Camp Professionals Explore How "The Strength of Many Voices" Helps Children

MARTINSVILLE, IN (January 17, 2008) — Children and the environment they live in — both natural and societal — will be the focus of over 1,200 camp professionals from around the U.S. and abroad when they meet at the American Camp Association's (ACA) National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, February 12-15, 2008.

The annual conference, taking place at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, will bring together some of the nation's top child and youth development experts to discuss the camp experience in today's changing world.  How to positively impact the lives of children, help them deal with the pressures of modern society, and create innovative programs for children, teens, and adults will be part of the discussion in over 100 workshops at the conference.

"Our conference theme, 'The Strength of Many Voices,' highlights both the diversity of those in the camp profession and also the many ways the experience of camp offers children and adults a multitude of choices with which to learn and grow," said Ann Sheets, ACA national president.

Keynote speakers at the conference will include:

  • Michael Thompson, Ph.D., consultant, author, and psychologist specializing in children and families, and author of the best-seller Raising Cain;
  • Sally Jewell, chief executive officer, REI, Inc., the outdoor adventure consumer cooperative named as one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For";
  • Rick Rigsby, Ph.D., educator, former television reporter, and athletic team chaplain; and
  • Peg L. Smith, chief executive officer of the American Camp Association, recognized for her ability to move organizations through significant change.

For the complete program lineup, visit

For nearly 100 years, ACA’s community of camp professionals has joined together to share knowledge and experience and to promote positive human development by enriching the lives of children, youth, and adults through the camp experience. Over 7,000 individual members belong to the American Camp Association, which is the only national organization that accredits camps. There are over 2,400 ACA-Accredited® camps throughout the U.S., which meet up to 300 health, safety, and programming standards.

At the conference, members of the news media will have the opportunity to interview keynote speakers and ACA spokespersons. Media professionals can register for the conference online. For additional information, interview requests, and press credentials, please contact Public Relations at, 765-349-3317.