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Hey Dr. Thurber! I am a counselor at Camp Timberlane and I attended your workshop on listening last summer. I found it helpful at the time, but I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the “active listening” strategy until I used it last night with a friend of mine. She appreciated being understood and was able to come up with solutions to her problem on her own, as you predicted. (I would have handled it way differently before I attended your workshop.) After I listened without interrupting, I summarized back what she was saying to make sure that I understood. She was surprised that someone actually, fully listened to what she was saying! That was really special and I wanted to thank you for your help last summer at camp and especially for what happened last night. Thank you so so much and I look forward to seeing you again!

Jacob Kline Counselor, Camp Timberlane

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Choose a category for your school, camp, or youth-serving organization


Topics in this category include professional boundaries, providing feedback, and running effective meetings.


Topics in this category include situational leadership, emotional intelligence, and collaborative problem-solving.

Youth Development

Topics in this category include residential life, cognitive and social development, and cross-cultural agility.

Mental Health

Topics in this category include homesickness prevention, stress and coping, and emotional assessment.


Topics in this category include physical and emotional safety, aquatic safety, bullying prevention and lockdown drills.

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Featured In Conferences For

Dr. Thurber is a favorite presenter at conferences such as TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools), NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), BSA ([British] Boarding Schools Association), and ABSA (Australian Boarding Schools Association) as well as at individual schools on five continents. Each year, his workshops on boundaries, mental health, communication, leadership, residential life, and acculturation are in high demand.

Fresh Ink

Family Discussions about Safe Touch

Read a FREE excerpt from The Summer Camp Handbook that gives caregivers guidance on how to talk with their child about preventing unsafe touch at camp. Click on the cover image, or visit, to get your copy of the entire

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Conflict, Camp, and World Peace

Conversations online and off have focused recently on stopping violence and conflict. From Ferguson to France, people have discussed, debated, and demonstrated more passionately than ever. When human rights are in question, we speak of “ridding,” “routing,” “crushing,” and “eliminating”

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5 Mistakes Camp Directors Make

1. Believing in accreditation standards. Some standards are minimum requirements; others are best practices. None is a guarantee of quality. Of course, abiding by national or provincial standards helps ensure that you won’t be convicted of negligence should a serious

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What Signal Does Your Sign Send?

All camps have signs. You passed a few on your way to where you’re sitting now, reading this blog post. What did they say? Some probably listed archery range rules, others pointed visitors to the office and one showed the

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Are You Gonna Eat That?

Said one way, the question, “Are you gonna eat that?” is an informal query among friends that is the chummy equivalent of “Can I finish that?” You might here it at a diner among best friends. Although you’d never lean

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Time Outs as Treats

Solitary time is missing from our daily schedules. Those restorative, reflective moments when we can appreciate, take stock, problem-solve, meditate, or pray have been eclipsed by smart phones, shared calendars (that others shoehorn appointments into for us) and a general

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I believe that

Children Deserve

Good Schools

I believe in

face-to-face friendling.

I believe that

Siblings can become

Best Friends

I believe that

Children need

Sterling Role Models

I believe that

Happiness comes from


I believe that

Research is the

Basis of Practice

I believe that

Practice makes Progress

I believe that

Collaboration generates Creativity

I believe in

Listening more than Talking.

I believe that

Unstructured Free play

is Essential.

I believe that

Failure teachs more

than Success.

I believe in

Getting messy

in the name of Art

I believe that

can be overcome.

I believe in

taking Healthy Risks

I believe that

Families anchor all