Seminars, Certifications, & Classes for Camp Professionals

ACA New England offers access to a variety of educational programs throughout the year. To see what's coming up, check out our Professional Calendar. To submit an educational event for the Camp Professional community, click here.

ACA New England-Sponsored Educational Opportunities

The following courses and events are held by ACA New England and take place throughout the year.  Visit the Professional Calendar for details.

Upcoming Events

Urban Camps Symposium - Register here!

Thursday, May 2, 2019 (registration and networking 9:00 am; program 9:30 am - 12:30 pm)

Philanthropy MA, 133 Federal Street, Suite 802, Boston, MA (accessible via public transportation. Visit here for directions.)

Cost: $20/member; $25/non-member

Join ACA New England, your colleagues, and licensed clinical social worker and well-known camp consultant Bob Ditter for a morning of discussions around key topics relevant to urban camps like yours as you gear up for another awesome summer season! Space is limited, so register early.

The program for the day is:

  • Opening remarks from Stephen Spaloss, Senior Vice President, Team Leadership at City Year, Inc.
  • A panel discussion on Diverse Staffing for Diverse Campers moderated by Bob Ditter. Panelists will include: Lisa Fortenberry, Executive Director, Camp Harbor View; Alphonse Litz, Director, Boston Explorers; Bexi Perez, Operations Director, Department of Child Development, YMCA of Greater Boston.
  • Small group discussions on other hot topics facing urban camps, with topics to be generated by attendees.
This symposium is designed for directors and key staff working in the urban camp environment. We encourage you to register multiple members from your team and come prepared to ask questions and engage in discussion throughout the morning!

Participants will receive 3 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for attending.


Past Events

Cape Cod Camp Tours

Thursday, September 13, 2018 (10 am - 5 pm)

ACA New England and 21 of our camp colleagues visited beautiful Cape Cod to tour three varied camp properties. We started at Camp Burgess & Hayward for a look at the YMCA camp's facilities. Then, we traveled to Camp Wingate*Kirkland where we enjoyed a tour and fantastic lunch prepared by the camp chef. Finally, we ended the day with a tour of Cape Cod Sea Camps and some hors d'oeuvres and social time on the camp property.

Camp Director Round Table Series - SOLD OUT

October 9, 2018 – May 14, 2019 (2nd Tuesday of each month, except 1st Tuesday in April, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm)

Experienced camp directors came to the table with other seasoned professionals (6+ years of camp administrative experience required) and well-known camp consultant and advocate Bob Ditter for monthly peer driven discussions on issues of common concern such as parent, staffing, camper, and marketing issues. As facilitator, Bob’s role is to guide the discussion, provide observations, and offer additional resources to participants. The group meets monthly at the ACA, New England offices in Lexington, MA.

 Fall Seminar – Marketing Deep Dive - SOLD OUT 

Friday, October 26, 2018 (Cedar Hill Day Camp, Waltham, MA, 10 am - 3:30 pm) 

Kelley Freridge, Marketing Director at the Gluten Free Bar (GFB) (and formerly with Chaco and Patagonia), and American Camp Association Board member, gave a HIGHLY INTERACTIVE marketing seminar to a sold out crowd of camp professionals. At the one-day seminar, participants:

  • Established their camp brand positioning language and voice. 
  • Developed a deeper understanding of their audience and target consumer.
  • Gained insight into progressive communication approaches and planning.
  • Developed a baseline for healthy community engagement. 
  • Set goals for growing their tribe while building reverence for the social emotional learning unique to your program.
  • Learned to leverage their network through Affirming Sincere Informative and Specific communication.  
  • Discussed the digital revolution and established realistic goals for programs that celebrate the analog life.
  • Earned 5 CECs for participation in the seminar.

About the Facilitator

Kelley Freridge is the Marketing Director for the Gluten Free Bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With 10 years of senior leadership roles in the outdoor industry at Eastern Mountain Sports, Patagonia and Chaco, she brings consumer insight and digital savvy to her role on the National Board of the American Camp Association. Active in the Outdoor Industry Woman’s Coalition, Kelley has been a vocal advocate for women in the workplace. She points to her childhood experiences growing up at Van Buren Youth Camp as the compass she leverages in every business decision. As a National Outdoor Leadership School graduate and Mother, Kelley recognizes the essential value of outdoor experience in developing tomorrow’s leaders and is passionate about passing down this cornerstone to the next generation.

 Sponsored by:


ACA New England Camp Conference

Visit our Conference page for more information on this exciting educational weekend, held every spring. Businesses interested in exhibiting can get information about the CampEXPO and download the vendor application here. Prospective Presenters can submit session/program proposals starting in August

Associate Visitors Course

Visitors are the heart and soul of the ACA standards program. Without them we would have no way to implement the accreditation program.  Join the team of New England Visitors by attending a ACA Associate Visitors Course. Check out the professional calendar to see upcoming courses! 

Accreditation Process Workshops

There are two types of Standards courses:

  • The Accreditation Process workshop (formerly the Standards Course) is designed to help prepare camp directors for their camps' upcoming accreditation visits and to serve as an introduction to the Standards program. It is a free program, offered 4-5 times/year, and is open to anyone interested in improving the quality of their camp and camp program.
  • The Visitor Update course is designed for Visitors and experienced directors who have previously taken a Standards course.

Check for the latest scheduled Accreditation Process Workshops and Visitor Update Courses in the Professional Calendar.

Certification Courses, Schools & Training Clinics

These courses are offered primarily in May and June, hosted by individual camps across New England. While camps often send counselors they've already hired to these in order for them to gain additional expertise in a particular area, it's not uncommon for job applicants to attend, too. If you're a job seeker and want to find a course during the fall or winter, visit our page on ACA-Approved training sources for information on tracking down something through the local chapters of various certifying bodies.

Several camps host Certification Schools & Training Clinics that offer basic instruction and licensing/certification in a variety of instructional areas.