The ACA (American Camp Association) New England conference is one of the most anticipated events for camp professionals in the region. This year, The Story School had the opportunity to attend the event in Manchester, NH, and it was an experience that we will not forget.
The conference offered a variety of workshops and networking opportunities. Our staff was able to attend sessions on topics such as Staff Recruitment and Support, Camp Culture & Inclusion, Reflective Practice Skills, Navigating New Technology, & Supporting a Gender-Creative Camp Culture. Most importantly, we were able to network with other camp professionals to share ideas, discuss common concerns, and fine tune best practices.
One of the highlights of the conference is their keynote speakers and large groups. This year the ACA invited a panel of campers to give their first-hand observations and offer their suggestions on how we can build diversity, equity and inclusion at camp. It was inspiring to hear just how important camp continues to be in the lives of young people and the hope they have for its continued growth and success.
In addition to educational and networking opportunities, the conference was a chance for The Story School staff to bond and build deeper relationships. We were able to spend time together outside of camp, exploring the city of Manchester and searching for forgotten water bottles.* This helped to strengthen our team dynamic and build excitement for camp. It also provided optimal training for summer’s favorite hydration tradition, the abandoned bottle.
Attending the ACA New England conference was an invaluable experience for our staff. It provided us with the opportunity to learn new skills, connect with other camp professionals, and explore the latest trends and products in the industry. We left the conference feeling energized and equipped to return to camp this summer, ready to provide the best possible experience for our hero campers. The team at The Story School are already looking forward to next year’s conference and the opportunity to continue developing our skills as camp professionals**
* Only one water bottle was truly in danger of being left behind. It was promptly rescued by the proprietor of the Thirsty Moose and entertained until its owner could retrieve it. Thank You.
** Said professionals take their work seriously but never themselves