Dear Mid States Friends & Family,
Since we shared the news in December regarding the cancellation of the Mid States and the Executive Seminar for 2020 due to the venue abruptly closing, our team took this setback as an opportunity to continue to evaluate and plan for our organization’s future.
As a nonprofit dedicated to providing development opportunities for camp professionals, we are continually monitoring industry trends and seeking new models to meet our members’ growing needs. We pride ourselves on listening to our members at all times, whether through program evaluations or one-on-one engagement in person at events or through our many online channels. We recognize our industry is an ever-changing landscape and the challenges of keeping current and timely, which is why last spring we formed a taskforce of board members and senior leadership to assess needs and plan strategically on behalf of our organization.
With this combined input, for the future organizational health of the American Camp Association, Illinois, we are stepping back from our role in planning the annual conference moving forward. Know we did not come to this decision lightly. Our primary responsibility is and always has been to our members, and funds that were allocated to the conference will continue to focus on the professional development of the nearly 400 individuals and member camps who compose our organization as well as others outside ACA Illinois who wish to participate. We are working with ACA National to explore models of collaboration to continue to deliver high quality professional development. As this dialogue continues, we will keep you updated and informed.
Currently, we at ACA Illinois offer more than 80 separate events, courses, trainings and networking opportunities. Over the last two years, we have piloted new models for professional development through our Women in Camp Summit and Brandwein Seminar for Dynamic Camp Leadership. We hope to offer even more retreat-style courses, virtual and shorter part- to full-day events. Additionally, we plan to deepen relationships with legislators and state and local government, allowing our field to be at the forefront of Illinois legislation impacting camps. And, we’ll be more available to members to assist them in navigating Accreditation, improving their camps, advancing their careers and serving as a true partner in their success.
It has been a tremendous honor for our team of four, along with dozens of volunteers, to contribute to the success of the conference for nearly the past decade. Together we have helped host 100 speakers annually, 75+ onsite volunteers, countless exhibitors and sponsors, and more than 20,000 attendees over the course of the conference's 27 year history.
Once again, thank you, our cherished community, for your continued support. I am grateful to you all and our partnership in enriching lives and changing the world.
Colette M. Marquardt
American Camp Association, Illinois