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A message from the President.

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."

Helen Keller

I am an optimist about ACA. The positive changes in our association during the last three years have been enormous and represent a direction that will serve the camp experience even better in the future. I have enjoyed my term as president, and I am confident that Maria Coleman will be an excellent leader. We have worked together to assure a seamless transition between our terms, and we both look forward to an outstanding National Conference in Washington, D.C.

I ran for President of ACA as a change agent, and my goal was a fully integrated, future-focused association. Throughout my term, Peg Smith and I continued to believe that the camp experience adds greatness and value to our society, and it was our hope that ACA could expand its impact and influence while creating greater member benefits. We knew ACA was one association" and it was imperative that our many agendas advanced together to meet our future goals. Progress has been made on many fronts during the last three years. Some of the work of the ACA National Board, national staff, and ACA committees include:

* The Lilly Foundation's acceptance of ACA's $640,000 grant crafted by Marge Scanlin's team, to establish the youth development outcomes of the camp experience.

* A powerful and rapid response to the "Columbine tragedy."

* The Public Awareness Committee's sensitive and meaningful video, Who Will Care When I'm not There, was developed for seasonal staff, highlighting safety.

* Development of the "Don't Laugh at Me" partnership culminating in one thousand ACA campers marching in Washington.

* Greater fiscal strength during the creation of a new membership system.

* Membership has grown to over 6,000 members.

* Triggered by crisis in the industry, a complete restructuring of our insurance committee, which will enhance information sharing and insurance education.

* Development of a "team" of national staff members who are brilliantly led and very accomplished in advancing the camp experience and ACA.

* A dynamic and responsive public policy committee working with the professional legislative liaisons at APCO Worldwide, helping to protect the camp experience.

* A complete merger, with shared leadership, between ACA and the American Camping Foundation.

* An enhanced Council of Delegates that will serve as an annual Mini-Summit and leadership forum.

* ACA's response to September 11th, and terrorism's impact on the camp experience.

* The resource development committee continues to creatively enhance ACA's endowment and annual funding.

* ACA's leadership on international staff issues with the major staff agencies and our national government.

* The standards board has begun to focus more directly on issues of quality in the camp experience.

* ACA has become the information and knowledge center, leading in the arenas of Web issues and distance education for camp professionals. Our online bookstore, registration, membership, and CapWiz traffic is up 20 percent this year.

* The national conference task force is working towards a goal of re-sculpting our conference.

* New board policies and an energized board development program have been crafted.

The future for ACA is to be governed only by the desires and energy of its members. We should all remember that the camp experience enriches lives and changes the world and there can be no more important work. Thank you again, for the opportunity to have served as president. I extend a special thank you to all who have helped serve ACA during my term. I know our future is bright!

Rodger M. Popkin

ACA National President
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Title Annotation:American Camping Association accomplishments
Publication:Camping Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:592
Previous Article:Why we do what we do. (A Place to Share).
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