ACA, Rocky Mountain Fall Conference

November 20-22, 2013
The Nature Place                                           
Florissant, CO

Please join us for the Fall Conference for Camp and Youth Development Professionals.  Come enjoy a time of inspiration, education and fun at The Nature Place in Florissant, CO.  Experience Rocky Mountain Hospitality at its best!

Keynote Speaker – Jeff Leiken

Jeffrey Leiken, is an internationally recognized expert in the field of helping teens and young adults build substantial, thriving lives.  He is a published author and popular keynote speaker and trainer for organizations who work with youth.  Jeffrey has spoken at over 100 professional conferences, and has served as a trainer and consultant with over 150 Summer Camps across North America. He has helped train over 20,000 adults in the youth development field and is respected for his honest, accurate, unapologetic message about what it takes to truly help today’s youth to thrive, and specific do-now skills and techniques that truly work. He is known for his genuine passion for this work, legitimate depth of knowledge, captivating storytelling and warm sense of humor. 

Jeffrey holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling, a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from the State of California, served as Adjunct Faculty at the University of San Francisco Graduate School Of Education, and has guest lectured at Stanford University.  In addition, he is the creator of Evolution Mentoring™ and Mentor Counseling®.   

Opening Keynote—Wednesday, November 20th

“The Four Challenges – How Camps Can Help 21st Century Youth Develop a Lasting Positive Outlook on Life”

Whether by design, default, or both, camps have often succeeded in helping many youth develop confidence, competence and a more positive outlook on life. For some campers, these benefits have remained present, long after the summer. Many campers though find themselves unable to sustain this positive sense of self when the context they find themselves in, no longer makes it easy... and most of modern life for them does not make it easy. Those campers yearn to be back at camp where they can feel this way again.  Helping youth sustain this confidence and positivity, even when times are tough, is an invaluable gift.

This program will empower you to effectively do this with many more campers. It will explicate the structure of what works to instill lasting learning in youth, and will offer many examples of how you can include more of this in your camp. Jeff will specifically address how learning to offer the right kinds of challenges at the right moments can take an ordinary moment, and turn it into a life changing one.

Conference Schedule and Program

The opening keynote is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.  Plan on arriving by 2.30 p.m. so you won’t miss a word of Jeff Leiken’s presentation.  In addition to Jeff's keynote, the conference program features a wide variety of breakout sessions on topics of interest to camp professionals.  Conference Program.

Create Your Conference / Open Space

In addition to traditional scheduling (keynotes and breakout sessions), “Create Your Conference” or “Open Space” will also be a component of the conference.  "Open Space" gives participants a chance to use their voice to ask for what they need and/or share their knowledge and experience.  Under the guidance of an Open Space facilitator, attendees will create part of the content of the conference.  We are pleased to again have Tom and Jennifer Leahy of Leahy & Associates facilitate this process for us.  Not only is Tom known as a challenge course installer and trainer but he also has extensive experience as a corporate team skills facilitator and has been using "Open Space" for 18 years.  More about Open Space at the Fall Conference.

The Nature Place

The Nature Place is a year round conference facility and educational center located one hour west of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  It offers a unique combination of modern facilities amid the splendor of pine and aspen forests. Housing will be in studio apartments, each with a fireplace, sitting area, work station with wireless internet connection, and full bath.  The central lodge contains a dining room, a lounge with a fireplace, and a deck with a view of Pikes Peak. The lower level of the lodge has guest telephones and computers, natural science displays and a library. In addition, there is a baby grand piano, spacious sitting areas, a fireplace, television, and a recreational area that includes ping-pong, pool, and foosball tables.  The Sportsplex houses an indoor swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and exercise and weight room.  Learn more.

Conference Sponsor                                                                                                    

Special thanks to Pinnacle Park Homes for serving as a Fall Conference sponsor.  Pinnacle Park Homes is the “Industry Leader in Park Model Homes”.  Pinnacle Park Homes strives to deliver high-quality, handcrafted park model homes at affordable prices. 

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors receive a variety of promotional benefits which are detailed on the Sponsorship Opportunities Page. Sponsorship contributions help offset expenses and enable us to keep registration costs affordable for conference participants thus allowing more professionals to attend.  If you are interested in serving as conference sponsor, contact Marty Ferguson (, 970-887-2152 ext. 4172) or Betsy Thamert (, 765-342-1349).

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall will be held on November 21st from 4:30-7:00 p.m and features vendors who offer products and services to camps.  This is unopposed time.  Social time and dinner are a part of the exhibit hall experience as our food vendors provide dinner for conference participants.  The cost for a booth is $175 for ACA Business Affiliates ($275 for non-members) and includes an 8 foot table and electricity.  Lodging is available for exhibitors.  Exhibit Hall Information and Registration Form.

Educational Endorsement

The Fall Conference has been endorsed by the American Camp Association.  Educational Endorsement means that the   program has been reviewed by a qualified panel to verify the goals, learner outcomes, presenter qualifications, and evaluation   requirements are relevant for this educational program. Participants may earn up to 8.5 continuing education credits (CECs) for this endorsed program.


Register online, by email or through the mail.  Fall Conference Flyer.  To register by mail or email, download a PDF of the Fall Conference Registration Form. You may register online at any time.

Attend at the Member Rate

ACA’s free membership program is continuing!  The free member program/coupon is available to any first-time member of ACA.  To learn more and to join, visit and enter coupon code Free-RM-2014.

Conference Registration Fees

Conference registration includes meals (Wednesday dinner through Friday lunch), lodging on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and all educational sessions.

Full conference (Wednesday-Friday)                                                   $230
Full conference additional staff from the same member camp     $215
Full conference student                                                                          $190
Full conference non-member                                                                $275

Two day rate (Wednesday-Thursday or Thursday-Friday)                $160
Two day rate additional staff from the same member camp           $140
Two day rate student                                                                                $115
Two day rate non-member                                                                      $200

Day rate (Wednesday, Thursday or Friday) member                        $  85
Day rate student                                                                                       $  50
Day rate (Wednesday, Thursday or Friday) non-member                $115