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TriState Camp Conference

March 28, 2010

The annual TriState CAMP Conference recently took place in the city that’s “Always Turned On!”  For those who don’t know that is Atlantic City, NJ.   For a third year our CVO, Mitch, was presenting at this annual gathering of camping’s finest members.  This gave us the opportunity for a ROAD TRIP.  Three of us loaded into our newly acquired Subaru Outback and settled in amongst a vast array of equipment for the 6hr. sojourn.  Mitch was presenting at 1:15 pm so we rallied ourselves to leave 2hrs. earlier than any of us tend to wake up – 5:45 am.

The drive was not very eventful: chitchatting about life, the occasional pit stop to get gas & stretch our legs and humorously commenting on what we heard on the radio for 6hrs.

Upon arriving at the Convention Center we parked underground and carried over 10 different pieces of equipment up three floors, no big deal for the fit KB staff.  We started setting up in a back room blowing up our Kinball collection, while at the same time taking the time to have a little 2-minute soccer game with the Kinballs – yes we always find the time to play.

Mitch’s presentation “The Ins and Outs of Child Play for Ages 2-5.”  Took one hour.  This is quite remarkable as Mitch can easily talk for 3hrs. straight and not repeat even a word J  The participatory discussion talked about why play is so important in children’s lives, how play can help develop important skills, what games/activities to play with children, and engaged the attendees in a few games.

You should have seen 60+ adults, on their knees, playing “Messy Backyard” or watching a dozen of them running after each trying to pull off their flags playing “Catch My Tail”. Of course, we also engaged them in a few activities using our array of Kinballs.

Mitch concluded with presentation discussing how KB goes into camps and shows camp staff and leaders appropriate types of game play, how to work with the campers and, most importantly, how to have fun while challenging the participants to NEVER play the same games twice during a summer.

With another successful presentation concluded we headed into the exhibition hall.  With over 300 vendors to see and quite a few athletic games to partake in we had an exciting time to say the least.  Mitch attempted to valiantly carry the KB name into a game of GoGoGo.  Starting off well, he quickly exited after ripping apart his pinky nail and drawing blood.  Applying direct pressure to his finger, we decided the best thing to do would be to go jumping on really cool inflatable gymnastic surface. (We ended up purchasing this product along with two other pieces after the event).

After two hours of talking, jumping, throwing and playing we decided it was best if we headed back home because of our long drive home. We were all in a good mood on the drive back, so all that was left to do was sing. A 6-hour long Karaoke session was the result, with beautiful solos & duets and some not so beautiful.  We arrived home at around 11 pm and were able to go to sleep peacefully knowing it had been a great day where we had inspired others to see the many values of play…for the love of play!

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