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An invitation to Kumbayah 1994.

Dobre Odra, Konnichiwa, Buenos Dias, Bonjour, Hello: In the five official languages of the Third International Camping Congress, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Kumbayah 1994.

We have before us the opportunity of a lifetime. On March 2, 1994, in the grand ballroom of the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada, the Third International Camping Congress will begin. We know that our event will be the single largest gathering of international camping professionals in the history of our profession.

This event replaces the American Camping Association's national conference and the Ontario Camping Association's annual conference. The ACA and the OCA, in cooperation with the Canadian Camping Association and the International Camping Fellowship, plan to "bring together a world of outdoor experience."

Did you know there are 103,000 children's camps in the former Soviet Union? One we visited, Camp Artek on the Black Sea, has 120,000 acres of land with 7 1/2 kilometers of shoreline, 4,000 children and 2,500 staff, and is open year-round with a school, hospital, hotel and a pioneer palace housing a space museum. Did you know there are 22 independent camps in Greece? There are more than 100 camps in that country, and they are joining together to form a camping association. Did you know there is a single organization in France that sends 2 1/2 million children to camp each summer? Did you know camps in Poland that have been closed since the 1940s are reopening? Did you know the National Camping Association of Japan accredits more than 2,000 camp leaders and volunteers every year? Did you know many children in Australia have some type of outdoor camping experience as part of the formal education system?

We have so much to learn and share with our colleagues around the world.

Kumbayah 1994 will include four full days with more than 200 interest sessions, workshops and seminars; an afternoon grand rendezvous of national camping associations; internationally renowned general session speakers with simultaneous translation of those general sessions into Japanese, Russian, Spanish and French; a silent auction of handmade Canadian crafts; a raffle and auction of nine handmade quilts (made by my mother, Mary McCutcheon); eight meals; more than 130 American and Canadian exhibitors; an opening general session sing-song with Jack Pearse and the Boys Camp Band; and a ticket to our "We Believe" program - a private, closed concert at Roy Thomson Hall with Peter, Paul and Mary.

Our congress vice-chair and treasurer is ACA member Robert Lebby, owner and director of North Star Camp for Boys and Man and His Land Expeditions in Wisconsin. As your official ACA representative of the steering committee, Robert has won the hearts of us Canadians. He and nine other members of our steering committee have been meeting as a group since May of 1990. We have almost got Robert trained to say, "eh," at the end of every sentence!

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is the fourth largest city in North America. The Sheraton Centre Hotel - our "Camp Sheraton" - is the third largest Sheraton Hotel in North America. Our underground network of restaurants, shops, subways and walking paths allows us the luxury of easy indoor travel. During the congress we'll walk underground from our hotel through fully accessible corridors and surface inside Roy Thomson Hall for our Peter, Paul and Mary concert.

Toronto is an exciting city, boasting the CN Tower, the largest free-standing structure in the world. At its base is Skydome, the world's largest indoor sports and entertainment center with a fully retractable roof and the home of the 1992 World Series championship team, the Toronto Blue Jays. We are truly excited about hosting you in Toronto.

Your host for the 1994 congress, the Ontario Camping Association, marks its 61st consecutive year of planning and conducting conferences for camp directors and senior staff. We hope we have it down pat for you! As a matter of fact, it is the fourth consecutive year that we have held the OCA conference at this same hotel. The First International Camping Congress in 1983 was also held in Toronto at the Sheraton.

Kumbayah 1994 is the name of our congress; "Bringing Together a World of Outdoor Experience" is its motto. The rainbow is the logo, representing seven continents of the world and seven streams of program topics. The congress' objective is friendship, learning, sharing and cooperation - the opportunity to sit face-to-face with our peers around the world who do what we do.

I guarantee that your investment of both time and dollars for this congress will reap you lifetime rewards. I guarantee that your life will be touched and brightened by the international delegates you meet. I guarantee that Kumbayah 1994 will lift your spirit and commitment to this profession. It is an honor to invite each of you to Kumbayah - To Come By Here - to The Third International Camping Congress, March 2-5, 1994.

If ever we are to put camping on the global map, it will be through Kumbayah 1994.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Camping Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:international camping conference
Author:McCutcheon, Jane
Publication:Camping Magazine
Article Type:Transcript
Date:May 1, 1993
Previous Article:1993 ACA national conference highlights.
Next Article:Risk Management.

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