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A View from the Woods.

This is a time when ACA's humanity is at its best. Our response to the tragedy that took place September 11 clearly comes from the heart. ACA's national response illustrates our deep and rich tradition to promote and preserve children and youth. We will do what we do best! Enrich the lives of children and adults through the camp experience.

We are shored by our timeless leadership. "We, the members of the American Camping Association, believe that camping for children and youth is a vital part of the defense of our nation for the days of present emergencies, and for the days that will follow the peace. We believe that vigorous living in the outdoors builds self-reliance, resourcefulness, and physical, mental, and emotional health . . . We believe that camping gives young people an appreciation of the natural resources of our country and teaches them to use and to conserve such resources." Camping Magazine, 1942

As in 1942, it is understood that the camp community is the best illustration of democracy. That we, as camp professionals, will continue to provide children and youth with safe environments that are designed for children and youth to discover and express the poetry of growing up. We will embrace children with anticipation, hope, and love.

"What is the greatest service camps can render in a crisis? Adherence to peace-time camp educational principles and practices bolstered up with the belief that inherent in such practices were adequate provisions for meeting the needs of children in these days. There were a few who believed in shifting the main emphasis to stressing physical fitness, or promoting a constructive peace, and a better post-war world." Louis Blumenthal, Camping Magazine, April 1942

During the dark times of 1942, we believed in the future and the contribution we were making to those who would serve as tomorrow's leaders. Again today, that is true! Our call to action will be as powerful now as it was then. ACA Sections and camps across the country are offering scholarships to those children who have lost a parent in the September 11 tragedy, children of rescue workers, and children of military personnel who are being called to serve their country. We will preserve our future and preserve our children.

"To the superficial person it may seem futile to persist in the pursuit of goals, to cling tenaciously to cherished ideals in the face of the uncertainties of the hour. But the captain of the ship in the face of storm does not abandon his destination nor does he throw overboard his chart and compass. He needs them now the more, and they are given the most severe test of their usefulness. We need to clarify goals and purposes that may have become hazy, wobbly, or uncertain midst the confusion and propaganda that surround us." Hedley Dimock Camping Magazine, April 1942

The camp experience is not superficial. On the contrary, in today's world a child's opportunity to experience a safe environment with caring adults who are committed to their positive growth and development is ever critical. We must help children develop their emotional and social skills teaching tolerance, diversity, and character. Every child deserves a camp experience that encourages discovery, exploration, and active participation with joy and a sense of freedom that safety offers. ACA camps will continue to offer bereavement camps, family camps, day camps, resident camps, trip and travel camps with due diligence to preparedness. Training and professional development will be exemplary!

"Go forward with your regular camp program for next summer with all-out enthusiasm and determination to do a bigger and better job than ever before." L. B. Sharp, Camping Magazine, March 1942
COPYRIGHT 2001 American Camping Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Camping Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Previous Article:Yes I Can! A Vision for Inclusive Programming.
Next Article:Talking With Children About Disaster. (COMMUNICATION).

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