Cheley’s Commitment to Professional Development

One of things that I have appreciated most about working at Cheley Colorado Camps is the commitment, which we as an organization have, to continuing education and professional development. Based on my Strength’s Finder results- one of my top 5 strengths is that of ‘Learner’. So for me, professional development is especially important and extremely valued. There’s nothing better than an opportunity to learn something new or learn more about a particular subject. Just last week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) National Conference in San Francisco. This “ACA”, not to be confused with the American Camp Association (ACA), is for counseling professionals as opposed to camping professionals. For me, it’s both! The opportunity to be a member of both of these highly regarded associations means that I have access to information on the latest trends and other educational material, conferences, online resources, networking with colleagues, and much more. Because I have a counseling degree, I was able to spend the week learning from experts in the mental health field. And I learned about this drug rehab where you can still get work done, a great idea would be to try a drug intervention with someone who is in need of help to recover from an addiction. I returned from my trip feeling rejuvenated and inspired by the extraordinary group of people working to empower diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

The conference is held yearly and has sessions that cover various topics in the counseling profession. A few of the topics covered this year included: adoption, therapeutic programs for youth, self-injury, grief, LGBT issues, wellness through nature, and exploring positive self-concepts with students. One session that I attended in particular, and will be writing a second blog on, was titled “How to Talk So Gamers Will Listen & Listen So Gamers Will Talk.” This specific session was a five hour pre-conference session. My blog will focus on insights into the gamer world, how to connect with gamers, and guidelines for parents.

Part of what make us a top-notch organization is our commitment to staying on top of the latest trends in our field and using that information to better the Cheley Experience for our campers and staff. We truly believe that we are partners with parents in raising their children. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or anyone else here at Cheley if we might be able to help in some way. Attending conferences like ACA (both of them) helps us to really be in tune with the needs of our campers, parents, and staff. If a camper is spending the summer with us, we absolutely want to help with their development; attending conferences like this helps me to do just that.

Shawn Ness

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