Westwind visits the ACA National Conference

Last week, three of Westwind’s staff attended the American Camp Association (ACA) National Conference in New Orleans. This three-day event was a chance for our staff to network with camp professionals, learn from experts, and share the incredible work Westwind is doing to fulfill our mission. It was a packed three days of panels, discussions, learning, icebreakers, and, of course, friendship bracelets. Scroll through to read about what our staff learned at the ACA Conference.

Program Director Laura attended a panel hosted by parents of transgender children and learned what camps can do to create an accessible experience for trans children. This session highlighted the incredible work Westwind is already doing to support campers of all gender identities, and it gave insight into ways we can continue to grow. She also participated in a session about cultural responsiveness at camp. Since returning, she has been actively engaged in discussions with the Westwind team on how our staff can best be trained to implement cultural responsiveness in their daily work.

Our Buisness Director, Sarah, networked with other regional camp leaders to plan for the ACA regional conference this fall. Discussions included ways that the regional conference can support all aspects of a camp and how it can offer support to camps big and small. She was also up bright and early to attend a session on camp insurance and learned about how geographical differences can play a major role in how camps receive insurance.

Westwind’s Assistant Camp Director, Reishelle, met with other camp directors to discuss behavior management and exchanged strategies for how to help summer staff best meet the needs of their campers. Another session focused on building resilience in campers and staff, as camp professionals from across the country shared their strategies for helping their campers build resilience and best enjoy their time at camp.

Between busy sessions at the ACA Conference, the Westwind team had a chance to explore the sights and tastes of New Orleans, complete with a swamp tour and mouth-watering Beignets. Though it was a busy three days, the learning, sharing, and appreciation for the importance of camp was prevalent. The ACA National Conference is an amazing opportunity for Westwind to learn from other camps around the country and share the incredible work we are doing along the sandy shores of Westwind.