From your President


Dear CODA Members,

I shared at the CODA conference that, a little over a year ago, Robert Lebby called and asked me to join the CODA board and now I am your new CODA president. In hindsight, I need to learn to be more careful about saying yes! As we wrapped up our time in Orlando, many camp friends harassed me about being “madam President” and commented on how they were glad that I stepped up to the challenge. All is true and very entertaining!

On a serious note, I have taken on this role because I know there is tremendous value in this organization. The founders of PIC and AIC understood the importance of creating a space for independent owners and directors. Collaboration and sustainability were the underlying premise for PIC, AIC and now CODA. With a turbulent financial climate, evolving definition of “camp,” and an increasing variety of summer options, we need to make sure independent summer camps are relevant and in the forefront of the conversation. It is through our collaboration and willingness to support one another that this organization and segments of the camp industry will continue its success.


Some people have asked about our relationship with ACA. Over the years, independent camp professionals have spearheaded many calls to actions in the camp industry. We did this as members of PIC/AIC members, and we will continue to do this as CODA members. I believe that ACA is valuable to all of us, and we will continue to work with ACA on emerging issues.  But, as Fred Miller shared with us at the conference, we need to keep a watchful eye on our shrinking market and start adapting and moving into action. So, in the year to come, we intend to focus on helping CODA members.


So what now?  I mentioned to 100 people at the CODA conference that we needed to spread the word about the value of our time together. The value of the conference is not simply the insightful speakers, but wealth of knowledge we share during the hallway or bar conversation. To provide a few personal examples, here is what I learned while perched on a bar stool (perhaps with a beverage in my hand), enjoying the camaraderie of camp colleagues:

1.        How the subtle language differences of drug screening versus drug testing would provide Camp Thunderbird with added protection in the state of Minnesota.

2.        The financial saving of being a member of Trinity HPSI Purchasing Services. Several camp director friends have had great success and enjoyed significant savings. Is there a better endorsement?

3.         (Not on a bar stool) Travis Allison provided me with some incredible ideas on how to better market our community, experience and program through our online presence.  

4.         My husband Michael Rawitscher participated in a session with David Handler who is an estate planner. Michael gained new knowledge on how we can better set up our succession plan.


So, if you were not present, I hope you will join us next year to make your own contribution and benefit from the vast experience. We are looking forward to offering our kindred meeting before the national ACA conference and we are excited that ACA has chosen New Orleans, LA.


Some members asked how they could help CODA? For this I was very appreciative! Our board is small, and, like all of you, we are working tirelessly to run our camps. Additionally, our executive director, Robert Lebby is working hard and is seriously underpaid! So, here is my request. If all of us find two directors or camps who are not currently members, we would triple in size. It is a small request, but one that is easy to implement.  Just sell the value of the membership and benefits of our conference, and explain that the only way we are going to impact the market and industry in a significant manner, is if we together grow our membership and use our collective voice.


Because, by growing CODA, we will continue to collaborate, network, and perhaps even commiserate. Most importantly, we will strengthen one another, strengthen independent camps and ultimately continue to provide children with meaningful, productive summer experience.


Thank you and have a safe 2014!


Shari Sigoloff

CODA President

Who is the Board?

  • Shari Sigoloff – Camp Thunderbird for Girls – President
  • Larry Johnson – Camp Skyline – Treasurer
  • Emily Ryman – Culver Summer Camps- Secretary
  • Tommy Ferguson – Camp Olympia- Past president
  • George Coleman- Coleman Country Day Camp – Mid Atlantic
  • Jason Silberman – Camp Matoaka – New England
  • Karl Alexander – Camp Highland – Southern
  • Erica Jameson – Jameson Ranch Camp – Western
  • Chris Strevel – Tate’s Day Camp – Day Camps
  • Fritz Seving – Camp Fernwood- At Large
  • Jane McCutcheon – Think Muskoka – At Large Canada
  • Cody Mauldin – Camp Olympia – Past Kindred Chair – Dallas
  • Robert Lebby – Executive Director

New CODA Executive Director

CODA is pleased to introduce Robert Lebby as the Executive Director.  Robert brings a wealth of camp experience, wisdom, and leadership to the association.

Read About Robert

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