As camp professionals working with youth and young adults, we take professional development and professional networking seriously. This is the time of year many camp conferences across the country take place providing education, networking, inspirational speakers, and new ideas for everything from staff training, in-service training, camper support and guidance, special programming, and more. Check out the American Camp Association conference in Albuquerque, NM going on right now.
We are fortunate that Marijean “MJ” Parry is at the conference this week, networking and learning to bring back to Runoia. If you haven’t met MJ yet, her introduction is here on our Runoia site. Our leadership team will be convening in March at the ACA/NE conference in New Hampshire. We look forward to meeting in person and connecting with others helping Runoia to continue to grow and build lifelong skills of its own!
Our professional development doesn’t end with our camp connections. As I grow in my own field of work, I see youth outreach programs that are extraordinary. I am impressed by my childhood friend from Princeton, Jonathan Diamond, founder and director of the Hilltown Youth and Recovery Theatre helping youth through theatre and performing to recover from addiction and/or anxiety and other mental health challenges.
Jonathan grew up at camp in Maine and his sons attended Chewonki as well. He credits his camp experience to who he is today and the important work he is doing with children. I’m impressed with his work as shown in this short and compelling video.
The images of the work his program provides are vivid and powerful. Hats off to Jonathan and his team. If you are a person who works in counseling or helps youth with anxiety, addiction or other mental health challenges, I encourage you to check out Hilltown Youth and contact Jonathan if you are interested in more information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our connections with youth professionals from foster care to prep schools makes us better camp professionals. We are fortunate to know so many fantastic people doing great things helping us to stretch and grow just like our campers and staff do each summer!