ACA, Great Rivers Fall Conference


November 19-21, 2024


Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center
1089 Nixon Street
Indianola, IA 50125
Great Rivers Fall Conference Logo


See pricing details below.



Please join us for the 2024 Great Rivers Fall Conference! Join fellow camp and youth development professionals for two days of top-notch professional development and networking. Participants will enjoy keynote presentations, a wide variety of education sessions, and fun socials.

Call for Proposals Now Open!

The conference planning committee is now accepting proposals for innovative and dynamic sessions for the Great Rivers Fall Conference. The planning team is seeking proposals for sessions on the following (but not limited to) topics: character development, facility & maintenance operations, food service, day camp programming, programming, large group activities, mental health & wellbeing, staff hiring, staff training, and executive management. Lectures, hands on presentations, and panel discussions are welcome. The call for proposals closes October 1, 2024.

Learn More & Submit a Session!


Early Bird registration is available through October 24, 2024

Registration Includes:

  • Registration for November 19-21, 2024 includes the camp tours, full conference program, and meals (Tuesday dinner, Wednesday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Thursday breakfast and lunch.
  • Registration for November 20-21, 2024 includes the full conference program and meals (Wednesday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Thursday breakfast and lunch).

For more information about lodging check-out the Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center tab. Participants are encouraged to register and select their preferred lodging as soon as possible for the greatest selection.

Registration Type Early-Bird Regular
November 19-21: Camp Tours + Conference    
Member $145 $170
Non-Member  $200 $225
Additional person from same organization - Member 




Additional person from same organization - Non-Member  $175 $200
Student / Seasonal Camp Staff $95 $115
Retiree $95 $115
Speaker $95 $95
November 20-21: Conference Only    
Member  $130 $160
Non-Member  $180 $205
Additional person from same organization - Member  $100 $120
Additional person from same organization - Non-Member 



Student / Seasonal Camp Staff $85 $105
Retiree $85 $105
Speaker $85 $85


Tuesday, November 19

  • 12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Pre-Conference Camp Tours
    • Stowe Heights
    • Living History Farms Day Camp
  • 6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Dinner for Camp Tour Attendees and Early Arrivals
  • 7:15 p.m. Social 

Wednesday, November 20

  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
  • 9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Welcome to the Great Rivers Fall Conference!
  • 9:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Opening Keynote 
    • Love What You Do! Increasing Engagement for You and Your Team with Roz and Jed Buck
  • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Educational Breakout Session #1
  • 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Problem-Solving Roundtables
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Educational Breakout Session #2
  • 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Educational Breakout Session #3
  • 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Educational Breakout Session #4
  • 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Dinner & Great River Awards Ceremony
  • 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Trivia Night!

Thursday, November 21

  • 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.  Breakout Session #5
  • 10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Hot Topic Roundtables
  • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Closing Activity
  • 12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Lunch

Roz and Jed Buck are experienced former Camp Directors that continue to make a difference by speaking at conferences and training thousands of camp professionals every spring. From 2004-2016, they owned and directed Meadowbrook Day Camp, a large private day camp in New Jersey, where they trained a staff of over 400 each summer. 

Since launching Roz and Jed Training & Consulting in 2016 their innovative training techniques and energetic presentations have consistently generated outstanding reviews at a wide variety of conferences including many ACA conferences. They successfully provide Two Voices, Customized Content, and Real Experience. Session organizers receive comments like "Easily the BEST session of the day", "TONS of great ideas to share with our staff!", "Fun, active, going to use this immediately!", and simply "AWESOME". In total, they have presented in 31 different states and Canada.

Over the past 20 years, they have been active ACA Volunteers sitting on local boards, the SCOPE board, chairing conferences and events, and Jed remains an ACA Standards Visitor and Instructor. Roz and Jed were joint recipients of the prestigious ACA Thelma Hurwitz Leadership Award in 2016.

Opening Keynote - Love What You Do! Increasing Engagement for You and Your Team

When you start your day, do you think "I have to go to work" or "I get to go to work"? Getting to go to work means you understand the purpose of your job, feel appreciated, and have fun! This highly interactive session includes a mix of thought-provoking discussion as well as dynamic activities to empower individuals to increase their own engagement as well as encourage managers to increase the engagement of the teams they lead.


Join us on Tuesday, November 19th for a fantastic afternoon of touring camps and the opportunity to connect with others. We will visit Stowe Heights and Living History Farms Day Camp. Each tour will highlight different programs and facilities that are unique to their site.

  • Stowe Heights Challenge Course: Stowe Heights Challenge Course is
    Stowe Heights IA
    managed and staffed by Community Youth Concepts located on the East side of Des Moines, Iowa. Opening in 2020, Stowe Heights has a two-level high course, 6 permanent low course elements, and many portable challenge options to round out the program. SHCC serves a variety of youth and adult groups, guided by the principle of "Challenge by Choice". Half of the first level of the course and two of the low elements have been adapted to allow for participants that have mobility issues and/or use walkers or wheelchairs. In addition, they work with groups to be inclusive of any neurodiversity or other needs. 

Join us for the Fall Conference at Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center located in Indianola, Iowa. Wesley Woods was established in 1956, tucked away near Lake Ahquabi on 344 acres overlooking rolling hills in a woodland retreat. Wesley Woods is only 30 minutes south from the Des Moines International Airport and Downtown Des Moines. Whether you're coming in from out of town or just looking for a quick getaway, Wesley Woods is the perfect location for your next adventure. 


Lodging is available on-site at Wesley Woods on November 19th and November 20th. Wesley Woods has a variety of lodging options for the conference. Single, double, and group lodging are available.  All rooms or cabins have twin XL beds and have heat and air conditioning. Participants will need to provide their own bedding and towels. Double occupancy rooms have bathrooms and showers either in the room or in the same building. Group lodging will have access to bathrooms and a shower house a short walk from the cabins.

Participants are encouraged to register and select their preferred lodging as soon as possible for the greatest selection. Lodging is assigned on a first come first served basis. When registering online, please select options in step 4.

Single Occupancy Lodging - $105/night

Double Occupancy Lodging - $60/night

Group Cabin Lodging - $30/night




Event Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring an ACA event will extend your brand identity and marketing capabilities.  For questions regarding sponsorship opportunities, contact Kim Bruno.