Everyone loves a good summer camp. Some of the greatest childhood memories often happen while away at camp. It’s a fun and exciting time for children to try new activities, meet new people, and have new experiences. Summer camps are fun and developmental for children, but they require great leadership to create and facilitate these types of opportunities. We have created this guide that includes 10 must reads for summer camp directors to help you develop your knowledge and expand your thinking as a camp director or counselor. Regardless of the type of camp you operate, you’re sure to benefit from the books in this list.
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100 Outstanding Summer Camp Program Ideas by Kurt “Moose” Jackson
Don’t reuse the same camp ideas forever! This book is a great resource for camp directors and camp counselors who want new and exciting ideas for camps, but have limited time and creativity. By outlining 100 different ideas for camps, directors and counselors can take a breather and are sure to find an idea they love in the book. Even better, this book is designed to fit a variety of different camp types. Whether you host a day camp, or sleepaway camp, this book is sure to provide you with fun ideas for your camp.
A Little Guide for Teachers: Diversity in Schools by Bennie Kara
While this book is originally written for teachers and schools, it applies to camp leadership and camps just the same. The book is designed to help you foster an environment and create a camp curriculum that fits a wide range of individuals and backgrounds. It will expand your personal thinking and encourage you to ask yourself hard questions to grow your own awareness. It’s practical and can be easily implemented throughout your camps. If you are hoping to develop your thinking about diversity issues and how you can make a positive change, this is the book for you.
Developing a Counselor-in-Training Program for Camps by Jessica Furie
A must read for camp directors and counselors. The book breaks down counselor training curriculum into 28 different programs that can easily fit a wide variety of camps. This book is especially great for camp directors who will be training their staff, or new camp counselors with little experience within the camp environment. The book is an easy read and isn’t hard to follow or implement into your camp training programs.
Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow by Michael Thompson
This book is a great read for parents, camp directors, and counselors alike. Summer camp away from home can be a challenging time for some young children and parents. While time away from home may be challenging, it often fosters the most growth in children. This book teaches about the importance of children’s growth when away from home and encourages parents to not prohibit this growth within their children. It’s a great resource for camp directors and counselors to gain a better understanding of the heightened emotions that may develop in children who are away from home while at camp, and give them the knowledge to fuel this energy into positive developmental change for the child.
An educational read for camp directors and counselors who are interested in child development. It’s a great book for individuals who are in positions of leadership to better understand children’s needs and how they can be encouraged to succeed. Camp directors and counselors will benefit from this book and have further knowledge to create a successful, meaningful, and fun camp for children.
This book is originally intended for classroom teachers, but is a great read for camp directors and camp counselors nonetheless. Children and teenagers often experience tough or difficult situations and camp directors can better prepare themselves if they encounter a child who needs assistance by using this book as a guide. Schwartz is a classroom teacher in Denver, Colorado who has years of experience with children. She teaches various methods for handling and guiding children through tough situations based on her personal experience. Creating and fostering an environment where campers feel safe is one of the most important aspects of being a camp director or counselor. This book is a fantastic resource for those looking to develop their skills in this area.
How Long To Visiting Day?: Creative Role-Playing for Training Camp Counselors by John James Hickey
A great book for camp directors that will be training both new and experienced camp counselors. This book will walk you through many different role-play scenarios to further train camp counselors. It’s widely applicable to various types of camps and age ranges. If you are in need of resources for training camp counselors, or you’re a camp counselor yourself, this book is a great read to expand your knowledge and develop your skills.
The Ultimate Camp Counselor Manual: (How To Survive And Succeed Magnificently At Summer Camp) by Mark Richman
This book is a good read for camp counselors who value the importance of building relationships with and between their campers by being a great counselor. While reading this book, you will feel inspired to be the best camp counselor out there. You will learn various tips and techniques to develop yourself as a counselor. While this book is geared towards the counselors themselves, this book is also applicable to camp directors as well.
The Inclusive Mindset: How to Cultivate Diversity in Your Everyday Life by Justin Jones-Fosu
A fantastic resource for all. Camp directors and camp counselors will encounter children and teenagers at camp from all walks of life. It’s extremely important for directors and counselors to be inclusive to all people and this book is a great resource to help you learn, grow, and create positive change that can be applied to any organization. It not only will help you have a more inclusive mindset as a director or counselor, but will also encourage inclusivity and diversity throughout your everyday life.
The 175 Best Camp Games: A Handbook for Leaders by Kathleen Fraser
This book is full of a wide variety of games to facilitate at camp, ranging from introductory ice breakers – to calm games – to games that will wear the campers out. It’s a great read for camp directors and counselors who want to create a fun and inviting environment for campers to bond and have a good time. It’s a versatile book that’s designed to meet the needs for a range of camps, ages, and interests.
We hope you find this list of must reads is both interesting and helpful to you and your experience as a camp director or counselor. You’re sure to benefit and grow as an individual by learning from these books. Better equip yourself and make this summer the best summer camp ever!
Getting Yourself Ready for Summer Camp Season
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