Independent Schools Auxiliary & Summer Programs Workshop – Exploring Behavioral Challenges

We have been hearing that auxiliary and summer programs have seen increases in behavioral challenges of campers and mental, social, and emotional health of campers and staff in recent years. Join us for a day designed to explore multiple strategies, processes, and approaches to this work: from programs and systems to legal considerations.

 This year’s program will include:

  • Networking
  • Building for Behavior: Ground-level Considerations for Supporting Behavioral Needs at Camp, a workshop, led by Elise Wulff, Program Manager for Child Services at MGH Aspire.

In the push for inclusion there’s a newfound importance for honest self-reflection about a program’s current systems and whether or not they can support ‘all campers.’ This presentation will provide an overview of recommendations for policies, procedures, and protocols foundational for balancing camper and program needs. We will also suggest practical program components, such as scheduling and space, to consider if you intentionally or inadvertently need to support greater camper behavior needs.

  • a working lunch, A New Way to Think About Challenging Behavior, facilitated by Maggie Magner, Director of Summer Fenn & Auxiliary Programs.

Kids with challenging behavior are a significant source of counselor/staff turnover, teacher burnout, and therapeutic referrals. Maggie will share her experience in using the Collaborative Problem Solving Model™ (developed at the Think:Kids center of MGH’s Department of Psychiatry). Explore the revolutionary mindset shift to “skills, not will” that will make you rethink challenging kids. Maggie will review tangible tools and participants will have a chance to practice.

  • time to explore legal considerations related to behavior and mental health such as ADA, what information you can ask/require staff and campers/parents to disclose, restraint policies, and other thinks you should be thinking about, led by Samantha Halem, Partner at Marshall Halem LLC and legal counsel for The Brimmer and May School.

Coffee, light snacks, and lunch are included with your registration.

This workshop is offered as a pre-conference day before the New England Camp Conference, which begins on Thursday. It is a great way to kick off your experience if you plan to attend the conference and while we encourage you to consider attending the entire conference, it is not required to participate in this workshop.

About the presenters

Elise Wulff, MGH Aspire

Elise Wulff has over 10 years of experience collaborating with and supporting the neurodiverse population, their families, and professionals in both public and private settings. A veteran of the specialized camp world, Elise helps programs develop, implement, and refine staff training modules for such topics as inclusion practices, behavior management, social skills development, stress management, and self-awareness strategies in the camp setting. Elise combines her teaching experience with research-supported social-emotional interventions to help camps reach their own goals of supporting the Whole Camper. In addition, Elise oversees year-round programming that includes groups, parent coaching, professional development, curriculum design.

Maggie Magner, Summer Fenn

Maggie brings considerable experience in both camping and enrichment programming for children. She was most recently the Director of Hill House Summer Camp in Beacon Hill, and previously spent years working in a residential camp setting in New York. Maggie's firm belief that camp occupies a unique space in children's lives to build friendships, develop new skills and safely explore their own autonomy is at the heart of her work here at Summer Fenn. Maggie's breadth of experience in the field of enrichment programming includes training Head Start and Early Intervention educators, as well as developing curricula and training for a national parenting company. Her approach to program delivery is centered on age-appropriateness, experiential learning, and allowing each child to be challenged and to participate at their own level.

Samantha Halem, Marshall Halem LLC

Samantha Halem practices law in the areas of employment law and employment litigation. After receiving her A.B. from Stanford University, Ms. Halem earned her juris doctorate degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Ms. Halem advises clients on a day to day basis on issues such as discipline, investigations, leaves of absence and accommodations. She drafts handbooks, policies, employment contracts, and separation agreements, among other employment documents. Ms. Halem is also a successful litigator and has appeared before a number of different state human rights agencies, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in multiple jurisdictions. She has also successfully represented clients before arbitrators and in mediations and conducts regular seminars and training sessions across the country. Ms. Halem has repeatedly been selected by her peers as a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” in the area of employment law and litigation and one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Massachusetts.

Event Organizer/Sponsor: ACA, New England

When: March 25, 2020 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm (RSVP required)

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton

700 Elm Street, Manchester, NH

Cost: $75/ACA-members; $90/non-members -OR- If you are registered for the New England Camp Conference, $60/ACA-members; $70/non-members. Registration rate is based on your individual ACA membership status.


Registration Information

Click Here to Register

Registrations are non-refundable but may be transferred to another individual from your school/ camp/ organization prior to the workshop.


Kerry Salvo, Director of Education and Professional Development
781-541-6080 ext. 104