Zoo Management

Walking by her bedroom door, I couldn’t help but notice the pile of debris flowing out into the hall. Heck, I had to step over it to get down the stairs.

Instantly, my blood pressure spiked and the parental frustration (some would call it anger) always bubbling just below the surface rose up and exploded.

“Hallie! Get up here and clean your room!”

Somewhere, in the bowels of the house I heard a shouted, “Coming…”

As I listened to the pounding of her feet as she jogged across the hardwood floors of our kitchen and front hall, I silently counted to 10 – trying to push the beast back down. Seconds later, she rounded the banister and hit the bottom of the stairs. Before I could even formulate a sentence, she yelled up, “Dad – what’s wrong? Don’t you like my zoo?”


“My zoo. I built it last night. I had to use my clothes for the cages because I didn’t have any wood, but all my animals understand. None of them even tried to escape.”

Like all encounters with my third child, this one was rapidly spinning out of control. I had the vague feeling I was somehow being manipulated – again.

She hit the top of the stairs, took my hand and walked me into her zoo – introducing me to all her animals and showing me how she constructed their cages.

Sure enough, once she pointed it out, I could see there did in fact appear to be some sort of “organization” to the chaos.

Nevertheless, I was in Dad-mode, so we agreed to a compromise – instead of a pile of clothes for each cage, she would use just one. The rest had to go back in the drawers and closets where they belonged.

In the end, there was a hug and a kiss and a smile – and the day lurched forward. She went to school. I went to work.

I bring this up because the issue you now hold in your hands is inspired, in part, by my third daughter. She is full of imagination and spunk – sometimes too much – and she loves nothing more than to come home and play outside.

This issue features 35 creative programming ideas (11 pages worth) even my discerning daughter would enjoy. In fact, there’s so many good ideas, we had to divide them into sections – Action, Counselor Connections, Day Campers, Food, Campfire, Human Board Games, Lessons in Expression, Songs, Team-Building, and Themes .

It’s a smorgasbord of fun. Of course, we’ve also thrown in a few other goodies because that’s just the way we are.

I hope you enjoy it.

If you did (or if you didn’t), drop us a line and let us know.

Till next month,

Rodney J. Auth


Bryan BuchkoComment