2018 ACA, Great Rivers Fall Conference Program in Progress

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

9:00 a.m.                             Registration for Preconference Attendees                           
12:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.             Day Camp Training with Michael Brandwein                                                                      
6:30 p.m.                             Dinner—Dinner is on your own, but why not enjoy a meal with others at one of the restaurants in the area? If you  
                                           would like to join a group, please meet in the lobby of the Swanson Center.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.         Early Bird Breakfast for November 13 Arrivals                                   
8:30 a.m.-9:25 a.m.         Registration                                                                                                

9:25 a.m.-10:45 a.m.       Welcome and Opening Keynote                                             

THE INTENTIONAL CAMP: How to Put More Muscle in Our Mission by Making Sure We Really Do What We Say We are Doing
Michael Brandwein, educator / speaker / staff trainer
Michael coined the term “The Intentional Camp” years ago to describe places that are truly driven by the specific mission of building great people through the camp experience. The real purpose of camp is not just fun and “making memories.” The best camps reach for an even higher goal: using the fun and experiential activities of camp to teach skills for life and outstanding character. This exciting session shows us how to be sure that we make this happen every day. For example: Do we really teach how to make friends? Do we have special techniques to be sure our program teaches persistence and respect? We can do this and more. You’ll learn how to inspire and lead staff to make real differences in our program participants that will last a lifetime.

11:00 a.m.-12:15 pm      Breakout Session #1

Putting the “SUPER” in Supervision: Top of the Toolbox Techniques for Leadership Team Members to Maximize Staff & Camp Success
Michael Brandwein, educator / author / staff trainer
Michael provide fresh materials and activities we can use to train and support the heart of our camp—the Leadership Team. Get fast and effective ways to prepare the Leadership Team for your best summer ever. This includes Michael’s newest work on how to identify key “benchmark” behaviors of staff excellence which helps in training, supervising, coaching, and evaluating. This helps set daily and weekly goals for staff, so they keep their focus, reduce burnout, and continue to develop stronger skills. Bonus: how to supervise friends and peers.
Atlatl 101
Drew Demery, Camp Wapsie
Bundle up and enjoy some hands-on practice with an exciting new program. Atlatls have a long and distinguished history in the development of mankind. These handheld, wooden tools act as added leverage to throw six-foot-long arrow-like spears up to 100 yards.  In this session we’ll learn a brief history of the atlatl, explore ACA Specialized Activity standards for this program as well as spend the majority of the time practicing with these unique pieces of equipment. If you’re looking to spice up your target shooting programs, look no further than the atlatl.
Introduction to the Nurtured Heart Approach® - Growing Greatness at Camp
Buzzy Vickers, Shared Success
The Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA®) specifically correlates with the vision of the ACA that children and adults have the opportunity to learn powerful lessons in character-building and create powerful  relationships at camp which allow children (and staff) to thrive and reach their own potential.  The Nurtured Heart Approach® (NHA®) is a relationship-focused methodology founded strategically in “The 3 Stands™” for helping children (and adults) build Inner Wealth™ and use their intensity in successful ways to help them reach their full potential.  NHA has become a powerful way of awakening the inherent greatness in all children in a variety of settings including schools, homes, camps, day cares, etc.  The essence of NHA is a set of core methodologies originally developed for working with the most difficult children.  It has a proven impact on every child and adult including, but not limited to, those who are challenged behaviorally, socially and academically. 

12:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.      Lunch                                                                                                                              

1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.      Hot Topic Discussions                                                                                  
Pick a topic and join a discussion! This is a great time to discuss hot topics, share ideas, and network with others who are interested in the same issues! Topics include: 
  • Work / Life Balance
  • Mental Health
  • Day Camps
  • Camp Staff
  • Special Needs

2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.         Breakout Session #2

O.U.R. TIME: Fast & Practical Ways to Build Camp Cultures of Great Respect, Responsibility, & Relationships
Michael Brandwein, educator / author / staff trainer
Michael demonstrates how to teach staff to facilitate fun, daily, quick, interesting discussions with camper groups of all ages to accomplish multiple goals: FIRST: Provide campers guidance and practice using communication to make and keep friends (enormously important in an age of terse, electronic chatting). SECOND: Develop greater collaboration and teamwork, with increased respect for different views and opinions (skills in great demand in an increasingly diverse world.) THIRD: Greater camper accountability/responsibility for solving behavior problems and other challenges.
Got Trees? Recreational Tree Climbing at Your Camp                                                                                    
Trent Meyer and Derek Bergman, Camp Fontanelle                                                                                                       
If you have older growth trees at your camp, recreational tree climbing on rope is a high adventure, challenging activity that is safe and that does not require one-on-one belay. One facilitator can safely manage multiple climbers. If you are looking for a new program activity to add diversity and a high ropes feel to your program, tree climbing on rope may be the ticket. Climbing in the canopy of a tree is a great way to expand options for outdoor education with endless possibilities for study of life from the perspective of birds. Check out tree climbing on rope as Camp Fontanelle has provided this exciting program since 2005. Training opportunities will be available in the spring of 2018 at Camp Fontanelle. Find out what it might take to add this activity to your budget/program this coming year.
Camps in Crisis-Trends & Lessons Learned from another Year with the ACA Camp Crisis Hotline
Betsy Thamert and Amanda Zoellner, American Camp Association                                                         
For over 30 years, ACA has provided real-time support to camps nationwide through our Camp Crisis Hotline. In this session, we will review the trends and lessons learned from the previous year with the Hotline.

4:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m.        Breakout Session #3

Growing Great Qualities in Campers: The Quick Course on How Staff Can Build Best Behavior and Outstanding Skills for Life
Michael Brandwein, educator / author / staff trainer
Based on Michael’s newest 2018 best-selling camp book, Growing Great Qualities in Kids: The L.A.S.E.R.B.E.A.M. Technique for Bringing Out the Best in Young People, get his latest unique training materials and methods to teach staff exactly how to model, praise, and teach the specific behaviors that demonstrate great character, such as teamwork, kindness, and other keys to success throughout life. Help staff identify exactly what we want to teach and give them the tools to teach it.
What’s New with ACA Standards?
DD Gass and Amanda Zoellner, Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and American Camp Association
The ACA Standards are changing. Get a sneak peek at the 2019 version of the Standards. Come find out more about the upcoming changes in the ACA Standards, and how that relates to your camp.
10 Marketing Ideas That Any Camp Can Do on Any Kind of Budget
Abbie Parker, Camp Foster YMCA
Learn about 10 simple marketing ideas that are low cost, easy to use, and make help you think outside the box to get more kids into your program.

5:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m.                        Dinner                                                                                                                                                    6:45 p.m.                                       Evening Social                                                                    

Join us for an evening of fun! Share your favorite games or head outdoors for a campfire, songs, and of course s’mores! Connect and continue conversations with other conference attendees. This is an evening social for everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.         Breakfast                                                                                                            
8:45 a.m.-9:15 a.m.         LCOL Update and Awards                                                                                    
9:15 a.m.-9:45 a.m.         overnight guests check out and silent auction payment
9:15 a.m.                        silent auction ends

9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.       Breakout Session #4

Training Your Staff to Support Homesick Campers
Natalie Roberts-Day, YMCA Camp Kitaki
As youth development professionals, we are confident in our ability to help support a homesick camper. Unfortunately, it is usually our frontline staff who intervene in the early stages of homesickness.  Translating our confidence into the success of our frontline staff is not always easy. In this session, you’ll learn how one camp trains their staff to best prevent and manage homesickness, how to partner with parents to meet their camper’s emotional needs, and how to help staff recognize that success looks different for every camper.  
Get a Life!
Jami Biodrowski, Easter Seals Nebraska
Join Jami and learn four tips to maintaining a camp-life balance!
Evaluation 101 and 102
Amanda Zoellner

11:00 a.m.-12:00              Closing Keynote

Upping your Recruitment Game by Promoting Professional Skill Development                                          
Dr. Alice K. Foose, Northwest Missouri State University                                                                                                                    
This will be an experiential workshop exploring how to link skills desired by colleges and professional settings to the activities and responsibilities of seasonal camp staff (counselors, program leaders, cooks, etc.). Camps can capitalize on the trends of getting high school and college students more “career-ready” by connecting skills that good camp staff used to future careers and opportunities. Participants will leave the workshop with specific techniques and actions they can take immediately to recruit, train, and retain high quality seasonal employees.

12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m.   Grab and Go Lunch

1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.        Visitor Update Course
                                    Accreditation Process Workshop