Next week, on October 9th, the Alberta Camping Association is hosting our annual Fall Camps Tour. Camps Tour is when we invite camp professionals from all over the province to join us for tours of other ACA member camps in a particular area. The leaders of the camps chosen will give the group a tour of their property and facilities, showing others how they run their activities, kitchen, office, maintenance, and programs.
This year we are visiting Deer Valley Meadows Camp and Bar Harbour Camp located in the East Central Alberta Region. The cost is just $20/person ($10 if you drive yourself) and that includes lunch. Follow the links to register or to get more information. We invite you and your staff to join us at these two great camps!
Touring other camps in the company of dozens of other camp professionals allows you to share and discuss ideas on all things related to camp. Camp leaders are able to walk through different buildings and facilities, discover how other camps are using these types of buildings, and gather resources for further development of their own camp.
Last year we learned about the cost effective benefits of using yurts as cabins. These circular shaped, tent-like structures are inexpensive, easy to build and a great solution to providing extra sleeping spaces for campers and staff. Our discussion of sleeping spaces continued on to the next camp where we discussed the best options for custom made vinyl covered foam mattresses. Did you know that most companies will remove the old mattresses upon delivery of the new?
We also shared ideas around camp registration. There are many different camp registration methods including simple web-based registration systems to entire camp management systems. Smaller camps that only run one or two camps per season can get away with the old fashioned ‘mail in’ registration, where large camps and conference facilities that run year round programming might consider a full management system.
Our favourite part about Camps Tour is learning how other camps ‘do camp’. Beyond learning about the activities they offer, it’s interesting to learn how those activities roll out in a given day. You are given a great picture of ‘a day in the life of a camper’ and a staff member as well. Some camps take their kids on one or two mid-week out trips into the wilderness, while others prepare them to perform a drama production for their parents at the end of camp. Some camps offer mentorship programs that take young campers through the process of becoming counselors in training, to young staff members, all the way to camp leadership.
We know this camps tour will offer the same opportunities for discussion. Bring a pad of paper and a pen, and get ready to jot down as many great ideas from other camps as you can. The Alberta Camping Association will provide full reports of the information shared at this year’s camps tour on our website blog.
Building a Camp Community
We all have something in common: a passion for summer camp. Camp people are usually an energetic, playful type with a true desire to see children and youth experience positive life development. Most of us have no problems about jumping up and down singing about bananas in front of a hundred kids. Some might say this passion and the abilities that come with it are unique!
Although all of our camps are different, we all work hard and sacrifice for the same mission and that is to give children the opportunity to learn and grow in a positive environment.
Camps Tour is a great opportunity to connect with other camp professionals who share your same passion. Beyond sharing ideas on how you run your arts and crafts shack and how you deal with mash potato leftovers in the kitchen, Camps Tour really is a great time to build friendships with each other. We always here from our membership that one of the key reasons they attend ACA events is to build a network and community with other camps. This event will help you do just that!
Over the years we have gotten to know many of you and look forward to opportunities to meet with you again. We are also excited to meet new faces and make new friends in the camping community. We look forward to seeing you at the Fall Camps Tour 2013!
When: Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Where: This fall our tour will take in two camps in Central Eastern Alberta.
- Deer Valley Meadows near Alix (10:00am - 1pm) - lunch included
- Bar Harbour Camp on Buffalo Lake south of Bashaw (1:30pm-4:30pm)
Cost: $20 per person includes...
- transportation (Click here for pick up locations)
- lunch meal at Deer Valley Meadows
Who: All camp professionals!