We are excited to highlight the following speakers who will be leading educational breakout sessions at the 2018 New England Camp Conference!

Scott Arizala (Thurs., March 8 & Fri., March 9)


Scott Arizala is a leading expert, trainer and consultant in summer camp, working with youth programs & thousands of staff across the country. He is the award-winning author of S’more Than Camp, the new book Happiness, Diversity, & Autism, and a regular contributor to Camping Magazine. He is a founding faculty member of the online staff training resource ExpertOnlineTraining.com and the founder and Executive Director of three camps for kids with different needs.

Kim Aycock (Thurs., March 8 & Fri., March 9)


Kim Aycock, MST, has 30+ years of experience blending the skills of a master teacher with the knowledge of a seasoned camp expert. She trains camp staff at all levels and speaks professionally at regional and national conferences. Kim has the ability to connect with and motivate learners of all ages through her interactive and innovative presentations.


Roz and Jed Buck (Thurs., March 8, Fri., March 9, & Sat., March 10)

Roz is an accomplished leader in the camp industry and an expert in camp culture, staff training, leadership development, employee engagement, program design & execution, coaching, debriefing, and writing & editing. In addition to her 30+ years of day camp experience, she has been a teacher at the West Orange Jewish Community Center and has held volunteer leadership positions in her community. Roz is an active volunteer with the ACA and is on the Board of Directors of SCOPE, a non-profit organization that helps send children from underserved communities to non-profit resident camps. Roz is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Jed had a successful 20-year career in business prior to leaving to work full-time in the camp industry. His vast and diverse experience includes brand management at Procter & Gamble, sales & marketing positions at the ABC Radio Networks, and various positions during 11 years with NY City-based MediaAmerica, a network radio and internet pioneer where he rose to President. Jed chaired the Tri-State Camp Conference from 2014-2016 and the Morry Stein Management Conference in 2011. He currently serves on the NY/NJ ACA Board and on the ACA National Standards Commission. Jed is a proud Syracuse University alumnus and has taught at his alma mater as a visiting professor. He is currently a mentor/Adjunct Professor for the Touro University Masters in Camping Program. 



Bob Ditter (Fri., March 9 & Sat., March 10) 


Bob Ditter is a well-regarded child, adolescent and family therapist with a practice in Boston. He is a nationally recognized trainer and consults with people who work with young people across the United States. He has appeared on the ABC Evening News, Good Morning America and twice on NBC’s Today Show.  He has been quoted in The New York Times, Parent Magazine, the Ladies Home Journal, and USA Today. Sports Illustrated called him “…camping’s most articulate spokesman” because of his work with children’s summer camps since 1982.  Bob has authored five books for camp professionals and 21 staff training DVDs.  He is best known in camp circles as the author of the column, “In the Trenches,” which has appeared regularly in Camping Magazine since 1987He is on the Board of Boston Explorers, an urban day camp for kids; and Harbor Camps, which operates the only camp in the US for transgender and questioning children.

Carlos Hoyt (Sat., March 10)


Carlos Hoyt was born in Costa Rica, immigrated to the United States when he was four, and grew up in Dorchester, MA. He attended Wesleyan University, Boston University School of Social Work, and Simmons College, where he earned his PhD in social work. He is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Wheelock College in Boston, MA. Before joining Wheelock in 2015, Carlos served as Associate Dean of Students at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. He also serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advocate at the Chestnut Hill School in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. His work with students in grades beginner through sixth in addition to his teaching at Wheelock provides him with a unique perspective on learning and growth across a wide spectrum of development and backgrounds.

Sarah Kurtz McKinnon (Fri., March 9 & Sat., March 10)


Sarah Kurtz McKinnon believes summer camp changes lives. She was the director of Ann Arbor YMCA Camp Al-Gon-Quian from 2009-2015 and now works as a camp consultant and trainer, traveling across the country helping camps improve. She is a faculty member with Expert Online Training, a Directors’ Camp facilitator, and a co-founder of The Summer Camp Society. She is also one of the directors at Camp Tall Tree, a camp for kids with autism and their siblings. Sarah is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and will complete her MBA this spring from the University of Michigan, where she is a lead fellow at the Center for Positive Organizations. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband, Robert, and two Brittany Spaniels.

Steve Maguire (Sat., March 10)


Steve Maguire is a veteran in the fields of education, summer camp, and organizational health. He has been teaching, coaching, and working with schools and summer camps for the past twenty years. Steve is a graduate of Plymouth State University, holds his Master’s Degree in teaching and curriculum design from Fitchburg State University, and is a full-time public school teacher.  13 years ago, Steve began presenting professionally. He is a member of the faculty for Expert Online Training and the author of two books: Go Turnstone: 23 Ways to Improve Your School Relationships and Not the Way You Have Always Done It!: Tips and tricks to improve your summer camp. Steve is a dynamic speaker with the ability to engage the emotion and minds of his audience members. Steve resides in Scituate, MA with Jess, his wife, their 4 children, and their chocolate lab.

Dr. Anthony Rao (Thurs., March 8 & Fri., March 9)


For twenty years, Dr. Anthony Rao was staff at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He now speaks to organizations across the country. He has appeared in documentaries for MTV and the A&E channel, and was interviewed by The New YorkerThe Washington Times, and Chicago Tribune. His opinions have appeared in Scientific American and Newsweek. He’s finishing his next book on the seven practices that bolster Human Agency.


Dr. Chris Thurber (Fri., March 9 & Sat., March 10)


Dr. Christopher Thurber enjoys creating and sharing original content for business leaders, independent educators, and youth development professionals. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author, and father. Chris earned his BA from Harvard University in 1991 and a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997. He has written numerous book chapters and scholarly articles on leadership, homesickness, and youth development. Chris co-founded ExpertOnlineTraining.com, co-authored the critically acclaimed Summer Camp Handbook with Dr. Jon Malinowski, and designed the ACA’s homesickness prevention program. During the academic year, Chris serves as school psychologist at Phillips Exeter Academy, an independent, co-educational secondary school. He and his wife live in New Hampshire with their sons.

Dr. Jill Walsh (Sat., March 10)


Dr. Jill Walsh conducts research on adolescent social media use. She combines her own research with the latest work in the fields of Sociology, Adolescent Development, and Communication to provide a clear understanding of the teen social media landscape for parents, school administrators and teachers. Her focus is on establishing healthy parameters around teen social media use and fostering positive and open communication around technology use between parents, schools, and teens. Dr. Walsh is also a Lecturer at Boston University and currently is completing two books in the area of young people's mediated social relationships.

Andrew Watson (Thurs., March 8)


Author, camp counselor, teacher, international speaker, Andrew Watson has been connecting brain research with schools and camps for the better part of a decade. A life-long camp guy - and an award-winning teacher with 16 years of experience - Andrew now presents on the educational uses of neuroscience and psychology research. He has worked with dozens of organizations, from Johannesburg to New Jersey, from Florida to Finland. His book Learning Begins has been called “an invaluable resource: lucid and approachable” offering “research-based strategies and concrete examples that can be implemented immediately.” A graduate of Harvard College, Andrew holds an MA in English Literature and an M. Ed. from the Mind Brain Education program at Harvard University. He also tells a mean ghost story…