March Madness

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Dear CODA Member,

Ahhhh, March Madness… You gotta love this time year. The upsets, the unexpected outcomes, the sudden surprises, watching teams stand up to the challenge when they’re the underdog and their back’s against the wall. Yep this time of year will surely drive you crazy. And that’s just in all our camp offices when your staff realizes that March is over, summer is just around the corner and there’s still a lot left to do in getting everything ready! Then there’s that basketball tournament that goes by the same name too, see…. Like I said, its a crazy time of year!

While we do have a lot in common with the craziness of the NCAA’s March Madness, there is one glaring difference between our March Madness and their’s. They started out with 68 teams all competing against each other for one trophy. We as a camping industry are, in fact, the complete opposite. We are hundreds of camps all competing together as one industry to help mold and develop todays youth and tomorrows leaders. We are not competing against each other, instead, our competition comes in the form of shorter summers, trips to the beach or Europe or even other sports clinics that like to use the word “CAMP” in their title.

While these are all great and do have a place in people’s lives, they do little to instill in today’s youth the values a camper will learn while they are unplugged from technology and are re-learning how to communicate with each other on a person-to-person basis. Instead, they serve as a quick fix for parents to “check off the box” that their son or daughter made it to the top of the climbing wall (or was hoisted up by the attendee) while they were on a cruise. Or that they were on 3 different traveling teams this summer so surely they will be a pro when they’re older. None of these “alternates to camp” will help develop the kids of today to learn how to treat each other with compassion and teach them determination the way they will learn at camps. Nor will they help enable the youth to develop their own self confidence that comes from trying something over and over again till they get it right with help and encouragement from their camp peers.

While the 68 teams in the March Madness tournament all competed against one another, we must all come together as we are competing against so many other options for today’s children during their summer. No other industry works together like we do as professionals in camping. This is evident at the conferences where people are so willing to share ideas to help one another at their own camps.

We have a perfect example of this professional relationship we share with each other in the upcoming months. CODA is proud to announce that this September we will be reviving our CODA CAMP TOURS in the great state of North Carolina. (They weren’t so great in the NCAA Maddness…. I had them picked to go all the way, but that’s another story!)

We want to invite everyone to sign up for this opportunity and get to spend some real quality time, unplugged, with each other and take a look at some of the outstanding camps in North Carolina. There will be tours, behind the scenes looks at how other camps operate and plenty of one-on-one time to talk and bounce ideas around from other camp professionals. Can you imagine any of the teams in the NCAA tournament inviting each other over to see how they do things at their place? We ARE a special industry that makes differences in the lives of kids and with all the distractions the youth of today have, it’s important now more than ever that we work together and help our camps, help kids.

You will receive more information and and how to sign up soon, so be sure to check your email and for the CODA CAMP TOURS (there’s even an early bird discount!).

Before I finish, I’d like to thank this “Larry’s Letter” featured business partner Paya. They have been with CODA for many years and with them payments just got easier. Be sure to try them out and see how Paya can help you save money on your credit card processing.

I look forward to seeing everyone in North Carolina, spending some time touring, relaxing, learning and having a good time together.

Thanks to all of you for being leaders in the camping industry and for doing what we do for kids….


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