In the Loop
news, resources, events and so much more!
In the Loop
news, resources, events and so much more!
Dear Fellow ACA Illinois Members,
Almost 9 years ago, I moved back to the great state of Illinois. Once back in the area I called up my mentor and friend, Gordie Kaplan and asked how I could best serve as a volunteer for ACA Illinois. Just a few weeks later, I found myself sitting at Marcy Brower’s kitchen table learning how to plan a conference.
I saw Marcy & Bob from afar each year at Mid States, but it wasn’t until I was sitting at their kitchen table and in planning meetings that I realized I was in the presence of extraordinary people. While owning and directing Circle M Day Camp, the Browers are active members of ACA and model what true service means. The Browers led committees, served on our board and taught the next generation of camp directors. It was in their van that the idea of Mid States was sparked and a community was born.
The Browers have always been and remain strong advocates for inclusivity and social change. Marcy & Bob have been active in the desegregation of camps and communities, the promotion of incluvisness of LGBTQ people in camp and ACA, and were persistent in making camp accessible to all children and adults. The Browers have showed us what it means to be focused on bettering not only camp, but also the world around us and the work required to do it.
It is because of their life’s work and continued service to our community that the Marcy & Bob Brower Campership Fund has been established in their honor. 100% of the funds raised are used to provide camperships to children. The Browers have been regular supporters of our campership funds and we can think of no better way to thank them for their commitment to our mission than through this fund.
This fund has already raised over $10,000 in less than two months! We have set a goal of $20,000 in its first year. I am asking our membership to please consider donating to this important fund. Your donation will help give a child a camp experience next summer.
Donating to this fund was a simple way for me to demonstrate to them my deep appreciation. Will you join me in sending more children to camp next summer? Donations can be made directly online at www.acail.org/donate or by mail to ACA Illinois, 5 S Wabash Ave, Suite 1406, Chicago, IL 60603. Checks can be made payable to ACA Illinois and Brower Fund written on the memo line.
Thank you for supporting the mission of ACA Illinois to get more kids to camp!
Yours in Camping,
Colette M. Marquardt
American Camp Association, Illinois
“Camp provides a perfect setting for youth to branch out on their own, under the guidance of experienced and trained camp staff,” says Colette Marquardt, executive director of the American Camp Association Illinois. “Camp gives children the opportunity to develop critical life skills that help them excel in life and gain confidence in their ability to be independent.” - Chicago Parent, February 2017 Issue
This past winter, Chicago Parent, a leading magazine for Chicagoland families shared information on the benefits of camp and how to know when your child may be ready! We were grateful they reached out to ACA Illinois to learn more about selecting safe and quality camps. YMCA Metro Chicago VP of Camping and fellow ACA member, Kim Kiser was also quoted and gave excellent advice to Chicago Parent Magazine!
You can read more about what Colette had to say about the benefits of camp here.
Have you been or seen camp mentioned in your local news? Please share so that we can help spread the word about how great camp is for the world!
Dear Friends of ACA Illinois,
As many of you are transitioning into staff training or camper sessions, we are transitioning here within the office as well. Gordie's last day as a staff member is June 24th and he is eagerly awaiting joining you as a member and volunteer. With several camp visits already lined up, Gordie will still be out and about changing lives this very summer.
I am so pleased to announce our new staff member, Kim Steiner has joined our team. You can learn more about Kim by reading below. I look forward to seeing the great things Kim will be do here in ACA Illinois with her varied background and skill sets.
Carlise, Kim and I are so thrilled to be working with you and wish you the very best and safest summer possible!
We decided to try again. So at the closing lunch we passed it around one more time and this time we reached our goal and then some. The banks themselves brought in another $200 and an anonymous donor donated $400 to match the first two days. This meant we raised $1, 093. 56. Mid States is sending 3 kids to camp!
The Mid States community raised $1,093.56
and will be sending 3 kids to camp!
Such a simple idea. John saw these on sale and purchased four. John, being the camp person he is thought perhaps we could be creative. Then another person said “let’s pass it around and get some money to send a kid to camp.” From there the generosity of the community grew and grew and grew!
Some people gave pennies, some nickels, others quarters. Several gave dollars and other forms of cash. By Saturday people were coming with their bags of change. The momentum exploded. The Mid States community set out to send a child to camp this summer and they came through.
You may look at Mid States and see a conference event, but it’s so much more. In that ballroom, a community set a goal and worked together to reach it, each person giving what they can and no one keeping score of who gave what. Each person knew the goal could only come together if all contributed to the cause.
Our closing keynote speaker, Brad Montague spoke about making three choices: Choose People. Choose Awesome. Choose Joy. As he spoke those words, I knew this community had already done that. This community chose to put a child first, give that child an awesome experience and in the end that child will feel joy.
I have never been more proud to be a part of the Mid States community as I am right now, sharing this story with you today. This is truly a #joyfulrebellion
Thank you to all who deposited money into those canisters. Such a simple act is about change 3 lives this summer.
With a Full Heart,
Colette M. Marquardt
The Gordie Kaplan Campership Fund is a fund of the American Camp Association, Illinois that sends children and adults to camp each summer. Learn more and donate today by visiting our website!
A Message from Susan Rochlis, President
As we continue to celebrate Gordie Kaplan's contributions to ACA Illinois, we are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has appointed Colette Marquardt as the new Executive Director beginning February 1, 2016. We are thrilled to have Colette continue to share her passion for ACA's mission, talents and love of camp with our organization.
Gordie will remain on staff as the Executive Emeritus until June 30, 2016. Beginning July 1st, Gordie will transition to volunteer and ACA member! Gordie is looking forward to continuing to work with our camps and members for years to come, only now as a volunteer!
In addition to Colette's new role, we are excited to announce our new President of ACA Illinois, Mike Selep. Mike will also begin his new role on February 1st. Learn more about Colette and Mike below and help us congratulate and welcome them to their new roles by visiting our Facebook page and leaving them a message!