Students, camp professionals make connections at ISU

November 3 2008

Camp professionals from around the state recently gathered at Indiana State University to network with other leaders and connect with students preparing for careers in the recreation management and youth leadership profession.

The event was sponsored by Nathan A. Schaumleffel, assistant professor of recreation and sport management, in conjunction with the Indiana Section of the American Camp Association. Schaumleffel hosted the full-day event and said it was a good example of the university's commitment to experiential learning and community engagement. It also served as a student recruitment mechanism and provided a graduate student with an excellent opportunity to learn advanced skills.

Tonya Gimbert, a graduate assistant, was instrumental in planning the event and gained real-world experience in conference and event planning through her efforts, Schaumleffel said.

"This offers students a great opportunity to interact with camp professionals, gain an understanding of the industry, land internships and earn certification in national professional training modules," he said.

Students from Schaumleffel's Introduction to Recreation Management and Youth Leadership class, as well as his Introduction to Nonprofit Management class and Fundamentals of Group Leadership class, attended the event.

"We were able to involve both students and professionals on a variety of different levels," he said.

Brandy Lanahan, a senior from Indianapolis majoring in recreation and sport management, said the seminars on camp standards helped her better understand how camps operate. After graduating from ISU, Lanahan hopes to establish a nonprofit recreation program for underprivileged youth.

"I've been able to talk to some of the camp directors here about how to get different groups involved when it comes to recreation," she said.

The event included professional training and certification courses, as well as sessions on current trends in American camps and student recruitment and mentoring. The winter board meeting of the Indiana Section of the American Camp Association was also held.

Brigitta Adkins, the Section Executive for the Indiana Section of the American Camp Association, said the event at ISU allowed students to gain a better understanding of the camping industry as a whole.

"Many people have the mentality that camp is just in the summer, but there's really a much broader perspective," she said. "Camps offer a wide variety of programming and are very intentional about youth development."

Tim Nowak, program director at Jameson Camp in Indianapolis, agreed.

"It's a good opportunity to have a meeting here to offer a sense of what we do in the camp world," he said. "Making those connections is extremely beneficial for these camps."

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Contact: Nathan A. Schaumleffel, assistant professor, Department of Recreation and Sport Management, Indiana State University, 812-237-2189 or nschaumleff@indstate.edu

Writer: Emily Taylor, assistant director of media relations, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or etaylor16@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Camp professionals from around the state gathered at Indiana State University to network with other leaders and connect with students preparing for careers in recreation management and youth leadership. The event was sponsored by Professor Nathan A. Schaumleffel, in conjunction with the Indiana Section of the American Camp Association.

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