May 19, 2017
Dear CODA Member,
We have some exciting news to everyone from CODA. We are growing!! We’re proud to announce that we have officially brought in Tommy Ferguson (formerly of Camp Olympia in TX), as the Executive Director of Camp Owners and Directors Association. We are excited to have Tommy join us with his years of experience, knowledge and leadership and look forward to him heading the charge to continue our growth with business members as well as other camps across the country.
In addition to adding our Executive Director, we also want to let you know we have a new board member, Paul Sheridan from Four Winds camp in Washington. Paul will add years of camp leadership experience as well as a voice from the Northwest region to the board and we are excited to have him join us! The addition of Tommy and Paul to the board will be a great asset to the organization as we help camps, help kids.
While everyone is busy this time of year getting their camps ready, we’ve been busy here with CODA as well. CODA has joined with several other national and regional camp organizations to help start a “Government Relations and Strategic Communications” group that is working to get a current bill amended. The law currently states that parents of campers from only day camps may write off a portion of their tuition as child care. The current version completely excludes overnight camps and if successful, our proposal would allow parents of “overnight camps” to be able to write off a portion of their tuition as well. This amendment would greatly help our overnight camp members be able to reach out to a large number of potential campers that might not otherwise be able to attend camp and receive the many benefits children (and their parents) learn from from those nights away and being fully emerged in everything overnight camps have to offer.
Another bill that’s currently being discussed is the requirement for EVERYONE thats on any watercraft to have a whistle in their possession. It would require every camper as well as counselor in a canoe, raft, etc… to have a whistle. There is some talk of excluding camps in this requirement and we’ll keep you informed as to how it plays out so you will have all the latest information. If anyone has any current information to this bill in their region, please feel free to share and help get this information out to all camps. While buying a large number of whistles is not a major financial impact, it could be a factor if you were to have a water incident and you need to know if your in compliance with the rules or not.
As the start of summer draws closer and the temperatures start to rise, so does the ongoing threat of ticks and lyme disease. Please take a minute to watch the video with important information about a new, rare virus associated with ticks this year. Powassan virus is spreading rapidly throughout the northeast at this time and this information will be extremely helpful. Please take a minute and update yourself to these precautions:
We know everyone really enjoyed their time in Boulder Co. last year at our national conference, so don’t forget to mark your calendars next year for whats going to be the largest COCACON conference to date. Our conference chair, Jonathan Gold has been busy working out all the details for 2018 and its going to be larger and even more informative. With extra keynote speakers and breakout sessions, you will be able to spend more quality “1 on 1” time with speakers and ask them specific questions that pertain directly to your camp. The dates are Sunday, February 18 - Tuesday February 20, 2018. Be sure to sign up so we can see you in Orlando!!
We’d like to give a big thank you to this months highlighted business member, Ronningen Design for their hard work in updating “Larry’s Letter” to you. We hope you enjoy the new format and look forward to working with them more in the future. Please be sure to visit our business members for any of your camp needs.
Last but not least, I really wanted to share this information with you before the summer. If you haven’t ever seen a “Norwegian candle” you’re going to love this. It makes campfires easier, cleaner, and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Take a section of a cut tree (Pine obviously works the best, hardwoods may take just a little more to get started, but not much) and make 4 vertical cuts through it to about 3 inches from the bottom. (should look like cuts in a pie- see pictures below). Pour just a small amount of charcoal lighter fluid (about 2 small capfuls) where all the lines intercept. light it at the top and enjoy. It burns outward and all your ashes and debris will remain in the bottom of the log when it finishes burning.
This will be our last “Larry’s letter” until after the summer season. We know you’re busy during the summer to read even one extra newsletter. May everyone have a safe, productive, and blessed summer. We’ll see ya in the fall!!
thank you, Larry Johnson