News & Resources

Directors: Reminder To Update Your Camp’s Listing

Directors: Reminder To Update Your Camp’s Listing

It is time to plan for the summer of 2020 and update your listing on the Camp Channel.

NEW (10/2/19):  .We’ve just released a new feature update to include six photos within your camp’s Basic or Full Hyperlink Listing; increasing the number of photos your camp is able to display (previously two);  allowing potential campers and families to better visualize and become aware of all of the fun and unique experiences offered at your camp!

Directors are encouraged to update your listing(s) with respect to any time sensitive information that might be different for next year such as dates, rates, and other programming changes. Click on the “Directors” button in order to submit any modifications. You are welcome to update your information as often as necessary.

Click here  in order to modify your listing. You are welcome to update your information as often as necessary.

For more information about why it is a good idea to create a comprehensive and organized plan to update as much information as possible about your camp or program which resides on the internet, please read the following article:

Camp Directors: Keeping Your Web Listings Current

If you are a prospective camper or parent seeking a summer camp for the summer of 2020 please keep in mind that many camps have yet to provide their updated information for next summer. It is always recommended that you contact a summer camp directly for the most up to date and accurate information.

Website Interface Improvements

Our interface has been recently updated to improve navigation; allowing visitors to more easily review search results as well as to retrieve information contained within the full listing profiles for individual summer camps.

On mobile devices: a fixed secondary navigational menu for listing results will now appear at the top of your device; allowing you to more easily process and filter results at any moment.

Likewise, on all camp listing profile pages (for all devices), a fixed secondary navigational menu will now appear at the top of your screen; allowing you to more easily view multi-media elements and read specific information displayed for any given camp listing.

New: Site-Wide SSL Security

We are pleased to announce the recent implementation of SSL security to the entirety of the campchannel.com domain, as well as its other more specialized directories located at:

https://www.VerySpecialCamps.com (Special Needs)

https://www.CampRentalChannel.com (Camp Rentals)

While the Camp Channel does not gather or retain sensitive information from visitors seeking a camp (such as credit card or social security data), we believe an encrypted and secure site-wide digital interface provides an increased level of security and trust for all website activity and engagement.

Online since 1995, the Camp Channel strives to maintain its position and reputation as a leader in camp search.

Newly Updated Camp Jobs Section

We are excited to welcome in the New Year with the release of an updated version of our Job Board: featuring improved navigational components and a more uniform format that is helpful to visitors using mobile devices who are searching for a summer camp job.

Information about a wide variety of camp staff positions is now more accessible with fewer clicks and scrolling; offering a more standardized and easily readable format to more readily evaluate information at a glance.

If you are seeking employment at a summer camp, we encourage you to stop by and take a look at many fun and rewarding camp job openings for the summer of 2018.

Group Rentals on CampRentalChannel.com

Are you searching for a facility to host a wedding, company outing, family reunion, or other large event? Many summer camps rent their facilities before and after their primary camp sessions to groups looking to host various events and functions. 

Our newly upgraded website – specifically dedicated to camp rentals – has recently received several feature enhancements to improve usability on both desktops and mobile devices.

If you are camp director and would like to list your group rental on CampRentalChannel.com, you are welcome to view our listing options and sign up by visiting:

http://www.camprentalchannel.com/directors/apply.shtml

National Parks & Summer Camps: Essential Sanctuaries in the Modern World

August 25, 2016 marked the National Park Service’s Centennial (100th) anniversary. Some might say the National Park system is our nation’s “best idea” – for a great number of reasons; some of the most poignant of which can not be easily translated into mere words as a substitute for one’s presence amidst the sublime natural surroundings National Parks afford to those who cross their often frail boundaries into the unique ancient landscapes and habitats contained therein.

A long range historical perspective might reveal how the establishment of the National Park Service represented an effort to not only preserve our natural treasures, but to establish a foundation and cooperative framework to afford what might be considered the equivalent of large scale “communal camp facilities” for generations to engage and establish connections in perpetuity — amidst a contemporary world which often bombards us with a constant stream of trivial information and unending artificial stimuli.

Just as National Parks provide a physical venue for people to come together and perhaps form unseen yet enduring bonds with untrammeled natural landscapes and wildlife, summer camps might be thought of in a similar light in so far as providing a “sanctuary” from some of the more obtrusive aspects of modern life which might affect young people’s ability to better engage in meaningful social interaction and relationships with other individuals at a formative age.

As the sprawl of modern life has enveloped much of our natural surroundings, perhaps so too have technological advancements encumbered relationships among people – young and old.  As a society and individuals, we’ve seemed to have generally drifted further and further into the individualized compartments of virtual worlds, electronic devices, and gadgetry; often at the expense of establishing and developing meaningful bonds with others – in real time, in person.

Summer camps offer a forum for kids to establish real life relationships with one another; many of whom are experiencing similar issues in navigating the complicated waters of modern life. A camp environment may facilitate more thoughtful conversation and interaction with others “in the moment” vs. the often caricatured reclusive behavior of reflexively retreating to one’s mobile device or gadget.

In a similar light as National Parks, some camps are able to provide a direct connection to our natural environment at various levels of immersion. Given the apparent decreasing scope of nature (with a capital “N”) from our collective consciousness, the value of such a portal is immense; even as a simple reminder to all of us regarding our essence as human beings and what ultimately sustains us as creatures who inhabit the Earth.

Summer camps come in all shapes and sizes with respect to:  locale, facilities, and programming emphasis.  Likewise, not all camps take place outdoors in a natural setting; however, even camps that utilize an indoor facility(s) still offer a meaningful venue to congregate and interact with others in a positive fashion.

It is difficult to refute how technology has improved the human condition – offering tremendous breakthroughs and conveniences on a number of fronts. However, without the adoption and nourishment of constructs pertaining to real life bonds and relationships to people and the natural environment, technological improvements will invariably not live up to their potential to help people to prosper;  instead, perhaps even serve to perpetuate and amplify disconnects between people and nature alike.

In addition to such commonalities, the National Park Service and summer camps also share the same general historical era with respect to some of their early implementations. Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, had extended federal protection to an unprecedented amount of land and wildlife during his terms in office from 1901-1909; a combined effort including: five National Parks, eighteen National Monuments, and the beginning of the United States Forest Service – totaling nearly 250 million acres.  It was on the heels the Roosevelt administration the National Park Service formally sprang into existence in 1916.

During the same approximate time frame, the first traditional residential summer camps in the United States started to appear in the early part of the 20th Century, such as the following summer camps which are still in operation to date:

Awosting (1900)

YMCA Camp Mason (1900)

Frost Valley YMCA (1901)

Surprise Lake Camp (1902)

Camp Highlands for Boys (1904)

Pok-O-MacCready Camps (1905)

YMCA Camp Lakewood (1905)

Camp O-AT-KA (1906)

YMCA Camp Copneconic (1915)

Fairview Lake YMCA Camps (1915)

Keystone Camp (1916)

For well over 100 years, enrollment in summer camp programs has been strong and durable; helping to provide children growing up in the midst of unbelievable technological advancements to be afforded the essential tools for establishing and improving interpersonal dynamics at a young age — holding great promise that such can be imparted from one generation to the next in the years to come.

Likewise, National Parks have been a huge success – especially in recent times – with an ever increasing number of park visitors from year to year.  Even in spite of the potential detrimental impact to park infrastructure from high visitor usage, it is a heartening sign in a contemporary life filled with distractions to see our National Parks being “loved to death” – for it might very well represent the heartbeat of a society trying to maintain its way in quickly changing and fast paced world.

 

New Feature: Lightbox for Photos

A new tool has been recently installed to allow visitors to more effectively look at photos and other multi-media elements housed within camp listings and search results.

The lightbox photo interface is a more elegant system to display photos; helping to minimize viewer distraction by isolating the target image from other elements which may appear within the viewer’s display. �Upon clicking a smaller “thumbnail” photo, a larger full-sized version of the image is presented; overlayed & centered upon an opaque background — providing an optimal contrast to facilitate an improved focus of attention in regard to the photo content.

Viewing photos on a mobile device via lightbox is now more user friendly than our previous system – which had relied upon opening a new browser popup window to display multi-media.

Please note: it is necessary to have JavaScript activated within your web browser in order to engage and fully experience the lightbox interface and related effects.

Are you a director seeking to include photos within your listing on the Camp Channel? Visit our camper recruitment listing options page, or contact us if you have any questions or need assistance.

Improvements to Keyword Search

We are excited to announce the release of a new feature to our Keyword Search: the ability to filter & narrow search results according to location, camp type, and gender. This new feature is especially useful when trying to wade through a long list of results on a mobile device and generally improves efficiency for all platforms – including desktop computers.

Please keep in mind: in addition to our Keyword Search, the Camp Channel offers several different methods and search tools designed to locate and discover programs which match your particular criteria and interests:

Full Camp Search
Search or Browse by State
Browse by Specialty / Program Emphasis

At one end of the spectrum, our Full Camp Search offers the ability to define your search criteria with great detail and precision. Alternatively, you are also able to peruse the Camp Channel’s directory structure by browsing according to location or program emphasis. Likewise, within any given U.S. State or Canadian Province page, you are able to perform an in depth state/province specific search.

Located somewhere in the “middle” of the spectrum of search tools offered on campchannel.com, our Keyword Search allows you to enter keywords and phrases of your choice – resulting in matches when corresponding listings contain such language within their descriptive text. Likewise, the Keyword Search allows you to look up the particular name of any given camp (be sure to check corresponding box). Generally speaking, the Keyword Search is a versatile and free form method which works “outside of the box” of our defined directory structure and is just one of several tools to assist in your camp search efforts.

New Responsive Web Design: Mobile Friendly

Over the past six months, the Camp Channel has been rolling out a new Responsive web design (RWD) interface designed to improve viewing and functionality for visitors who utilize mobile devices and tablets to access the Camp Channel. In a nutshell, RWD adjusts how information is arranged and displayed on various sized screens.

We are excited to to be able to provide a more robust user experience for individuals who access the Camp Channel on devices other than desktop computers. While the initial launch of our new interface was both a significant and major overhaul to our directory of summer camps and programs, we anticipate several more subsequent releases to improve and refine appearance and functionality over the upcoming weeks and months leading up to the summer of 2016.

If you have any general or particular suggestions / thoughts you’d like to convey to us regarding our new design, please feel free to send us an email and we’ll be happy to consider your ideas for future implementation into our website design.

Cell Phone Policies at Summer Camps

While many summer camps are located in relatively remote locations, there are nonetheless very few areas which are completely off the grid these days regarding cell phone service areas. Regardless of coverage, it seems the majority of camps have adopted a “no cell phone” policy of one form or another; providing a distinct set of rules and guidelines which might prohibit campers to possess or use cell phones (as well as other particular personal electronic devices) while at summer camp.

As a parent, it is important to learn about out your camp’s cell phone policy and the rational behind it. Hopefully, the camp director has communicated your camp’s policy – one way or the other – regarding cell phones usage. If not, be sure to check the “what not to bring to camp list” or inquire directly with the camp office … since many camps which have a no cell phone policy will confiscate all mobile devices until the camp session has concluded.

While it might be tempting for a parent to try and circumvent a camp’s no cell phone policy, there are many reasons to observe and respect such rules. For starters, compliance with all camp policies — not simply picking & choosing only those which one likes — provides children with a good example of how to follow rules at camp which have been designed for everyone to get along with one another. Perhaps most importantly, a cell phone represents a tether to one’s parents and may serve as an impediment for a child to learn how to solve problems on their own in what might otherwise be a structured and supportive environment for growth and independence.

Not only are cell phones expensive and can get stolen or lost, but their usage can interfere with and sabotage a child’s overall experience at camp … such that a child may immerse oneself in technology or communications from a far at the expense of getting to know one’s fellow campers and counselors in the immediate here and now. Summer camp offers a great opportunity to learn about and navigate social situations while not being constantly connected to & immersed within a digital/virtual world. A no-electronics policy at camp might actually be one of the very few occasions a child has to take a real hiatus from their prized gadgets and the constant drone of repetitively using the controls of an electronic device. It might actually be a welcome surprise for a child to know they are able to connect with other humans without busily moving their fingers over a screen, or simply being able to enjoy physically turning the pages of a book while reading on a rainy day. In the end, most campers agree it’s well worth it.

For those especially anxious parents who simply want to keep in touch, there is always the old fashioned way to connect via letter writing. At the end of the day, nothing beats a letter from home! Likewise, it can only be helpful to a child in this modern digital age to reinforce the traditional skill of sitting down with a simple piece of paper and pen in hand to communicate one’s thoughts. If immediacy of contact is of importance, many camps offer the ability to email campers at camp. Likewise, some camps will publish photos of campers during camp to their website.

Cell phone policy for staff? Many camps also have restrictions for cell phone usage by camp counselors and staff such that they are only to be used off duty and not in the presence of campers. Likewise, campers are also typically prohibited from making calls or sending text messages on counselor’s cell phones.

While it seem the majority of camps generally prohibit cell phones outright, other personal electronic devices (i.e. iPods, MP3 players, mobile gaming devices, etc.) have a much greater variance of rules from camp to camp. It is important to specifically inquire with the camp office about rules governing any given electronic device your child is considering taking to camp.

In the cases of camps or programs where cell phones are allowed, it is important to understand and respect rules which stipulate when, where, and how often a camper is permitted to use their cell phone.