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From Peter - January 2011
"Changing Lives — Enriching the World": These are simple words with challenging implications.
I thought of the words above, and how poignant this concept is for ACA at this time — especially as recent transitions remind us to recognize the work and accomplishments of our predecessors, and how we need to honor their pioneering spirit in order to stay present and relevant in the next 150 years.
Healthy Things Grow — "Better Camping for All" appeared on the mantle at the National Office with intuitive understanding of the expected outcomes of a growing association. We recognized the need for standards and wrestled to provide the best and most rigorous possible. We found the inspiration to invest in research which has helped us demonstrate the value of our experiences.
Growing Things Change — We have stretched our imaginations and redefined our thinking many times. At one point, it was an intellectual challenge to include day camps in our association. We followed great leadership as we dropped the "ing" from our name to become the American Camp Association. We intentionally changed the composition of our board of directors to diversify and increase our service to those who benefit from the camp experience. And we have been in deep conversations over the last three years about changing the way we organize to increase our voice.
Change Requires Discipline — Over the last twelve years, we have refined our definition of the ends and goals of ACA. We have pushed our vision further and further into the future and then worked hard to progress toward that vision. Discipline has led us to do lots of fact finding before transitioning into a newly imagined delivery system for our unique contributions to human development.
Discipline Leads to Health — As an example, the national board envisioned a Washington, DC, office over five years ago. It was with a conscientious consideration of costs, effectiveness, and impact that led us to open that office in 2009 with a careful plan for implementation. This presence, coupled wi