Rise Up! NACCHO 2019

Greetings Wonderful People!

GutMonkey was so excited to see some of our favorite people at NACCHO this past weekend! We always appreciate the opportunity to connect, learn, and play… that’s why we’ve come back for over 15 years!

NACCHO stands for North American Camping Conference for Hemophilia Organizations. It’s superbly hosted by the Arizona Hemophilia Association in Phoenix and headed up by a stellar volunteer committee. NACCHO has expanded over the years to include international attendees and presenters, and always boasts a diverse smattering of domestic chapters and organizations.

We were lucky enough to kickoff the conference and officially welcome the excited crew of executive directors, programers, counselors, medical staff, and more from around the world.

Attendees followed calf-high lanterns to a faux campfire scene. On the far side of the dimly lit conference room, transformed by the sound of crackling campfire and twilight insects, sat a large geodesic dome. After saying hello to friends and colleagues, we led the group through a series of activities to highlight each of the committee’s values for the theme, Rise Up: Resilience, Independence, Strength, Engagement, Uniqueness, and Potential.

The whole experienced mirrored a reverse campfire, beginning calm and ending with an energetic activity. We led attendees through a mindfulness activity to ground down into the space. We invited folks to set their cell phones aside for the activity, and most people did not want them back afterwards.

The main set piece for the night was a giant blanket fort! Teams worked together to erect sheets, blankets, and twinkly lights on the dome to make an interconnected structure that would rival the most intricate of sleepover architecture.

We were super impressed by the group’s enthusiasm for embracing our playful approach and engaging with our topics of vulnerability as a strength and giving campers agency over their choices.

Pat and Jacose helped kickoff the pre-conference and Haelynne and I led a breakout on Saturday.

Here’s a collection of photos from the weekend. Thanks to everyone who engaged and connected to make camp magic.

Be brave,


Joe TorreyComment