Jiné is currently the Summer Camp Director at YMCA Camp Chingachgook on Lake George, NY. Having been a camper and former seasonal staff member at Chingachgook, Jiné took this position in April 2015 after having been the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for ACA New England for two years. Jiné has worked in the outdoor recreation industry seasonally for the past 10 years and full time for the past four years. Jiné is also passionate about outdoor education and spent time working as an adventure facilitator, naturalist and educator at Camp Highland Outdoor Science School, Hale Reservation and the Museum of Science Boston. Jiné loves being able to work in a field where she can bridge her passion for camp and the outdoors with her educational background in photography, graphic design, social media and marketing.
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. More information can be found on her website: www.kimaycock.com.
Jed & Roz Buck
Roz is an accomplished leader in the Camp Industry and a proven expert in Camp Culture, Staff Training, Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, Program Design & Execution, Coaching, Debriefing, and Writing & Editing. Roz is known as a sensitive, approachable, hands-on leader. In addition to her over 30 years of Day Camp experience, she has been a member of the teaching staff of the West Orange Jewish Community Center in their Early Childhood Department and has held many volunteer leadership positions in her community. Roz is an active volunteer with the ACA and is on the Board of Directors of SCOPE, a not-for-profit organization that helps send children from underserved communities to not-for-profit resident Camps. She is a past SCOPE Dinner Chair and is a co-founder of the NY/NJ American Camp Association’s Women in Camp affinity group. She has presented at both the ACA Tri-State Camp Conference and the ACA Keystone Conference. She is a published author on a variety of parenting topics. Roz is a Summa Cum Laude 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. In 2015, Jed received a National Service award from ACA National and was also the recipient of the 2012 ACA NY/NJ Howard Patton Award for Outstanding Service. He is a founding Board Member of NJ-GAP. His speaking experience includes the Tri-State Camp Conference, EPIC Conference, and LEAD conference. He is a proud Syracuse University Alumnus and Orange Fan. He is a member of his local SU Alumni Board, a Charter Inductee of the S.I. Newhouse School Alumni Gallery 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. Jed is committed to making every Camp the best it can possibly be and loves sharing his extensive experience and love for Camp with others.
Teambuilding guru Dr. Jim Cain is the author of sixteen best-selling team and community building activity books and the innovator of over a hundred creative teambuilding activities, methods and techniques. His active, engaging, memorable, effective and fun train-the-trainer programs are legendary. He also facilitates teambuilding programs for conferences, camps, colleges, corporations and communities. Jim’s books (Teamwork & Teamplay, A Teachable Moment, Essential Staff Training Activities, Teambuilding Puzzles, The Book of Raccoon Circles, The Big Book of Low Cost Training Games, Rope Games, the Teamwork & Teamplay International Edition, 100 Activities That Build Unity, Community & Connection, Find Something To Do! and the T&T Training Cards are available from Amazon.com, Training Wheels, Inc. and via the T&T website. Recently Jim’s Raccoon Circle book has been translated into Japanese and Chinese. Jim has also written valuable curricula in leadership, teamwork, character education, conflict resolution and other essential training topics. He has presented programs in 49 states and 31 countries (so far).
Liz Calabria, owner of Art Happens in Milford, NH has many years of experience in teaching the Arts. For 27 years Liz has taught dance at a local dance studio, her love of dance comes through in the joy she shares with her students. In her spare time, she choreographs musicals at the Riverbend Youth Company at the Souhegan Valley Boys & Girls Club in Milford, NH. Liz spent two summers at Camp Anne Jackson in Wilton as a counselor (“Lilac”) of Musical Theater and Arts. In 2013, what started out as an Art Club in her home, Art Happens brought her dream of owning her own business to life when she opened Art Happens. Liz lives in Milford with her husband, three children and 2 dogs.
Michelle is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and journalist whose projects have been featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Katie Couric’s talk show "Katie," "The Today Show," Fox TV, and national publications including The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Parenting, MORE, and U.S. World News & Report. She is the author of the book I Love Mondays (Seal Press, 2012), co-author of the national bestseller I'm Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict (Viking, 1999), and author of Seeking Happily Ever After (Tarcher Penguin, 2010). Michelle was Sr. Editor of the national magazine Girls' Life, and continues to blog regularly for the award-winning Huffington Post Parents and Girls Leadership Institute
Michelle is the director and producer of the feature-length documentary "Seeking Happily Ever After" (Lionsgate, 2010), as well as One and Only (2016), her documentary about only children. Michelle lectures and leads workshops around the U.S., and has spoken at institutions including: Harvard University, Stanford University, Boston College, Boston University, Clark University, and Sixth & I. She has also presented at several conferences, including Mom 2.0 Summit, Celebrating Women: Mind, Body & Spirit, The National Media Literacy and Education Conference, Boston International Kids Film Festival and The Worcester Women's Leadership conference. Michelle is married with an 11-year-old daughter, and lives in Brookline, Mass. Visit www.michellecove.com to learn more about Michelle's projects. email@example.com
CT Camp Guys
Patrick Connelly is the Senior Program Director at the Valley Shore YMCA where he oversees, youth, camp, aquatics and other YMCA programs. He was previously the Camp Manager for the Girl Scouts of Connecticut. He also served as the Senior Director at the Northern Middlesex YMCA in Middletown, Connecticut and was the Outdoor Center Director of YMCA Camp Ingersoll for 9 years prior to joining the Girl Scouts.
Mark Pooler is the Director Of Operations at the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs. He served as the Outdoor Center Director and Camp Director of YMCA Camp Sloper for 20 years.Mark started his YMCA work as a Counselor-In-Training and has worked within the YMCA movement and field of camping for over 25 years.
Experienced in day, resident, for-profit and not-for profit camps. Is the Camp Director & Youth Birding Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. Becky is an standards visitor and is on the ACA NE Program Committee. Becky has been working in the camping industry for over 25 years in both New England and in the Southeast. She has a Master’s in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England.
Emily has been the Executive Director of Camp Starfish (a private non-profit serving children with significant to severe emotional, behavioral, social and learning difficulties) for 11 years. Emily's professional background includes strategic organizational development, nonprofit management, and developing/running year-round and summer programs in both day and residential environments for children in crisis, special needs youth, and traditional campers. In addition to training individuals to manage a spectrum of behaviors running from "challenging" to "crisis", she works with thousands of social workers, educators, mental health professionals and families nationwide to both evaluate kids' appropriateness for camp attendance and design individualized participation strategies to enable their success. Her undergrad work was in Pharmacy and Health Psychology, followed by a Masters of Science in Camp Administration and Leadership. Emily is a Standards visitor and a member of the NHCamps Board of Directors. She enjoys traveling to other camps to lead staff trainings. She is an avid collector of terribly awesome puns.
Jen is a life-long crafter, her main hobbies include scrapbooking and knitting but she has gone though many craft life stages including stenciling, stained glass and embroidery. During her 10 years at a Michigan Girl Scout camp she was the craft specialist for many years officially and in a mentor role. Since then she has done activities with kids and families at three different Outdoor Education centers. Jen has offered craft workshops at the ACA New England conference for the past eleven years as well as last year at Tri-State.
Lori A. Hoffner has been offering training for positive youth development, community networking and organizational relationship building since 1997 and has spoken nationally regarding youth program development, employment and staff engagement as well as multiple community issues. For 11 years, Lori was the Executive Director of PACCT, a small non-profit in Jefferson County, Colorado, an organization dedicated to the success of youth and community. Lori specializes in positive staff and organizational relationships based on generational studies and research. Additionally, she has years of experience with youth programming, program development and youth staffing.
Adam Issadore spent his childhood summers as a camper and “staff kid” at Camp Akiba in the Pocono Mountains of PA. He credits camp for impacting his life and inspiring him to pursue his passion. In 2008, Adam founded Path To Rhythm Group Drumming Programs as a way to share his passion for drumming with as many people as possible. Since that time, Path To Rhythm has worked with the most respected summer camps and has drummed with thousands of people each summer, while inspiring countless numbers to discover drumming and the power that it has to create community and connection.
Michael Jacobus is a nationally-recognized camp professional and frequent presenter at camp conferences and retreats. He has an extensive background in youth development, staff training, operations and outdoor education. Michael has worked with private, public and non-profit groups including; the American Camp Association (ACA), Disney, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), National Geographic, the Red Cross, Global Camps Africa, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Nature Partners, Green Camps Initiative and the National Science Teachers Association.
Donna Johns-Thomas has been the Director of Education for ACA New England for two years. Prior to this role, Donna served as our Director of Member Services for eleven years. She orchestrates New England’s largest conference for camp professionals and staff as well as several additional educational offerings, including the Fall Seminar. Donna oversees Membership and ACA Accreditation in addition to Education for ACA New England. As a twenty year ACA Member, Donna has fifteen years of experience as a Visitor. Prior to her work with ACA Donna served as a camping services manager and camp director for four different Girl Scout Councils in different regions of the US. She worked with camps in Ohio, Michigan, Louisiana, Indiana and Massachusetts. Donna attended The Ohio State University, majoring in Sociology of the Family and Musical Theater.
Gary Kimball has managed camp emergencies for two decades and has specialized in crisis communications for more than 30 years. He is executive director of Camp-ALERT Network, an emergency management service offered by AMSkier Insurance for the children’s camp industry, and president of a Philadelphia-area public relations agency, Kimball Communications. He has taught communications at Muhlenberg College and DeSales University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Colby College and a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University.
Erin Kelly is the Education Coordinator and the Camp Director at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center with over 17 years of experience in outdoor environmental education and designing programs to meet the needs of urban audiences in communities of Boston, New York, and New Jersey. Erin earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a M.S. in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England. At the Boston Nature Center, she directs a very popular nature camp program that reaches families from all over Boston. This past summer, Erin planned and opened an exciting new nature camp in Boston which successfully increased the programs capacity while serving a range of diverse families.
Sarah Kurtz McKinnon
Sarah Kurtz McKinnon believes camp changes lives. After serving as the director of Ann Arbor YMCA Camp Al-Gon-Quian from 2009-2015, Sarah started her own consulting and training business, Kurtz McKinnon Creative LLC. She travels across the country helping camps improve. Sarah is an active blogger (www.kurtzmckinnoncreative.com/blog), a partner at GoCamp.Pro and is pursuing her master’s degree in business administration at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Graduate from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in Sport and Leisure Management. Have worked at Horizons for 16 years, the last 10 as Camp Director. Horizons has given me the unique opportunity to fall in love with camp and working with individuals with developmental disabilities. I serve on the board for both Connecticut Camping Association and ACA New England.
Marijean “MJ” Legnard Parry started her career in camping as a 10 year old girl and has been involved in the field ever since. She received her degree in Recreation and Outdoor Education from Springfield College. MJ has directed camps and outdoor education programs for 30 years including Girl Scout camps, and the School Program and Adventure Camp of Boston University’s, Sargent Center, and the last several years as the Director of Aloha Camp of the Aloha Foundation in Fairlee, VT. MJ has been an active volunteer with ACANE including serving on a variety of committees, several years as a Board Member and as Secretary of the Board Executive Committee, and as an Accreditation Visitor. She has been active in the NH and VT Camp Associations and has been a presenter at both ACA New England and ACA National conferences. MJ is currently the Co-Chair of the NH New Camp Directors training.
Sarah Leshay & Jess Woods
Sarah “Fluke” Leshay and Jess “Crunch” Woods are co-directors of Camp Runels, a Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts camp in New Hampshire. For both of them, camp is a place where girls can stretch to try new things, grow in their independence and make lifelong memories and friends. They are passionate about creating a dynamic, safe, and fun camp program at Runels. During the school year, both Sarah and Jess are teachers - Sarah teaches high school science while Jess teaches is high school life skills and vocational teacher. Sarah received her BS and MAT from Northeastern University, while Jess received her BA from West Virginia Wesleyan and her MSED from Simmons College. They love to spend time volunteering with the Girl Scouts as well, including taking high school girls to compete at the West Point Camporee.
Mark Lipof is the founding co-owner and director of Camp Micah in Bridgton, Maine. Micah is a co-ed, Jewish, residential camp with 270 campers and 150 staff built in 2001. Mark has 40 years of camping experience as a camper, counselor, head counselor, camp administrator, and director. Mark graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and earned High School teacher certification. He then graduated from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work with an MSW and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Mark’s experience with youth is extensive and includes evaluation and counseling of at-risk youth, High school social worker, school director, youth group director and residential camp experience at most administrative levels.
Steve Maguire is a veteran in the fields of education, summer camp and organizational health. He is an award-winning educator. He has been teaching, coaching and working with schools and summer camps for the past twenty years. Upon graduation from Plymouth State University in 1997, Steve began working as a middle school teacher and coach. He holds his Masters’ Degree in teaching and curriculum design. He is a full time public school teacher with 20 + years in the classroom. 12 years ago, Steve began presenting professionally. He has facilitated trainings and consultations at over 750 organizations in the last 12 years! He is a member of the faculty for Expert Online Training, the premier online staff training resource in the world. Steve is the author of 2 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. He has been both a keynote and education session hit at any conference he’s presented. Steve is a remarkably dynamic speaker. His ability to engage the emotion and minds of his audience members is a powerful combination. His presentations are known for their clear organization, humor and pragmatic outcomes. Steve resides in Scituate, MA with Jess, his wife and their 4 children (Nolan 7, Emmitt 5, Greta 3, Scotia 2) and their chocolate lab Frances (9).
After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Stage and Tour Management in London, Ian went on to work as Company and Tour Manager for the London City Opera for 3 years. Ian grew up in Swindon, England and in 1995 he crossed the big pond to work for Crossroads for Kids, a year round program for inner city kids of Boston. In 2006, Ian joined the Hill House as Program Director, and in 2010 became the organization’s Executive Director. Ian helped Hill House to become a leading provider of childhood programming and events in the Greater Boston area. Ian is now the Director of Campus Programs at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, MA. Ian is an active member of ACA and enjoys being an accreditation visitor.
Alex Myers was the first openly transgender student at Phillips Exeter and Harvard University. He grew up as a girl in Paris, Maine, attending first an all-girls camp and then a co-ed camp in Maine as a child. Since coming out and beginning to live as a transgender guy in 1995, Alex has spoken at colleges, high schools, and conferences, educating audiences about gender identity and expression. In 2014, Simon & Schuster published his debut novel, Revolutionary, which tells the story of Alex's ancestor, Deborah Samson, who, in 1782, ran away from home, disguised herself as a man, and fought for over a year in the Revolutionary War.
Dr. Anna Nolin is Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning & Innovation in the Natick Public Schools, just west of Boston, MA, where she has worked n various leadership capacities for the last 13 years. She has worked as a middle level educator in Metrowest area of MA for the past 20 years serving as a teacher, drama director, grant writer, and curriculum developer/consultant with a technology focus. She has served is an Adjunct Instructor at Framingham State teaching Designing Blended Learning Classes/Use of Moodle, a course for new teachers called Teaching In Innovation Schools, as a lead instructor for the Friday Institute’s Leadership in Blended Learning graduate course, is a district Google and Apple product trainer. She is also an Instructor at Educational Leadership Institute (ELI) at Endicott College serving as a principal trainer in 21st Century Instructional Leadership. She presented for the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development’s spring conference in Chicago (ASCD) 2012, 2013 and 2015 in the areas of school implementation of effective and engaging 1:1 laptop programming and in empowering student leadership to combat bullying. Recent work on Professional Learning Communities was presented at ISTE San Antonio, and Denver, and her presentation on district branding and use of social media as presented at MASSCue 2015 and MASSCue 2016, She holds a BA in English and Secondary Education from Middlebury College, a Master’s from Harvard University’s Risk and Prevention Program in Human Development and Psychology, and her doctorate from Boston College where she conducted research on effective leadership around school-based 1:1 computing programs in the state of Massachusetts. Her current work and research You can follow her on Twitter @annapnolin, on her school blog, natickps.wordpress.com
Cheryl Oliveira is the Supervisor of the After School Activities Program and Early Riser's Program at Johnson Elementary in Natick, MA. Cheryl has been working in the camp industry for 16 years. She spends her time volunteering with the Girl Scouts and enjoys camping very much. Cheryl is also very involved with ACA New England as the Volunteer and Logistics Coordinator for the Camp Champions Celebration and the Volunteer Liaison for the ACA New England Conference.
Dr. Thayer Raines is a professor of Sport & Recreation Management in the Business Administration Division at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH. Thayer is a graduate of Indiana University (ReD), Penn State (MS), and West Chester U (BS). His research interests includes youth development in the camp setting. He currently serves on the ACANE Board. Thayer has been the co-owner & director of Roaring Brook Camp for Boys in Bradford, VT, for 30 years.
Bob Rojee is currently the Director of Auxiliary Programs at the Wheeler School, an independent school for children in grades Pre -K to grade 12. Bob has worked in the camping world for the past 26 years. Bob has both not-for-profit and for profit organizational experience, including a start-up sports/recreation business.
Whit has over 30 years experience in residential girls' camps. Currently she serves as Director of Staff Recruitment and Leadership Training at Wyonegonic Camps in ME. She designs and implements staff training initiatives. Whit's experience and expertise have been developed for years as Whit was a senior staff member at Alford Lake Camp in ME and Director at Waukeela Camp for Girls in NH. A career educator, Whit has also served as Coordinator of Girls' and Women's Issues at Rumsey Hall School in Washington, CT. She currently offers programming in community living skills in the local community. Whit and her family reside on the campus of Rumsey Hall School.
Joshua Scott holds a Bachelor Science in Psychology Degree and has variety or experiences with youth including working with children with anxiety, behavioral, emotional, learning challenges and differences. He holds certifications in Swim Lesson Instructor Trainer, Lifeguard Instructor Trainer, Small Craft Safety Instructor, BLS & First Aid Instructor Trainer, Nationally Registered Advanced EMT, ACA Associate Visitor, and Aquatic Management. During the school year he works as a medical staff for Nature’s Classroom and in the summer works for th YMCA Camp of Maine teaching training courses and in the health center. He has 15 years aquatic & waterfront experience. He has worked in a variety of aquatic and waterfront leadership roles from waterfront director, to aquatic director, to camp director
Cliff has been a part of the nonprofit world for over 20 years with positions ranging from United Way campaign associate to a New England nature center Executive Director. He explored the corporate environment for 10 years as a community relations consultant for major Fortune 500 companies. For the past seven years, Cliff has led Agassiz Village Summer Camp as its Executive Director. At Agassiz, Cliff successfully overcame a $50,000 deficit while creating a $250,000 budget surplus and increasing program participation by over 60% in his first three years. During that time period he invested over $500,000 in facility improvements as well. In total, Cliff has raised more than $30 million for charities over his career.
Dr. Christopher Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author, and father. He earned his BA from Harvard University in 1991 and a PhD in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997. A dedicated teacher from a young age, Chris has more than 30 years of experience working with camps and independent schools. He has written numerous book chapters and scholarly articles on leadership, homesickness, and youth development. An award-winning contributor to Camping Magazine and Camp Business, Chris has also shared his opinions and expertise on national and international radio, television, print media, podcasts, and webinars. In 2007, Chris co-founded ExpertOnlineTraining.com, which quickly became the Internet’s most popular and respected educational resource for youth leaders. Chris also co-authored the critically acclaimed Summer Camp Handbook with Dr. Jon Malinowski and he designed the ACA’s homesickness prevention program, a DVD/CD set for new camper families entitled The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success. During the academic year, Chris serves as school psychologist at Phillips Exeter Academy, an independent, co-educational secondary school. He and his wife, Simonida, an analytical chemist and musician, live in New Hampshire with their sons Danilo, born in 2002, and Sava, born in 2004. You can learn more about Chris, and access all of his publications, by visiting his website, CampSpirit.com.