask you folks...do you have viking boats/dragon boats at your camp, or any camp that you know of? To see a picture, check this link:


Thanks for helping with our fact-checking mission!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

4:08PM - A Show of Hand

The accident happened on the last evening of my last year at summer camp.

The camps I attended in the summers of my youth were merely week-long getaways, though I've always had the impression -- from movies and television -- that it is typical in some regions of the country for kids to pack off for a summer-long camp, filling the gap between school years.

I always did well with the crafts, and, with some apprehension, navigated the delicate social constructs of camp-society.

On the last evening of camp, we all went out on a hayride to a farm, where we'd have watermelon and (I don't recall specifically, but I'm guessing here) sing around the camp fire.

While frolicking at the farm, some of us spied a hay ring tipped up on its end like a spinning hamster track. So, I hopped on it and started walking up one side to roll it as though I were in 2001: A Space Odyssey or, in more current context, a Cirque de Soleil act.

Those nearby thought I had a keen idea and piled onto the hay ring with me. With several people rocking the ring in competing directions, I lost my balance and planted my hand on a jagged piece of the ring's metal structure.

It didn't hurt real bad, but it hurt. And when I got off the ring and held my hand up, it was rapidly filling with a pool of blood, like a dark wine seeping from my skin. That freaked me out a bit, but it also seemed oddly incongruous, because it looked really bad, but it didn't feel really bad.

I trotted over to a counselor, who seemed more panicked that I was. She rounded up some other counselors, and soon I was being whisked away to a hospital in the nearest town. First, we had to go back by the camp to retrieve my file with its medical information like the date of my last tetanus shot and a signed note from my parents that the counselors could seek medical attention on my behalf.

I got 12 stitches and a souvenir scar across the meaty part of my palm.

The whole ordeal took a long time. When I returned to camp, the other campers had completed their hayride/farm visit and were already in the big meeting hall for a dance on our last evening at camp.

When I walked in, lots of kids came over to talk to me and ask about what had happened. It felt nice to believe that they were genuinely interested or concerned, though it also seems likely many of them just wanted to get the lowdown on what happened, whether or not that had any interest in my well being.

Dad picked me up the next morning. "What happened to your hand?"

"I got cut. And I had to have some stitches, but it's okay."

Somehow, I felt adult-like by being able to explain something happened, but there was no real cause for worrying -- everything was going to be alright.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

6:42PM - Question for fellow counselors (and campers, too!)

Hey guys! I am going to be a 2nd year returning counselor at a wonderful all-girls camp in Texas, but I have run into some problems after I applied. First off, I applied too late. I tried to work for both terms to avoid really struggling to find a job, but I only ended up with one term - the 2nd term that goes from July to the first week of August. At first I figured: Hey, I will just get some job the first half the summer and just try to find something else after if I lose it because of camp. The director kind of went out of her way to give me the job- Im sure it would be annoying to her give it up after her effort.

However, I  think I am on the verge of getting a regular job that I might not be able to pick-up after a month of absence. I am torn between enjoying a month of camp versus risking losing my regular job if I ask to take leave for that amount of time.

If you where in my position, which would you choose? Thanks for any input!

Friday, April 17, 2009

1:37PM - Following up on my last post...

Has anyone here ever attended or worked at Camp Matoaka in Maine,or Camp Horizons in Virginia?

Edit: I have now received an offer to, instead of being a camp counselor, be a nanny for the camp directors' toddler. Oh my God. This Camp Indecision 2009 is getting more and more epic by the day.

Current mood: anxious

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

12:06PM - To supervise or not to supervise?

Hi! My camp name is Mongoose, AKA Goose, Mamagoose, Mongoozle, MG. (I prefer Goose of all of those. It suits me the best.) I've worked the last two summers at a Girl Scout camp in North Carolina, and this summer, I am venturing out of that camp, for a variety of reasons.

So, right now, I've had offers from two camps, and am waiting to hear from another. I'm having a really, really hard time making a decision. Maybe you lovely people could offer some insight? :)

Camp #1, Virginia
-Wants me for a program area director position (arts and crafts). Leadership role.
-Is paying $1800 for the summer
-Is coed, private, sleepaway, with one and two-week sessions all summer
-Would not involve cabin counselor duties (I think)
-Doesn't pay me to recert in CPR prior to camp. I don't have forty bucks to drop on said recert at the moment.

Camp #2, Maine
-Wants me for a combo arts and crafts counselor/cabin counselor. No leadership role.
-Is paying $2100 plus $250 to travel
-Is a private girls' camp, sleepaway, sessions are either 3-week or all summer long, from mid-June to mid-Augustish
-Would involve cabin counselor duties
-Will pay me to recert.

Camp #3, Washington
-Wants me for a unit leader position. Obviously a leadership role.
-Salary uncertain, but probably splitting the difference between the other two. I hope.
-Is a Girl Scout camp, mostly running one-week sessions.
-Would involve cabin counselor duties.
-Pretty sure they're paying me to recert.

Things I'm considering: nobody works at camp for the money, but I was making a little over $2000 after taxes in my old camp. I want to at least keep that. But I also really want a leadership position. I need to prove I can do it, and honestly? I like being in charge and I'm pretty good at it. I like arts and crafts and am very good at it, but I don't know if I want to be tied to a craft house all summer. Again. I think that I would have freedom to get away from the craft house in Virginia, and it's POSSIBLE I could in Maine. Honestly, I just want the chance to organize some MASSIVE games of Capture the Flag and stuff like that. Another thing to consider is that I was the ONLY crafts specialist at my old camp, and in Maine and Virginia both, I'd have to "share". I'm nervous about working with people who might hate me (there were groups of people who just randomly hated me at my old camp. I don't care, normally...but when they start making my job difficult, we have a problem. Yanno?)

So, based on all that...what would YOU choose?

Current mood: cheerful

Sunday, April 5, 2009

10:19PM - Camp Baby?

One of my camp friends(who also met her husband at camp) is having a child. Of course, not any typical baby gift will do. I want something campy...even if it is just for laughs. Aside from buying the newborn some Keens, does anyone have any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My name is Ashley, I'm a 22 year old Girl Scout; and while every summer I try to work at a Scout camp (boy scouts or girl scouts) this year I got hired to a new position; I'll be the camp naturalist! I'm very excited for the job, however I'm looking for some resources for the camp's nature center.

I'm wondering if any of you know of any places I can go, or websites that have posters, teaching tools, booklets, or anything that emphasizes on nature, conservation, endangered species, going "green," or anything like that; that might be giving away resources for free/promotion?
I know, a lot of places would like their stuff bought so they can make money too, and I intend on using some of the camp's small budget for resources, but I'd rather spend the money on things the girls can use and make, than things like posters (if that makes sense to you).

If no, any websites that are good resources for a camp naturalist would be loved too!

Thank you so much for your time, and I'm sorry if you see this more than once, it is cross-posted!

Monday, February 16, 2009

1:56AM - anyone around?

so the camp that i've been attending for seven years (six as a camper and one as a cit) sent me a rejection letter yesterday in reference to my staff application for this summer.
after a long period of freaking out and a bit of crying and general upsetness,
i'm now looking for somewhere else to work this summer.
any suggestions?
i'm not a girl scout and i'm looking for a non-religious affiliated camp.
anywhere in the mid-atlantic, CA or HI would be amazing.

thanks guys!

Friday, May 30, 2008

7:05PM - Anyone work at Camp Scherman (CA), Skylark Ranch (CA) or Sugar Pine???

I was wondering if any of these camps had camp counselor positions still available?

Monday, April 7, 2008

11:34PM - Camp Job

Hi Everyone, my name is Cameron. I've never posted here before, but love reading all the entries about camp. I work at Camp Sky Ranch, a co-ed residential special needs camp in the North Carolina mountains. It is the most incredible place in the world and the most rewarding experience I've ever had. We have always had trouble finding qualified male staff and I was wondering if any of you (if you're male) would be interested or know of any gentlemen who may be. I think we are still accepting applications for all positions, so if you're a girl and are interested, I'm sure you can still apply. We are just in crucial need for the boys. The website is www.campskyranch.com. It's a six week camp starting June 22nd and ending August 2nd. You don't need to have experience with special needs populations or camp to be considered. If you have any questions at all, you can respond to this or see the website. This will be my 5th summer at CSR and I can't say enough about it. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

4:52PM - camp hiring

Hey, my (camp) name is Gnutmeg and I'm giving a shout that my local camp, Camp Woolsey is hiring for the summer. We do have a shorter summer season than many camps, so we could be ideal for people who plan on doing other things as well but would like some time at a camp.

We are an all-girls camp run through Girl Guides of Ontario, located just outside of Ottawa, Canada.

If you are interested, PLEASE check out our website for more information on our camp. Click here!!

Hiring for Camp Woolsey and the 9 other provincial Girl Guide camps is being handled by provincial Guiding, so click here for information on all the camps and positions available. (Most of the director/admin positions have been filled, but check out the other ones!)

Current mood: busy

Sunday, March 16, 2008

8:30PM - A campy question...kind of

I am looking to buy a gas grill for my new apartment, but I am finding prices are way higher than I was hoping for.

Will a gas camp stove give me that same 'grilled' experience that I am looking for?

Probably a dumb question, but I was always an open fire kind of girl.

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