ACA, Rocky Mountain Fall Conference

November 14-16, 2012
The Nature Place
Florissant, CO

Keynote Speaker – Bob Ditter         

Bob Ditter is a well-regarded child, adolescent and family therapist from Boston, Massachusetts. He is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant and works with organizations that work with young people. His clients have included Sea World, the Disney Channel, the Salvation Army, Girls Scouts of America, YMCA, American Camp Association, Jewish Community Centers, Camp Fire USA, Children’s Oncology Camps of America, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and private and public schools. He has appeared on the ABC Evening News, Good Morning America, and The Today Show.  He has been quoted in The New York Times, Parent Magazine, the Ladies Home Journal, Money Magazine and USA Today.  Sports Illustrated called him “…camping’s most articulate spokesman” because of his work with children’s summer camps since 1982. He has visited over 600 summer camps in the United States and has authored four books for camp professionals and 14 training DVDs. He is best known in camp circles as the author of the popular column, “In the Trenches,” which has appeared regularly in Camping Magazine since 1987.

Opening Keynote—Wednesday, November 14th

 "Vital Engagement versus Virtual Engagement: The Essence of Camp"
We live surrounded by a mobile technology that entices us with constant communication. Yet, with all the exquisite ways to be connected, there is a hunger in children and teens for deeper personal engagement and meaning that isn’t satisfied by electronics.

With stories and examples fresh from this summer, Bob talks about the critical ways camp is vital, not virtual engagement and why and how this is sustaining for children.

Conference Schedule

New this year, the opening keynote is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.  Plan on arriving by 3:00 p.m. so you won’t miss a word of Bob Ditter’s presentation.  Conference Schedule.  

Create Your Conference

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.  Participants in "Open Space” take an active role in their own learning and will have unique power and responsibility to make sure others get the learning they need.  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.

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. Participants completing this program and requesting CECs must petition the appropriate certifying body regarding acceptance of these CECs

Standards Training
ACA Standards Course
November 14

If your camp will be visited in 2013, this course is for you.  The Standards Course will be offered immediately prior to the Fall Conference on November 14th and will start at 9:00 a.m.  There is no cost to attend the course however there is a fee for lunch if you will not be staying for the Fall Conference.  (If you are attending the Fall Conference, the fee for lunch is included in your conference registration).  The ACA Standards Course prepares camp directors and administrators for their accreditation visits and serves as an introduction to the standards program for persons interested in becoming accreditation visitors. The person completing the ACA Standards Course is expected to actively assist the camp in preparation for the accreditation visit and fully participate in the on-site visit. ACA membership is not a prerequisite for this course. 

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. 

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall will be held on November 15th 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.  Sodas, beer and wine are also available and are strategically placed throughout the vendor hall area.  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

Exhibitor and Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in exhibiting and/or serving as conference sponsor, contact Marty Ferguson (, 970-887-2152 ext. 4172) or Betsy Thamert (, 765-342-1349).


Register online, by email or through the mail.  To register by mail or email, download a PDF of the Fall Conference Registration Form. Conference and registration information will also be mailed this fall.  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-2013. 

Conference Sponsors     

Special thanks to Camp Minder and Pinnacle Park Homes for serving as conference sponsors.

CampMinder is a secure, user-friendly, customizable web-based camp management program.    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Pinnacle Park Homes is the “Industry Leader in Park Model Homes”.  The company strives to deliver high-quality, handcrafted park model homes at affordable prices.