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A Look Back at the 91st Annual Conference

ACA New England's 91st Conference had many highlights. We are still gathering feedback from attendees; so, please respond to this survey if you have not done so already. A record number of New England’s camp professionals—830!—gathered over the weekend of March 30 & 31 to experience 80+ sessions on an array of topics that ranged from a session on helicopter parents to "mentor speed dating" to a panel on transgender staff. We welcomed several new presenters and welcomed back many others. Handouts from several sessions have been posted on our website. Keep checking back; we expect to add more! Michael Thompson, school consultant and popular speaker for parent audiences, provided the keynote address, Homesick and Happy: How Children Change and Grow When They Are Away from Their Parents, with a focus on the potential power of camp experiences on influencing child development.

keynoteThe Armory was full for this year's keynote, delivered by Michael Thompson

Sales were brisk in our CampEXPO. Luckily, it is still possible to visit our vendors virtually;  they remain ready to help you gear up for camp this summer with some great goods and services. Raffle ticket sales were strong too, which is excellent news for the American Camp Association, New England Annual Fund. Thanks go out to many generous raffle donors and to all who bought raffle tickets. Most happy winners have claimed their winnings. Eric Rightor of Camps Northwoods and Pleasant Valley picked up his grill just in time to have a Final Four BBQ. If you have not arranged to claim your prize, please contact Elizabeth Snell.  Viva Manch Vegas provided a rollicking good time Friday night with Giant Jenga, ThumbWrestling, and various games of chance, like BlackJack. At this year’s banquet, Susan Yoder, of the national ACA, was honored for her public policy work. Capping off the evening was the drawing for our Trip Raffle, generously donated by Steve Fisch of Amerasport, again this year. This year’s lucky winner of the $1,000 travel voucher was John Tilley, Executive Director of Camp Coniston.

kindle winnerACA New England's Executive Director, Bette Bussel, with the winner of the coveted Kindle at Viva Manch Vegas

There was definitely something for everybody at our 91st Annual Conference! Whether your favorite conference moment was seeing Chris Thurber roasted at the Maine State meeting or it was attending some excellent sessions with your camp friends and colleagues, whether it was discovering something very cool in the CampEXPO or giving back by volunteering in some way, we were so glad to have you with us for the weekend. And, we are already looking forward to seeing you next year at our 92nd Annual Conference March 22 and 23, 2013.

bikerOne of our attendees arrived by bike! Shaun Howarth, from William Lawrence Camp, arrived at the Conference after pedaling 60 miles from Ctr. Tuftonboro, NH.