Making a Difference and Sharing Our Stories

The camp community is full of stories about experiences at camp that have made a difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults. All of us can point to those special times with pride, knowing that our programs have a positive effect on those we serve. And as a sharing community, we are equally proud of the camp experiences that our fellow camp owners and directors provide to groups who may not ordinarily have an opportunity to experience the joy of camp.

In this issue, we highlight programs that make an impact through healing and growth. Their stories show how camps can provide programming that addresses identified needs — from respite care and fun for victims of domestic abuse and families living with profound illness to leadership skills for disadvantaged youth and unique fund-raising techniques that keep special needs programs going.

Camp professionals have always responded to societal needs, such as serving the children of the 9/11 victims or those affected by the recent military conflicts. Responding to events like these reminds us that camps can make a difference in so many ways for people of all ages in challenging situations.

As we celebrate these stories, it's a good time to look locally for populations that could benefit from camp. And as a community of camp professionals, we will not only share the wonders of camp with others, but we will also share our stories with each other, knowing that one brief story may provide the impetus for our colleagues to make a difference and enrich lives in a very special way . . . through camp.

Ann Sheets
ACA National President