Each year we hear from members that they desire to visit other camps. We have a secret - okay - it's not a super secret - but....
We have a whole program that allows you to do just that! See other camps in operation! Below I share some details on how you can jump into the number one program ACA offers this summer!
The Why & How of Becoming Seeing Other Camps This Summer: The Quick Read Version
Why Become an Accreditation Visitor?
The benefits include, but are not limited to:
Interested in Learning More & Becoming a Visitor?
We have a course scheduled for March 11th, 2020 in Chicago and we would love to help you on your journey to joining the most popular volunteer opportunity within ACA!
To be Eligible to become a Visitor, you should:
You do not, I repeat, DO NOT need to be a camp director to be a visitor. Many visitors are program directors, executives, retired, between jobs, teachers, current camp directors, assistant directors, seasonal staff, or just passionate about camp.
Ready to Sign Up today?
Thank you! We can’t wait for you to join our team!
Membership & Program Services Director
Kim Steiner is the Membership & Program Services Director for ACA Illinois. She loves helping folks become Visitors and all things Accreditation- because she knows that everyone involved in the program does so to create camps that are great places for both campers and staff.
Colette’s Five Reasons to Attend the Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, March 20th:
5. Join us in congratulating and celebrating our Award Recipients & Volunteers!
Each year we celebrate the doers of our organization. With a small staff, ACA Illinois runs on the power of staff and volunteer collaboration. The folks who are being presented with awards are the reason we can continue to offer great services and programs. Celebrate with us as we thank the people behind the scenes making the magic happen that we all benefit from! All folks who have served in a volunteer capacity as a Visitor or on a committee will also be recognized!
4. Network with other camp pros!
Our focus groups, evaluations, and surveys tell us that events such as this meeting allow for optimal networking time. Strengthen your network while you meet new folks or reconnect with other members you may already know. Build your contact list and find support to help you run great camps and advance your career.
3. Learn where ACA Illinois is headed!
During the event, participants will hear from the agency’s leadership about the “State of ACA Illinois,” including upcoming program initiatives and the success of our long standing programs - all that add value to your membership. Be part of the conversation.
2. Hear all about the new ACA, Inc Strategic Plan that has rolled out form the national American Camp Association!
Henry DeHart, COO of ACA, Inc will be with us for this event. He will share the plan with our members and collectively we will discuss how and where the two organizations align. This is your chance to have a say, provide feedback, learn more about how your membership dollars are being spent, the services provided by ACA (locally and nationally), and how you can get involved.
1. Because as a member or stakeholder, your voice should and needs to be heard!
ACA Illinois is a membership organization. We value the input and feedback of our members. We are excited about what lies ahead of us, and we need your help to move us all forward in ways that strengthen the camp community.
BONUS: The food is going to be amazing!
Colette Marquardt is the executive director and longtime member of the American Camp Association, Illinois. Colette loves the Annual Meeting because its a great gathering of members & stakeholders that share in the mission of "Better Camping for All!"- she can't wait to see you there!
Join us in celebrating the doers of our Association at the Annual Membership Meeting!
Friday, March 20, 2020 | Naperville, IL | Learn more here!
Membership not required to attend. Everyone is welcome!
Congratulations & Appreciation for the 2020 ACA Illinois Award Recipients!
Emerging Professional Award
Awarded to professionals with 10 or less years of professional level experience within the field of camp that contribute to the advancement of the field of camp through service to the American Camp Association, Illinois and the camp community.
Presented to members of the community that contribute significant time and service to the American Camp Association, Illinois that advances the field of camp and/or access to the community.
Special Recognition Award for Advancing the Field of Camp
Presented to an individual within or outside of the direct field of camping, but whose service and support furthers the mission and goals of the American Camp Association, Illinois and the field of camp.
Distinguished Service Award
This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated deep commitment of service towards the American Camp Association, Illinois and the field of camp over several years and/or long term projects.
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
Please read an important update from Colette, our Executive Director about the status of our new hotel search and the 2020 conference.
Dear Mid States Friends & Family,
I regret to share that due to Pheasant Run closing and space not being available in the area for our size and budget, we will be canceling Mid States and the Executive Seminar for 2020.
This decision was not made lightly and came after several weeks of multiple folks working to find alternative solutions. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the notice of Pheasant Run closing in relation to our event dates - we simply could not find a space that met our needs.
While we aren’t able to host Mid States this year, we are already working on planning Mid States 2021 and look forward to sharing updates with you in late spring.
But wait! We have new programming for you and invite you to join us! Once we came to the decision that Mid States 2020 and the Executive Seminar weren’t viable this year, we set on a path to lay the groundwork for alternative programming options. Click here to see our full calendar and read below to discover what we are offering this spring!
I am very excited to share that, while it will be in a smaller space, we will still welcome Lee Cockerell, Amy Gallo, Sunni Brown, and Brad Montague this spring in our new “Fasterclass Series” located in Chicago. Register early because space is extremely limited.
If you have already registered for Mid States or the Executive Seminar, you will receive a phone call from our staff after the New Year to discuss the process for refunds and/or changing your registration to one of our new events.
Lastly, I want to extend deep appreciation for all the hard work that went into planning Mid States and Executive Seminar 2020. The foundation for planning these events was laid well over a year ago and with each passing month, countless volunteers and staff worked to bring this program to reality. Our fearless leader and conference chair, Gordie Kaplan, along with the Conference Leadership team including: Gwyneth Emigh, Jackie Folak, Sam Thompson, Shauna Guglielmo, Michael Brandwein, Weston Outlaw, Shena Willbrandt - have already put in many hours of thinking and planning. So many others have stepped up over the last few months and were ready to run with planning programs after the New Year. And our staff… Kim, Allie, and Stacy have poured hours of discussions and planning every detail to get us to this point - without them, I’d still be sitting in my office with a large flip chart, a lot of post it notes, and a dream. All these people make the camp world better and I am so grateful to work with them.
I also want to thank you, our cherished community. Thank you for the outpouring support over these last several weeks as we navigated this “problem.” While the outcome is not what I had hoped, I am confident that together we can still learn together, grow together, and change the world together.
Colette M. Marquardt
American Camp Association, Illinois