Dear ICF Family,

What a year we have had! Many of us are happy to to leave 2020 behind us. We are hopeful for 2021 and beyond. We will walk forward stronger and wiser than ever before.

The new ICF Board has been working hard on our behalf since October 22nd. This is the youngest board we have ever had in ICF history. Hundreds of hours of work, dozens of meetings with Board Members, additional conversations with ICF members around the world have been complete in a very short time. The energy and the passion for camp education, the creativity and dedication for ICF is incredible. I am so honored to be a member of this amazing team.

I would like to share some good news items and progress with you:

  • It was my privilege to make a visit to Russia between Nov 24th- Dec 10th and meet with colleagues and professionals face-to-face. I saw their faces (behind their masks) and I talked with them about the state of camping in that great country. They all are preparing to run their best camps of their careers.
  • ICF and Mexican Camps Association (AMC) have signed a Membership Agreement that will take effect in the new year. It will improve the relationship and effectiveness of our relationship on both sides. We are working on similar agreements with other country/regional associations as we strengthen our Association Network into Preferred Partnerships.
  • Our committees are working hard to develop new programs that will increase the number and quality of our Member Benefits. We will be launching one – an ICF Learning Academy – early in 2021. More new projects will follow.
  • We have re-doubled our efforts for a second try to go to China for the 12th International Camping Congress! The special team ICF and ICC volunteers are working hard on the details. We are so excited to be a part of an historical meeting in Beijing in October 2021.

The world may be going towards the virtual and online of everything. Let it go when it must. The time at our homes has showed us that the value of in-person relationships and human to human contact far exceeds those that develop through screens. Of course, camps and camp education will evolve and improve itself but we must and will continue doing our jobs – face to face, eye to eye, heart to heart. This truth keeps  our purpose priceless – and essential.

We all know this. Our campers and our camper families know this. As we give our voices to camps, we give camps a voice so that others will know it soon. Let us continue holding each other strongly in our hearts and be prepared for the new rise of camp education…

Have a great year.

Fahrettin Gozet – ICF President