We have been energized by the engagement around our most active and important membership support program, our daily Drop-Ins. Each day for about an hour, we spend time with our membership unpacking all things surrounding the Coronavirus and its impact on our community. Recently, I asked Cheryle Yallen to Zoom with me and share a little about her experience with the Drop-Ins. Cheryle is the Executive Director of One in a Hundred and has been an ACA Illinois member since 2012.
Membership & Program Services Director
American Camp Association, Illinois
An Interview with Cheryle Yallen, ACA Illinois' Most Frequent Drop-In Participant!
Kim Steiner: What drew you to the drop-ins?
Cheryle Yallen: The nerves, stress, and desperate need for information and needed support.
Kim: Which drop-ins did you engage with?
Cheryle: I had four a week! I was very active from the very beginning in the executive director drop in and was really involved in another one on Thursday mornings as well. I started with those two and the moment you opened up the day camp and the special needs, I joined those. Then when we started to make the serious decision to go virtual, I joined that one as well. I basically was on 4 a week.
Kim: Were the drop-ins a beneficial resource for you? Why?
Cheryle: Absolutely, without question. Even though it was time consuming, it was what I needed. I had all the confidence in the world that you guys had the most up to date information, so it also saved me time googling and searching for information. It was also beneficial to connect with other camp people, and although other attendees were from overnight camps or park districts, which I can't necessarily relate to, it was still being with other camp people. I always walked away with something, it almost became my quiet contemplation time, where my only focus was camp. It was also beneficial because I had a support group. Friends and people close to me listened to what I am going through, but at the same time they don't understand the industry. So I had that comfort level in these Drop-Ins that people understood me. It was just a wonderful support system and exactly what I needed. I wanted to explore every option so I was making an informed decision about camp. It was out of those conversations that would trigger thoughts or ideas or considerations that had not even occurred to me.
There was one meeting where Colette was reminding everyone to make sure you have what we were talking about reviewed with the lawyer. I was all set, but it was those continuous reminders that we need to check with our internal resources throughout this crisis. I was delighted when you introduced this and enjoyed the face to face.
Kim: What would you say to camp professionals considering attending?
Cheryle: Absolutely do it. Because of 3 things. One, the information you are getting, and it’s good information that you can rely on, because you need to be able to rely on something. Two, the ideas. Even if your camp is totally unlike any other camp there you will always walk away with something you haven't thought of; not always earth shattering, but something you had not thought of. Three, the support, and being with like type people. It didn’t matter that they were all over the states - we all had the same issues. I would basically say go. For the most part attending these events worked out well and I would recommend attending more than once, because each time is different, and it's also just comfortable.
We continue to provide these Drop-In meetings as a resource for camp professionals, and we hope that you join us! We will continue to adjust our programming to accommodate the changing needs of our community, so keep an eye out for our emails and website updates.
You can learn more about our Drop-ins at acail.org/dropins
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.
I am so excited to share with you that we have a new staff member joining the American Camp Association, Illinois (ACA Illinois). We welcome Allie Boyaris as our new Membership and Program Services Specialist. Allie’s work will include helping to develop and support our Professional Development programs including the Mid States Camp Conference and the Women in Camp Summit and support the Accreditation program. Allie has already been acclimated to all things DFI Title XX Camping Services Program. We are over the moon to have Allie join this small, but mighty team!
Membership & Program Services Director
From the Executive Director
Dear Members & Friends of ACA Illinois,
Summer is typically a time for new staff at your camps. Welcoming and training new staff is exciting as you discover all the gifts & talents they will be bringing. Like most of you, ACA Illinois is also welcoming a new staff member this summer! Meet Stacy Harper, our new Associate Director for ACA Illinois. Stacy will be introducing herself below but I wanted to share a little bit more about Stacy, her role on our team and a sample of her many skill sets.
Many of you know Stacy as an active volunteer and leader of various Mid States Camp Conference projects, including serving as the founding creative force behind Camp Mid States, Mid States’ youth serving day camp. This past year, Stacy led the Registration Team, as well as, served as our tech table pro during the conference. Stacy has also been an editor for our Mid States publications.
In Stacy’s new role, Stacy will be directing the DFI Title XX billing and documentation processes, co-leading the operations arm of Mid States with our co-worker, Kim and working closely with our financial reporting and systems at the Association. Additionally, Stacy will support our Accreditation & professional development programs, fundraising efforts and more. Stacy comes to us with a toolbox full of useful skill sets including innovative problem solving, attention to detail, great customer service and a deep and rich camp directing background. I am eager to see the positive impact Stacy will have on our community and the great work she will accomplish during her time here at ACA Illinois.
Please help me in welcoming Stacy to our team by dropping a welcoming comment on our Facebook page!
I wish you all the best for a safe and successful summer!
Colette M Marquardt