From Tish - January 2015

Tisha Bolger
January 2015

It's the start of another year and a year's worth of opportunities to make a positive impact on our nation's children and young adults through the experience of camp. The American Camp Association (ACA) is excited by the prospect of joining with national and international camp professionals at this year's national conference to dialogue about and invigorate our efforts to introduce every child to the magic of camp.

The theme this year for ACA's national conference is Imagine. Inspire. Impact. The alliteration reminds me of how important "I" is when it comes to camp. We always talk about the importance of community and the ability to come together as a group and make things happen. But the truth is, without the talents and drive of each individual involved, camp wouldn't be the life-changing experience that it is.

Most of us can recall from childhood that one teacher or camp counselor who we looked up to for advice and encouragement. We looked into his or her eyes and saw steadfast belief in us reflected back. And it changed us forever. Camp is the opportune place for children to find that one role model who can help them overcome their fears to tackle challenges and gain confidence in their own abilities. Just imagine the same scenario playing out with thousands of individuals at camp each year. That's inspiring!

This year's conference will be chock full of knowledgeable speakers, thought-provoking panels, and the chance to commune with camp people from all over the world — individuals with insights at every turn and the common goal to brighten the future for our youth.

I encourage you to attend the conference and bring your individual talents and ideas to the table. One person can make a difference. Thousands of individuals united in the goal to provide an experiential learning environment for campers everywhere is a movement destined to succeed.

The conference team has put together an amazing program for us in February! This issue of Camping Magazine serves as a preview for what is to come. For those who are unable to make it to our national conference this year, you will find sage advice from conference presenters and keynote speakers. For those who are attending, this issue offers you a sampling of the powerful learning opportunities that await!

Tish Bolger
ACA Board Chair