MACC is an annual two-day conference hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Camp Association (ACA) that offers keynotes and educational sessions from national leaders in the world of camping.
While Sam has attended this conference numerous times, it was another first for me. Another good first at that.
Up Close and Personal
Being a smaller, local conference in comparison to the National and Tri-State Conferences, it’s a great place to network with local camp folks. Both Sam and I got to catch up with old friends from the area and make lots of new connections. All these faces from the region offer great insight into growing trends and best practices from the area’s many wonderful summer camps.
The conference presents a packed schedule of amazing speakers and educators over the two days. The topics ranged from games and staff training, to the science of the brain, and the research being done in regard to the positive benefits of summer camp, among many more.
Industry leaders including Michelle Cummings with the team-building business Training Wheels, and leading camp industry thinker and inspirational speaker Dr. Christopher Thurber were just a couple of the presenters at this year’s conference.
The highlight for me was having the opportunity to learn from author and camp professional Jonathan Hodge, of Tate’s Day Camp, more about the brain, the effects of our ever changing and rapidly evolving technological world, and the importance of summer camp in such a world.
Hodge convincingly argues that now more than ever summer camp is a critical place for kids (and adults) to experience a meaningful counterpoint to the stresses of our everyday lives. Camp gives us the opportunity to exercise every part of the brain and develop the skills that might be lost from such a constant attachment to screens and modern technology.
Every time I learn more about the negative effects of technology on the brain and behavior, or on the flip side, the important, positive effects of nature on children, I realize how lucky I am to be at Camp Alleghany, tucked away on the Greenbrier River, at the base of Greenbrier Mountain, sharing that powerful natural experience with ‘Ghany Girls.
Camp Alleghany believes strongly in our attending these conferences regularly so that the leadership team continues our education about the wider camp culture’s place within our overall culture. Looking into the issues that affect kids, or delving deep into their developmental needs helps us to keep camp moving forward, always focusing on the betterment of our girls in the world they live in today.
I’m so glad to be able to attend conferences like MACC to expand my knowledge around the benefit of summer camp, meet other professionals who share my passion for young people, and gain new skills and insights to bring back to ‘Ghany.
MACC 2018 has me thinking, planning, and getting excited for another amazing summer with the best campers. I hope to share some of what I learned with you on our side of the river this summer!
— Casey Tucker, Program Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls