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

Welcome Message from our New Executive Director, Michele Rowcliffe

September 12, 2020

I’m here!  Thank you to the dozens of people I have connected with so far for providing such a warm welcome as I made my way to Lexington, Massachusetts.  Everyone I have met has been so helpful and supportive, lending a hand and filling me in on important information along the way.  A huge thank you to Bette. She has already made this transition so comfortable and rewarding. I have some incredible shoes to fill.

A little about me…I have been in the camping industry for over 25 years.  I began my career out of college as a Youth Director at my neighborhood YMCA in western NY.  I then moved to the YMCA of Greater Rochester in 1997 where I worked for over 20 years in a number of camping and leadership roles.  I have two decades of operational experience at residential camps, as well as in-depth knowledge of day camp operations and administration in a variety of settings; public parks, facility backyards and stand-alone properties.  I was a charter member of the YMCA of the USA Camping Cabinet, chairing the Data & Analytics committee. Later, I chaired that Professional Development committee.  Working at a Partner YMCA, I was involved in numerous camp consultations around the country, allowing me to witness the impact of camping, delivered in so many different ways.

The last few weeks have flown by so quickly.  It has been incredibly exciting to meet so many smart, passionate leaders in the New England camping industry.  While I am learning about differences in current regulations, policies, and licensing throughout the six states we serve, the love and passion for camping and the populations we serve is palpable.  I have already seen so much drive and determination to provide resources and support, and I am thrilled to be surrounded by this company and community.

We all know 2020 has been completely unpredictable.  I have seen camps and program centers create amazing engagement opportunities in the most creative ways.  As we all wait for further guidance heading into 2021, please know ACA, New England is by your side.  Our communities need us now more than ever.  The New England team is continuously reevaluating our priorities to meet the needs and wants of our membership.  Whether it is professional development, connecting you with like camps, or encouragement at the end of the telephone, we look forward to working with you.

I sincerely hope the summer of 2021 allows for more camping, in every capacity.  I personally look forward to a summer of travel, meeting you and visiting our beautiful camps and program centers throughout New England.  In the meantime, please feel free to give me a call.  I am hoping to connect with as many of your as possible and learn about all you do.  Keep up the fantastic work and let’s prepare for an incredible 2021!

Michele Rowcliffe
Executive Director
American Camp Association, New England

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