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

Message from Michele – YOU are the Difference – Thank you!

May 27, 2021

To say the last 15 months have been unlike any other lacks the fervor to express the resilience, patience, collegiality, heartbreak, and even joy we have all endured.  Congratulations to YOU for living each day with strength and confidence in moving forward.

I came to ACA, New England at the very end of August.  I was well aware of the variety of programs many of our camps were offering throughout last summer.  However, whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid, I was instantly blown-away seeing the creativity and dedication on display while you all engaged families and staff to provide some sense of normalcy throughout the summer of 2020.

When I arrived, I was met with a myriad of welcoming phone calls and emails. Thank you to everyone who reached out with your warm New England welcome, and thank you again to everyone who accepted my zoom invites and connected me with so many wonderful people throughout our membership, our industry, and across beautiful New England.

As we entered fall and winter, there were still many unanswered questions.  Once again, I marveled at the willingness of camps to share their successes and challenges with each other, preparing a greater population of camps with the information and resources to consider an operational 2021.  The ACA, New England team and volunteers offered workshops, roundtables, panels, and coffee chats to encourage formal and informal learning.  Members, stakeholders and camping professionals from all over continued to join in, reach out, and contribute for the good of our industry.  Wow…what a show of love for camping.

Federal and State guidelines rolled out over the past few months, and I have seen excitement grow and confidence build.  2021 will be a summer in which kids re-engage in LIVE, social activity. It might be a summer in which parents get a week or two of respite after a grueling year, and it will surely be a summer to show young staff and leaders the true impact camp has on children and families and the lifelong difference we make in thousands of lives.

No doubt, this summer will be hard, but we are ready to take it on. 2021 will be a summer to remember.

Throughout your summer, the ACA, New England team is ready to help where needed.  Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.  As we prepare for fall, we’d love to know what trainings may be desired and what resources you may need.

Finally, congrats to you again!  I am so excited  to see photos of happy children, hear stories of meaningful impact, and watch camp professionals do what we do best. Please be there for one another this summer, and know that we are here for you.

Thank you so much,

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