You probably already know that summer camp is a year-round process for your camp directors and full-time support staff. It takes ten full months to make those magical two months happen every summer. But what you may not know is that you can also get involved in the “off-season” starting with on-going training and networking at camp conferences across the country.
The American Camp Association (ACA), the gold standard of the summer camping industry, has a couple of really great offers for first time ACA members and full-time students – these memberships equal huge savings, offer amazing content to prepare you for camp and great opportunities at ACA Camp Conferences.
Free One-Year Membership ACA refers to this as a trial membership and is open to anyone who has never been an ACA member.
Student membership (full-time students) with ACA is $35. If you’ve used up your free trail year, full-time students (with ID) can join for this highly reduced rate.
We are firm believers in ACA Camp Conferences! In our early years as camp professionals, the sessions, camp industry contacts and vendor relationships were key in our personal development. We had the opportunity to present/speak several times at 3 of the conferences below and chair a programming committee for one. After almost 25 years of conferences, we still learn valuable information each time and make invaluable contacts with others in the camping world.
If you are considering a career or at least a mid to long-term commitment to a camp job, conferences can be a great place to network and sample the different types of camp job opportunities. Don’t forget to include vendors in your networking. Vendors supplying camps also hire “camp people”!
February 19, 2019 to February 22, 2019
The National Conference rotates around the country each year to a new location city. Over 900 camps and well over 1,600 camp professionals will attend along with hundreds of vendors. This is the most regionally diverse of the ACA conferences. As the name suggests, camps from around the country attend.
March 12, 2019 to March 14, 2019
Atlantic City, NJ
The Tri-State conference is the largest gathering of camp professionals in the world. Over 3,000 camp staff will attend over 160 educational sessions and 300 vendors will be on hand. Like ACA National, this conference draws from across the country however, the northeast and mid-Atlantic states attend in the greatest numbers.
CAMP DIRECTORS – 1st time attending camps rate offered.
March 28, 2019 to March 30, 2019
The New England Camp Conference is one of our favorite conferences. With a little over 900 attendees, there are plenty of opportunities for networking while still feeling like an intimate gathering of camp folks.
ACA Student members can attend for a deeply discounted rate of $50. This rate is not published on the website because a student ID is required but contact Kerry Salvo at ACA 781-541-6080 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and she’ll get you started
CAMP DIRECTORS – Early Bird deadline is Feb 15!
April 1, 2019 to April 3, 2019
St Charles, IL
Mid States conference will have camps from 22 US state sand Canadian provinces and over 250 camps represented. Included with registration is a free Day Camp pre-conference. A great opportunity for any staff considering a day camp career track.
This is one of the most affordable conferences. A group of 5 can attend for less than $100 each.
April 9, 2019 to April 12, 2019
Palm Springs, CA
ACA Southern California/Hawaii Leadership Conference is a bit smaller than the other conferences but don’t let that fool you. You’ll find many of the same top presenters and speakers from the larger conferences out here in Palm Springs this year. This conference was once known as strictly regional with Cali and Hawaii (yeah, we know both places seem like horrible places for camp staff – lol) dominating. In recent years however, attending camps have come from as far as New England, as well as throughout the West.
This conference offers special discounted rates for students and retirees.
CAMP DIRECTORS – Early Bird deadline is March 11.