|Critter and Froggie|
So all the counselors have been dreaming of a chance to go on a road trip. Some day it would be supremely awesome to go on a massive road trip with a few dozen staff members! For the moment, five was more than enough to provide lots of fun! As you may have seen below, Ash, Froggie, Critter, Liam and I all packed into a car and drove down to Orlando for the National American Camp Association (ACA) Conference. It was a long drive, but most definitely not a boring one. With a car full of Trefoil Academy's finest, you really cannot expect anything less than hilarity and good times.
|Post it notes: providing endless road trip entertainment to the young at heart everywhere.|
I believe I speak for the five of us when I say that experiencing our first ACA conference was enlightening. One of our first impressions was a feeling like these are our people. They understand all the craziness, energy, and warmth that involves being a counselor. We met a lot of people from camps all over the country, and some from other countries! I personally had lovely discussions with camp directors from both Greece and Venezuela! The camp from Venezuela is called Shangrila, and their camp grounds even have peacocks. How nifty is that? There I was sharing ideas with camp counselors and directors from around the world! It's worth mentioning that there were plenty of other Girl Scouts camps there from around the country as well.
Our goal at the ACA conference was to learn. And that we did! To say that we learned a lot would be a huge understatement! And the great part about this is we get to bring all that we learned to camp to make it an even better and more enriching experience for all our campers as well as our staff.
|I know there's something wrong with this picture, but I can't seem to figure out what|
One aspect of the conference that none of us saw coming was that we stood out. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, we are a Harry Potter camp. Secondly, we all wore our bandanas. We can't complain, honestly. It was pretty nice being affectionately called the bandana clan/team/crew/etc. We were THE bandana people. We know that many camps use the bandana system, so we expected to see others there wearing their bandanas. They did not. So we stood out a little. We're used to this by now, I think. Even when we made a quick stop to Downtown Disney during our free time, one of the cast members called us the bandana crew.
The idea that our identity is being a Harry Potter camp was somewhat unique at the conference. I can scarcely recall running into any other themed camps. One of the presenters before a class asked us what would happen when Harry Potter is no longer popular. He was surprised that we already had an answer to his question and that we were not offended by it. Our returning campers will know that we have ventured out of the plot of the book series already, and begun our own. But the presenter's question did remind us that we are building the identity of our camp based on the foundation of acceptance. We aren't just Hogwarts: the Summer Session. We are Trefoil Academy. We are the camp where it's not only okay to be geeky or passionate about something, it's embraced. From the get go, we followed our campers into the rabbit hole, and will continue to do so as long as you all are having fun.
|Froggie and Ash trying out some fun toys before a keynote speech on Wednesday|
No matter what kind of camp director, counselor or presenter we spoke to, however, we all at least had one thing in common: we were there in the end for the sake of our campers. That's why we do what we do. It's why most of us are so proud to say we're volunteers at a Girl Scouts camp, or a Harry Potter camp. Many of our peers in our personal lives think we're a little crazy to take our time off only to go and work at a camp. I think that they're missing out. In the end it's all for you guys. That's why we packed ourselves into a car and drove so far. We're committed to Trefoil Academy. And now we have a few more tools to help us keep those commitments.
I will probably add more photos or video here later. And I know Ash has some she might want to share. For now, however, I will get back to work on Doctor Who camp. That's right, folks! Coming this April, we have Parallel Universes, which is still enrolling! Spend a day in one of four universes, including Pirates vs Ninjas, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, and Pokemon! There's so much going on this spring. So if you need to get your camp fix before Summer Session, or are curious as to what a Trefoil Academy camp is like, please join us! We'd love to have you, and are always excited to meet new faces!
Enjoy the rest of your winter safely, and don't forget to do your homework kids ;)