Ask your supervisor and colleagues about what you do well!
Who else would know what you are most skilled at better than your supervisor and coworkers? These folks are going to be able to point out what you do well and what they look to you as the expert on. Some solid prompting questions can help you collect concrete topic ideas for your proposal. Examples include:
Ask yourself: what brings you joy?
The most effective and favorite speakers we have often are presenting on topics that they have deep passion and joy for. Presenting at conferences should be challenging and fun for you, the speaker. Pick topics that interest you. You’ll shine more and the audience will appreciate your presentation if it’s something you find interesting to share. (This means if your boss tells you that you are very good at budgets but you find zero joy or have zero interest in the subject matter - find another topic.)
What do you wish you would have known more about?
Our attendees love to hear from speakers who developed their craft through trial and error. What task or skill did you have to work hard to achieve your goals? What did you learn along the way - both positive and negative? What do you wish you had known prior to going into a project or task? Often our best presentations come from a place of exploration, innovation, and problem-solving.
Just start writing!
If you want to present, just take the first step! Then, each step will come after another and before you know it- you'll have a proposal! Here are some suggestions of things to consider when submitting a proposal for Mid States:
Still want to present at Mid States but need more help? Give us a call at 312-343-1070 x3 or x1 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Where did the Day Camp Conference go?: FAQs from September 2019
We have been hard at work rolling out exciting news regarding our spring conference events. As we continue to share more (and yes, there will be more news coming soon!) we wanted to share with you some answers to many inquiring questions from our excited community!
Q: Are you still doing the Day Camp Conference?
A: Last year we took a demographic survey of our attendees and learned some very energizing news. One of the highlights from that data collection was that close to 60% of the attendees are from and work with day camps. In previous years this number was much lower, but over the last ten years, we’ve worked hard to bring day camp-relevant content to our program. Because so many of our conference attendees work at or own day camps now, we examined whether a separate event was still relevant when the Mid States Camp Conference was offering many day camp sessions. Each year we find more Day Camp Conference attendees leaving the Day Camp Conference to attend sessions and events with Mid States. Our goal is to help our camp community operate great camps that change the world, so we continually reevaluate our program based on the data. This year, we will merge even more day camp content into the Mid States Camp Conference, while creating space and resources to tackle hot topics needs in the Executive Seminar (which will relate to all types of camps and organizations, day and overnight!)
So the answer is no, but it's also yes. It’s no, we are not offering the Day Camp Conference as a stand-alone event this year. However, the answer is also yes because our Mid States Camp Conference will be offering many sessions, speakers, and events geared towards our day camp professionals.
Q: Will you have more day camp focused sessions in Mid States since you aren’t hosting the Day Camp Conference?
A: Yes! Each year we increase our day camp content. We are seeking education session speakers who can bring knowledge, innovations, ideas, and solutions for our day camp professionals. Learn more about submitting a session proposal at acail.org/callforspeakers.
Q: Is space really limited at the Executive Seminar?
A: Yes, space is limited because the seating inside is limited. Due to the other events and programs happening at Pheasant Run and with Mid States, we won't be able to move the Executive Seminar to a different space if we exceed our capacity. This is why we encourage anyone interested in the Executive Seminar to register early. We anticipate this event to sell out early based on the feedback & registration trends we’ve already seen.
Q: Is the Executive Seminar part of Mid States?
A: We view and are planning the Executive Seminar to operate and run alongside the Mid States Camp Conference, however it is a separate event. While a few speakers may overlap, the content provided by the speakers will differ greatly between the two events. There will also be a line up of speakers only available at Mid States and some speakers only available at the Executive Seminar. We encourage our community members to review the speakers, program, and schedules to determine which is best for them. For most of our attendees, we feel that the combo options of a Mid States and Executive Seminar registration will offer the most well rounded professional development opportunities for today’s director, executive, and aspiring professional. Call us at the office if you have more questions or would like to talk through which event is best for your needs.
Q: I want to be involved!
A: We know that isn’t exactly a question, but it's a common statement we hear. We are currently seeking committee members to help us plan our socials, career development events, increase our community-building initiatives, and work with our speakers to help them prepare. If you are interested, you can learn more at acail.org/volunteer.
Q: Is this keynote line up for real?
A: Yes, it's very real. We are just as excited as our community to welcome content experts from Disney, the Harvard Business Review, YouTube, and more to Mid States and the Executive Seminar! Learn more today at acail.org/midstates and acail.org/executiveseminar.
We interviewed Michael about the 2019 Brandwein Super Seminar for Dynamic Camp Leadership
What will participants learn at this Seminar?
People who have been in my sessions know that I am a “skills guy.” I don’t like sitting in things where people tell us what we should do but don’t explain HOW to do it. That drives me crazy. So this Seminar is a How to Do It experience. No theory. No collections of the “usual stuff” that people already know. Instead, we emphasize new and exciting techniques that participants won’t get anywhere else. This is all about learning, practicing, and taking home specific things we can use to do the following (and even more…):
How is this different than a session you present at a conference?
I enjoy speaking to large groups at Conferences, but I really love a small group Seminar experience because it has so many wonderful, extra benefits. When we have a small Seminar group of about 20 motivated learners:
What’s it like to be at the Seminar?
We have fun, we play, we learn by doing, we practice specific techniques and skills in supportive partner and group experiences, we get to ask any questions that will help us apply all of this to our own program, and get an instant group of camp professional friends and colleagues who we can continue to use as resources. I believe a camp Seminar experience should be a model of what we want to achieve when training staff. So these are my “rules” when designing a Seminar:
How are my scores calculated?
The national office of the American Camp Association assembles a team to facilitate the scoring. Each standard is weighted differently and this information is kept confidential as to not impact the integrity of the program
Who sees my score reports?
Once received by the American Camp Association, Illinois staff, only those staff who work directly with the process see the scores so they can create the letters to send to your primary contact. Your primary contact is encouraged to use discretion regarding the results. Communicating that you passed is all that needs to be said. Camps should keep your scores confidential.
Do I have to do an Annual Accreditation Report this winter?
Yep. Accreditation maintenance is yearly. You maintained your accreditation for 2019 by completing your visit this summer, so to maintain your accreditation through 2020 you will need to complete the Annual Accreditation Report between Dec. 1 and Feb 1. Failure to submit the Annual Accreditation Report results in an onsite visit in summer 2020.
When will my next visit be?
Great question. It varies from camp to camp. Please reach out to American Camp Association, Illinois staff to check on your status.
How will I know what to do next?
The American Camp Association, Illinois works hard to help you stay on track. We communicate updates and timelines through emails, newsletters, phone calls, social media. We make sure that you are well informed about the process.
General Visitor & 2020 Plans FAQs
How many camps were visited this year?
This year we had 24 camps visited!
How many visitors are there?
We had 26 visitors visiting this summer but have about 40 on our visiting roster. If you would like to become a visitor we invite you to reach out! Contact Allie Boyaris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-332-0833 x 4.
How do I become a visitor?
Being an ACA Visitor is such a great space to volunteer. We host visitor courses throughout the year so register for a course and fill out our application. All you need is to have taken the Accreditation Process Workshop to be qualified!
Any advice for someone participating in accreditation next year?
Work on accreditation all year. Preparing for accreditation is time-consuming, but most of the standards should be implemented before you even hire staff. Don’t put it off until the last minute. Tackle smaller pieces of it over the year and you will be stronger and more prepared in the end.
How do I know if I will be visited in 2020 or need to complete the Annual Accreditation Report?
Letters will be both emailed and mailed informing you of your camp's 2020 statuses. They will be sent addressed to the primary contact on your account in late October if you need to check to see who is your primary contact or make a change email Allie Boyaris at email@example.com or call 312-332-0833 x 4. You are always able to give us a call at 312-332-0833 as well to check on the status of your Accreditation Cycle.
However, If you are not being visited in 2020, all camps will need to complete an Annual Accreditation Report by Feb 1, 2020.