Just like your favorite Superhero, SCampCon has an origin story.
It all started with a dream.
Back in the day, Curt had worked as a program director and director for a few different camps. Unfortunately, none of the organizations he worked for would shell out the $1000+ for travel, lodging and registration to send him or any of his co-workers to a conference. Occasionally, they would pay for registration, but he had to pay out of pocket for everything else. Well, you know how lucrative a career in youth camping or recreation can be…not. It was a financial burden, but there were times when he was able to make it happen.
He loved attending conferences, learning new techniques and getting new ideas. But more often than not, he couldn’t afford to attend the conferences he wanted to go to. He thought, “Why can’t these be online? That would eliminate the travel and lodging costs. One day I will create an online conference if nobody else does. It will be a professional development event that anyone, working for a camp or organization that is not able or willing to pay for an in-person conference, will be able to attend attend ”
Fast forward to 2018. Curt and Patti Sampson had created Patchwork Marketplace and were considering new projects. Curt mentioned his dream of starting an online conference and Patti loved the idea. But would it work? What would they need in the way of technology? Could they get the presenters? How would they pay for it all?
Fortunately, they went forward with their idea and trusted that the Universe would be on their side. Sponsors like JotForm and CampBrain took a chance on them without “proof of concept”. A bunch of awesome camp pros volunteered to present their workshops. Curt worked out the technology side. Patti ran the Q&A sessions like a seasoned interviewer. Yes, there were a couple of hiccups, but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It was a success and camp pros from around the world wanted more!
Summer Camp Con is not meant to be a competitor of any ACA conference or the conference of any other organization. It is meant to be an alternative for those that cannot afford or find the time to attend live conferences. It is meant to be a global event for international camp pros to attend. It is meant to be an additional professional development event for those that do attend live conferences.
If you can attend a conference put on by the ACA, CCCA, WAIC, OCA, ICF, JCC, YMCA, 4H, scouts or any other organization, you should do it. The networking possibilities alone can be worth it. Just know that Summer Camp Con is a great, low-cost alternative or add-on, and we hope you join us for our next event.