INAGURAL CONFERENCE OF CHINA CAMP EDUCATION ALLIANCE
At the conclusion of the symposium held at Gehua Camp in Qinhuangdao, China in April of 2014, the various parties who were present endorsed the formation of a China Camp Education Alliance. Educators, camp operators, educational travel groups, government representatives and ICF members recognized the need for and value of a fresh approach to youth development in China – one that incorporated non-formal education – the kind of intentional educational activity that is typical in camping formats across the world.
In just one short year, spearheaded by the IDEAS foundation in China, the 11 founding organizations have not only created the organization known as the China Camp Education Alliance but generated a very professional inaugural conference. Zhao Wei (Lily) of IDEAS serves as both first president and principal inspiration for the work of CCEA
Beginning with pre-conference programs held at Gehua Camp in Qinhuangdao, training included the first International Camp Director Course to be held in China. Connie Coutellier (USA), Andrew McGuckian (AUS), Tennant Kiu (SGP) along with Brendan Smith (AUS) provided the training. The program also offered other workshops in program design and camp development. Almost 90 participants were registered in these various trainings.
Moving to Beijing, the China Camp Education Conference took on a particular formal turn with a highly professional event involving almost 400 participants from all over China. Educators, government officials from the Ministry of Education, practitioners were joined by various international presenters and representatives from several countries’ camping associations. Blending beautiful cultural elements with keynote presentations, parallel sessions and a two-day exposition hall, this conference promises to be both an annual and must-attend event in East Asia.
ICF Board representation included John Jorgenson (CAN), Bill Oakley (AUS), Andrew McGuckian (AUS), Don Cheley (USA) and Valery Kostin (RUS). Michael Thompson, Scott Brodie, Steve Baskin, Andy Pritikin, Aleksey Zubakhin (RUS) were joined by other presenters and delegates from China, Australia, Canada, Russia and England.