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As a leading authority for summer camps and youth development, ACA works to preserve, promote, and improve the camp experience.

A Message From The President Of The Board – September 2019

September 20, 2019

Happy Fall from ACA, New England!

For most of my life I have lived for the arrival of summer. As a kid, I would cross off the days on the back of my notebook in a desperate countdown to the sweet freedom of summer. I was a city kid who loved everything about being outside, so summer and camp was my salvation. Because of all of this, I made camp my life and my career, and I have never regretted that decision. However, I have a confession to make, and I hope that it won’t shock you. When I was young, the first ads for Back to School shopping would fill my heart with dread. Now though, at the end of a busy summer, the same ads and the slight chill in the air give me a strange mixture of emotions and dare I say, a bit of joy mingled in with the sadness at the end of summer. Of course I am heartbroken to say goodbye to all the campers and staff here at Becket-Chimney Corners as they head back home leaving most of their belongings behind, but I can’t help but to be thrilled by the simple act of leaving camp without telling 7 different people where I am going and when I will be back.

While I do pine for the happy days of campers playing in the sunshine, I secretly celebrate the fact that I will not need to look at five different weather apps to decide if indeed the overnights need to be cancelled. I will of course miss the campers’ angelic voices singing my favorite camp songs as they joyfully go about their day but maybe not the constant chatter of staff over the radios when they forget that the radios are for “camp business only” and not for time off plans and the latest inside jokes. I love that, as one of my staff members once said, camp is the one place where a bathing suit and rain boots is a perfectly acceptable outfit. However, I am happy when I no longer need to sport socks with my sandals in order to be a good role model.

I’m guessing some of you also take some pleasure in the arrival of fall, and I hope some of that comes from the chance to reconnect with other camping professionals through participation in the many opportunities that the staff at ACA, New England have planned for the year ahead. I invite you to check out these programs and other educational opportunities on our Professional Calendar!

ACA, New England is embarking on a strategic planning process working with the consulting firm Strategy Matters out of Boston. We look forward to connecting with as many of you as possible so that our plans for the future reflect the needs New England camping professionals and we look forward to sharing our progress with you in the year ahead.

Please let us know how the staff and volunteers at ACA, New England can support your work in the year ahead.

All the Best!

Shannon Donovan-Monti
ACA, New England Executive Board

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