During the middle of March, Billy, Sandy, Britton and Drew joined thousands of other camp professionals, at the Annual Tri-State Camp Conference . Throughout the week, they attended seminars, presented on topics, and listened to some wonderful key-note presenters.
The first key-note was by a man named Marc Kielburger, a co-founder of an incredible organization called Me to We. Me to We is a family of organizations that has a “shared goal: to empower a generation to shift the world from ‘me’ to ‘we’—through how we act, how we give, the choices we make on what to buy and what to wear, the media we consume and the experiences with which we choose to engage. “ Young people from around the world, join together to become educated on world issues, commit to social changes, and rally friends and family to help make a difference. Take a look at their website to learn more: http://www.metowe.com/.
Our closing keynote speaker was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Despite one’s political beliefs, having the chance to hear former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speak, in a venue of less than 3,000 people was memorable. She spoke about her own daughter, Chelsea’s, experience at German camp and discussed the value of camp, especially at a time when she feels “our country has a fun deficit.” Secretary Clinton referenced her book It Takes a Village when expressing her gratitude to a room full of camp professionals: “Thank you for what you do for so many young people. I heard (the conference chair) say that in many ways camping really is about life skills, it’s about that village I wrote about all those years ago, it’s about bringing adults and kids together in ways that really build confidence and resilience.” It was a special moment for all of us, to hear from someone of her stature, validating the importance of what we have been doing at Watitoh for almost 80 years! In the end, the camp community presented her with a sweatshirt for the camp she hopes to attend one day soon…
All in all, it was a wonderful week in Atlantic City, filled with learning, sharing, and planning for the most awesome summer of all, the summer of 2015!