Kim Steiner, Membership & Program Services Director
On March 12, 2021, ACA Illinois hosted our Annual Meeting. After having to cancel our Annual Meeting around this time in 2020, we were excited to be able to get our Membership together to share the service ACA Illinois was able to provide over the last year, highlight some incredible people in the community, and celebrate what is ahead for our Association.
To start the meeting we acknowledged our wish to celebrate the life of Marcy Brower by dedicating this annual meeting to her memory. Marcy was pivotal in creating change within ACA related to desegregation and LGBTQ inclusion; she was also the powerhouse behind the Mid States Camp Conference. Marcy made the world a better place in all that she did and we hope to continue her legacy by continuing to create change through our work in camp.
Thank you to all who were able to attend; we appreciate your presence! And if you weren’t able to make it, check out the main highlights below:
We were also able to recognize some incredible people with organizational awards who have served ACA Illinois with a generous heart, including:
We were also fortunate to be joined by Speaker/Author/Educator/Volunteer extraordinaire, Michael Brandwein, who shared some incredibly thoughtful encouragement during our meeting closing to send us into another year.
As always, check out our upcoming events on our Upcoming Events & Trainings Calendar, or other Event Recaps at our blog In the Loop. Interested in joining the Young Professionals Board? Contact Kim Steiner or Gwyn Emigh for more information.
Understanding, Developing & Leveraging Courage to Effect Organizational Change
Kim Steiner, Membership & Program Services Director at ACA Illinois
In February we welcomed Candace Doby as she presented the workshop: “Understanding, Developing and Leveraging Courage to Effect Organizational Change”. During this presentation Candace encouraged participants to confront both social and racial inequity in their organizations through the lens of courage. Over the three workshop sessions Candice gave attention to the very concept and process of courage, including how courage is understood, developed and most importantly, how it can be leveraged.
Walking us through the process of courage mentioned above, Candace created a safe space for us to have open and honest dialogue about race and inclusion. One of the many challenges attendees expressed was the role our positions play in “holding us back”; several mentioned feeling like the positions they held “didn't allow them to make change when it comes to policy and procedures”. However, as Candace discussed, when digging deeper we can discover many ways in which we can advocate for our peers, campers, families and work. Strategies of digging deeper can often make us feel overwhelmed like there’s just too much to do, but if we start small and get specific - such as making a plan with identifying actionable steps - it helps us to narrow our focus and makes progress feel more attainable. One thing that really stuck with me was Candace’s encouragement to us to “shed the fear of getting it wrong”. Because we will get things wrong and we will make mistakes, but we must push past that and face the shortcomings that can help us persist in this work.
We also talked at length about the risks that come with making change and how fear can affect the progress we make. Candace offered insight and illustration of how with risk can come great benefits. She shared the example of the company Nike, and discussed how they took a risk by putting former NFL player Colin Kaepernick into their advertisement in 2018; although there was initial pushback from people due to his 2016 kneeling during the U.S. National Anthem, Nike stood by their choice for the ad. With that risk came the financial benefit of $163 million in earned media income, a $6 billion increase in brand value, and a 31% boost in sales.
These conversations inspired me to think about how I am able to make change. There are times as a non executive level employee, you don’t have the ability to facilitate the big changes, but as Candace shared with us, the little things can make a big impact. So setting my eyes on establishing more diverse committees is where we can start and focus on what I can do in that space to make change. As a staff member of ACA Illinois we are excited to be able to provide spaces and incredible speakers like Candace Doby to help guide and facilitate these critical and challenging conversations. We are grateful to camp professionals who are committing to do the work to make camp a more inclusive space and equitable space for all our beloved members from all walks of life. And the final takeaway for me? To continue reading, researching, asking questions and engaging in discussions with my staff and peers. To tap into others' experiences and truly listen to them, because that will help us focus our work and encourage others to get on board.
Let’s hear it for all the risk takers!
Continue to check out our calendar of upcoming events and trainings for you and your team at ACA Illinois Events Calendar.
We want to take a moment to welcome new ACA Illinois Members who have joined our community this month. We’re glad you’re here!
As a new member, we want to encourage you to take advantage of our membership benefits by keeping an eye out for IlliNOISE, our local member e-newsletter, and Camping Magazine published by ACA Inc. We also invite you to like and follow our Facebook page and check out our ACA Illinois Services Portal for updates on events and trainings. We can’t wait to connect with you!
Welcome New Members!
New Individual Members
New Business Affiliate Member
Culinary Consultants Purchasing Alliance
After months of networking and information-gathering with camp and healthcare professionals across Illinois, the American Camp Association, Illinois is excited to announce that Illinois Day and Overnight Camps have guidance! We are incredibly grateful to Governor Pritzker, Dr. Ezike, and all the hardworking people at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for recognizing that camp is essential for the families, children, and communities who benefit from positive camp experiences in Illinois.
This summer, more than 500 camps will serve just under a million campers in the state of Illinois. For families who are considering camp this summer, the American Camp Association has ample evidence that accredited camps can and will happen safely this summer, largely because they are already familiar with implementing guidance through the American Camp Association Accreditation Program.
The American Camp Association, Illinois believes that camp has the power to transform lives, and provides fundamental services for children and families by disrupting the effects of poverty. Children across Illinois will now have the opportunity to access supportive camp communities that are focused on their social-emotional development, and we know that camps are just as eager as we are to welcome back campers in a safe and fun environment! For those of you familiar with the Summer Camp and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comprehensive Report of Multiple Studies by ACA, you’ll remember it demonstrates that camps who have implemented the guidance found in ACA’s Field Guide who ALSO applied strict, layered mitigation strategies, have been successful in safely operating camp in-person while significantly reducing the spread of COVID-19. Those layered mitigation strategies included:
The recently announced guidance for youth day and overnight camps by IDPH and DCEO is a clear sign that Illinois is prioritizing safety, our children, and the social-emotional skills they will gain at camp this summer. For more information and support in safety facilitating camp this summer, check out the following resources:
Camp Guidance from the DCEO Website
Field Guide for Camps
ACA Illinois Member Website - COVID -19 Resources for Camps
Summer Camp and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comprehensive Report of Multiple Studies
Questions about implementing guidance at camp this summer? Contact Colette Marquardt, Executive Director at:
The American Camp Association, Illinois (ACA Illinois) is pleased to announce the formation of a Young Professionals Board!
This special Board is for ACA Illinois members who are 35 years of age or younger, have been a Camp Professional for less than 10 years, and want to advocate for Camps, Camp Professionals, and Campers across the state! Members do not have to currently be employed at a summer camp.
The goals of the Board will be to host one fundraiser and one educational event annually while also providing opportunities for its members to learn about board membership & governance procedures, and practice those skills.
For more information, interested Young Professionals can reach Kim Steiner (email@example.com) or Gwyn Emigh (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or sign up for our upcoming Interest Meeting to learn more about this exciting opportunity. We will also have our first information meeting on March 9th at 6:00pm CST. More information will be sent out to those who express interest in the group.