Dear Camp Families,
We understand this is not an easy time for anyone, especially parents and families with children and youth at home. As we continue to navigate what the remainder of the school year looks like for our youth, many folks are asking: what about summer camp?
We are, as well as all of our camps, closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and its impact on our communities, state, nation, and the world. We continue to share in the hope and excitement that summer is coming.
Camp is a phenomenal experience that offers people young and old the opportunity to expand and grow in their life skills. Skills that are strengthened organically through camp programs include leadership, adaptability, empathy, teamwork, critical thinking, innovative problem solving, creativity, compassion, patience, and so many more--skills needed to lead successful lives and positively contribute to society.
Right now, the mission-driven professionals who run your camps are working diligently behind the scenes to respond, to find solutions, to connect and support their community and, most of all, to ensure the safety and well-being of the campers. We continue to work with the Illinois Department of Public Health and follow all guidelines set by the CDC for any matter related to the safety of children and adults in our camp communities. The camp directors and staff are continuing to plan their best summers ever while monitoring the situation and responding accordingly and as advised by the public health experts.
The American Camp Association, Illinois will continue to serve as a leader in the partnership of the camps and the state officials to ensure that all camps have the resources, tools, and access to timely education to help them provide life-changing camp experiences this summer, especially around the subject of Coronavirus. We have always partnered with IDPH to ensure that camps have the ability to prevent and respond to any communicable disease. Your loved one’s safety is our priority.
We encourage our community to continue seeking out camp experiences for their loved ones this summer during this difficult time. Families can find access to many different types of camps, several of which are located here in the great state of Illinois! Day and overnight camps that each specialize in different communities, programs, and needs of their campers. Visit findacamp.org to search thousands of camp options! We also encourage you to select an ACA Accredited camp. Accredited camps demonstrate their commitment to the health and well-being of their campers, staff, and community through a peer-review process that requires regular site visits and annual reporting. Learn more about why the Accreditation is a symbol of a camp’s dedication to providing safe and quality camp experiences here.
Be well, be kind, & wash your hands,
To All Our Women in Camp,
You are in our hearts and minds during these uncertain times. We started as one gathering in St. Charles, Illinois. We have now grown into a sisterhood and we need each other more than ever.
Our Women in Camp Summit Leadership Team is currently working to provide ongoing opportunities for us to “gather”, share our challenges and concerns, as well as the pockets of joy we find as we work to care for one another and ourselves.
Some Ideas to Stay Connected and Cared For:
Let’s find creative ways to connect as a camp community, to lean in to each other, and to support one another.
If you need anything from this community or if you have resources to share, we encourage you to join our Women in Camping Facebook group. We are so grateful to be part of this community.
Your Women in Camp Summit Leadership Team,
Beth Allison, Allie Boyaris, Ruby Compton, Stacy Harper, Colette Marquardt, Gabrielle Raill, & Kim Steiner
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.