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View our 2017 Guide to Summer Camp!


ACA New England's Online Guide to Summer Camp

View our 2017 Summer Camp Guide below to see an organized listing of all ACA New England camps. You'll find camp descriptions, session lengths, age ranges, contact information, and more for each camp. In addition, the Guide contains useful information and advice for use in your camp search.

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Conference Registration is OPEN!


The Annual Conference is a chance for New England camp professionals to share knowledge and experience that ensures the quality of camp programs. Featuring over 35 speakers, 80 educational sessions and hosting 800+ attendees, our conference is a perfect way to network & plan for summer!  

96th Annual Conference Dates:  
Wednesday, March 29 - Saturday, April 1, 2017


*If you have any issues registering, please contact our office at (781) 541-6080.*

Michael Brandwein
2017 Keynote Speaker

Michael Brandwein ( has presented in all fifty states and on six continents. He’s the number one bestselling author in the camp field: Training Terrific Staff (Volumes 1 & 2), Super Staff SuperVision, Learning Leadership: How to Develop Outstanding Teen Training Programs at Camp, and Skill of the Day: What Great Leaders of Young People Do & Say. Michael has presented three Emmy® award-winning TV programs on working with children. A frequent national keynoter and staff trainer for individual camps, schools, and organizations, he is a former ACA national board member and has won two national awards from ACA. He’s also received the Peter Kerns Award for Advancement of Professional Development in Camps. Michael’s Juris Doctor Degree is from the University of Chicago. He and his wife Donna have two sons, Dave and Ben.

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Position Open at ACA New England!


ACA New England currently has an open position for: 

Director of Development & Communications

Responsible for ACA New England’s communications, marketing, media and fund development efforts. Articulates ACA New England’s mission and vision; advances our key messages, and promotes our brand to internal and external constituents including Members, ACA Accredited camps, all New England camp professionals, supporters, partners, donors and funders. Advances fundraising, sponsorship and financial support campaigns.


Key Responsibilities:


  • Work with the Executive Director to develop and implement a strategic approach to fundraising that is aligned with ACA New England’s business plan and goals:
    • Events
    • Sponsorships
    • Appeals
    • Stewardship
    • Organize fund development activities
    • Monitor fund development activities to ensure goals are being met
    • Provide support for ACA New England volunteers and staff to carry out the development plan
    • Research and develop proposals requesting foundation and corporate support
    • Collaborate with Education Director to secure sponsorships and in-kind donations for the annual conference and education programs


  • Develop and implement an annual communications and marketing plan that is aligned with ACA New England’s business plan and goals
  • Responsible for all ACA New England print, online and electronic communications including:
    • Directing and managing the ACA New England brand
    • Ensuring appropriate messaging to diverse audiences
    • Overseeing branding of all ACA New England collateral materials and collaborating with other staff and volunteers as appropriate
    • Supervising ACA New England website development and maintenance
    • Overseeing all social media
  • Work with staff to initiate and promote media coverage of ACA New England
  • Curate content for use across all communications platforms
  • Provide support for ACA New England volunteers to further communications initiatives
  • Coordinate outreach efforts that increase visibility for ACA New England, Members and ACA Accredited camps

 Required Knowledge, Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required or equivalent
  • Increasing responsibility in development and marketing with a track record for results
  • Demonstrated communications and marketing experience
  • Demonstrated relationship building, fundraising and stewardship experience
  • Proven successful supervisory and administrative experience
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • High level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to analyze fund development data and create reports
  • Experience working in a creative, collaborative team environment with experience directing and supervising others, as well as managing consultants
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and work effectively with staff and volunteers
  • Experience in delivering messages to diverse constituents across a variety of platforms
  • Prior social media and website experience
  • Proficiency on a PC including Microsoft Office Products; Mac proficiency a plus
  • Preferred competency in: Adobe Design Premium Products (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), Adobe Acrobat Pro, CRM database

The successful candidate will work well with others, have a sense of humor and an interest in improving the lives of children and families through the camp experience.

Preferred starting date is Jan/Feb 2017.  Please submit cover letter, resume and salary requirements by January 6, 2017 to Bette Bussel, Executive Director at or ACA New England, 80 Westview Street, Lexington, MA, 02421.

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Now Taking Conference Session Proposals


Whether you’re a seasoned presenter at professional conferences and at your camp or whether this will be your first presentation ever, there’s an audience for you at the 2016 ACA New England Conference!

Program/Session Proposals are being reviewed and accepted now. We invite you to submit yours!

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Camp Champions in Boston Magazine


 "The American Camp Association, New England (ACA New England) recently hosted its 6th Annual Camp Champions Celebration to recognize several campers who have received the gift of camp (camperships) through previous Camp Champions fundraising events. The celebration raises funds for ACA New England’s Campership Fund, which helps send children in need to camp." Read More

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Fall Seminar 2016


Comprehensive Abuse Prevention: Ten Ways to Safeguard Campers and Staff
presented by Dr. Christopher Thurber

Lessons Learned from the ACA Camp Crisis Hotline
presented by Donna Johns-Thomas

When:    Friday, October 28, 2016 

Where:   Cedar Hill - Great Hall, 
265 Beaver St
Waltham, MA 02452  
Details: $70 Member/$95 Non-Member; lunch provided. 



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Bette Bussel quoted in 'Psychology Today' blog


#thestruggleisreal Summer Learning Without Technology by Stephen Gray Wallace: Bette Bussel, Executive Director of the American Camp Association, New England, told me, “When campers unplug from technology, there are often two major advantages. One comes from the power of real face-to-face interaction, the other from the chance to move and be active. By engaging with other children and counselors in person, campers build the communication and collaboration skills that will prove useful if not invaluable after camp, in college and in adult life. Campers naturally become more physically active without screens to watch or to use for social media. Camp is not a sedentary place.” She elaborated, “Summer camps create unique opportunities for engagement that are not available back home or at school. The absence of technology has quite a bit to do with setting up those life-changing opportunities.”  

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ACA Accredited Camps and Members in the News


Take 10: Seaside camp is a family affair: For Executive Director Nancy Garran, “camp,” as she calls the entire experience, is a place to “take risks and try things you’ve never done before.”

It’s also a family affair.

Founded by her grandfather, Robert Delahanty, nearly 95 years ago, camp is where she met her husband, David Peterson, and where they were married. Their two sons also met their wives and were married at camp. 

Today, they all work together and the family has grown to include five grandchildren under the age of 3. Garran also considers her staff — some of whom started as campers decades ago — and the children under her care as an extension of her family.

“Carrying on the legacy of what my grandfather started is a privilege,” she said. “I’m very blessed to have my family all around me.”

Staying afloat: Private-camp lifeguards resuscitate swim program: Every Child A Swimmer, run by the Raymond Recreation Association at Crescent Lake, has provided affordable swim lessons to area children for nearly five decades. But this year, the program’s mission faced a difficult challenge when organizers couldn’t secure a lifeguard.

The solution, as envisioned by Pat Smith, former president of the rec association, with help from three of Raymond’s private summer camps, was to borrow a lifeguard from a local summer camp every day of the program.

Smith said she recognized in late May there was a real threat to the program, and called some of the area camps to see if they had ideas about how to find a lifeguard.

“Linda Suitor, director at Camp Timanous, suggested that ‘if every camp donates a guard, we can make this work,’” Smith said. “I was intrigued by the idea and her enthusiasm.”

That was approximately two weeks before the program’s June 27 start date, she said. One week before the lessons were scheduled to start with instructor Pam Synk, camps Agawam and Kingsley Pines had also agreed to supply a lifeguard and a schedule for coverage was pieced together.

Tabor's new sunscreen dispensers help fight melanoma: The school recently received two sunscreen dispensers through the Melanoma Foundation of New England’s Practice Safe Skin program.

“All of our counselors carry sunscreen, we ask that our campers carry sunscreen, but to have them in places where they can use in passing is key," said Tabor Academy Summer Program Director Bobbi Krein.

According to the foundation, the number of people diagnosed with melanoma is rising faster than any other cancer, with one person dying from the disease every 50 minutes. To reduce the risk, this year, the Practice Safe Skin program expanded to 54 new locations in 12 states, totaling 190 new dispensers.

“We hope sunscreen dispensers will become as commonplace as hand sanitizers over the next few years,”said MFNE Executive Director Deb Girard

An oasis from the violence and hardships of the streets: “I love the fact that this program exists and that the Boston police recognize that there are children here that need this escape,” Lopes said, her voice growing thick with tears. “This is not just an opportunity for my son to get out and play. This is an opportunity for the Boston police to help me, as a single mother, raise my son and save my son.”

This year, the police-YMCA partnership, underwritten by donors, has enabled 75 children to attend camp, usually for two or three weeks each — time they would otherwise spend in sometimes toxic environments they can now escape.

As police-community relations across the country are put to the test, following police-involved shootings in several cities and the targeted killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., Boston police and YMCA officials said they hope children will learn officers are their friends.

Maine camp for Mideast peace shifts focus to divided U.S.: “People are coming to the realization that this stuff doesn’t just happen all over the other side of the world. It’s happening here,” said 17-year-old camper Matt Suslovic of Portland.

Executive Director Leslie Lewin said the goal is to tackle deep-seated racism, anti-refugee and anti-Muslim sentiment, socioeconomic issues, gender discrimination and LGBT issues through the sharing of personal stories and discussion.

That sounds like a tall order. But camp officials say their formula of dialogue has worked since 1993, when Seeds of Peace first brought together Israeli and Palestinian teenagers.





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Eleanor P. Eells Award


Each year, ACA's Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence recognizes camps that epitomize the award's namesake by developing exemplary programming that effectively and creatively responds to the needs of people and society through the camp experience. We celebrate the 2016 winners. They are all powerful examples of programs actively seeking to unlock the potential of the campers they serve by building the self-esteem, belief in themselves, and skills needed to let their inner lights shine.

Two New England programs received the ACA's Eleanor P. Eells Award for 2016  one of which being our very own Camp Champions!

"It's inspirational to know that the collective efforts of campers, counselors, camp professionals and staff, business and camp sponsors, donors, allied professionals, and members of the community at large can make such a huge difference for more than 200 children a summer, and that the boost in visibility that comes from honoring Camp Champions actually honors the profession in a wonderful way in the media and on social media," –Lucy Norvell, Director of Development & Communications

Click here to read more about all of the great programs honored this year!

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Congratulations to Tim Ellis


The 2016 Halsey Gulick Award:
Presented to Tim Ellis

From Left to Right: Carol Sudduth - Wyonegonic Camps, Tim Ellis - Chewonki and Jean McMullan - Alford Lake Camp

Originally appeared in Maine Summer Camps' Award Presentation Program on June 10th, 2016.

Visionary. Innovator. Educator. Idealist. In his tenure at Chewonki, Tim Ellis was all of these, blurring the lines between the recreation of camp and learning in the classroom. Tim saw each and every interaction and experience at Chewonki - be it in winter, spring, summer or fall, indoors or outdoors - as a teachable moment. While formally retiring from Chewonki in 1991, Tim's legacy remains as influential as ever, making him a deserving recipient of the 2016 Halsey Gulick Award. 

Not many in the camping world first arrived at their camp in a bassinet, but legend has it that this is how Tim's Chewonki career began in 1938. Tim's childhood summers were spent at Chewonki as the son of the head counselor, and eventually Tim forged his own path as a camper and counselor.

By the time Tim took over as camp director in 1965, Chewonki was already steeped in 50 years of camping traditions. Tim was the first employee of the newly formed Chewonki Foundation, the non-profit entity that purchased Chewonki from founding owner and director Clarence Allen. From this point forward, Tim began to leave his mark, matching the rapid pace of cultural change in our country with his own bold vision for Chewonki's future. Tim viewed every moment of camp as an educational opportunity. Mealtimes were not just a time for physical nourishment, but also a time for deliverate community development. Sunday Services evolved from one-sided sermons to interactive community discussions, providing equal voice to 10-year-olds and the camp director. 

With Chewonki now a non-profit, Tim's charge was to find ways to share Chewonki with more children, both during the summer and the school year. The early 1970s saw constant evolution for Chewonki under Tim's leadership. New funds were raised for scholarships and program innovation. Traditional summer camp programs expanded into extended wilderness trip expeditions, allowing older campers to push beyond the comforts of camp life and experience the joys and challenges of the wilds of Maine. Tim realized that summer camps, rich in land and infrastructure, held tremendous value for educational experiences during the school year. In the fall of '71, Tim pioneered the first residential school program at Chewonki for a group of eight-grade students. Imagine a 10-day fall program at Chewonki with your eighth-grade class. Tim was the visionary that made this happen.

While Tim's drive and focus at Chewonki were legendary, he also believed in the value of a strong camping industry for the good of all. Tim willingly shared his experiences with other camps as the made the transition to non-profit status. Tim also served as president of the Maine Youth Camping Foundation from 1989 to 1991, giving of his time and experience for the good of all Maine camps.

There is so much to Tim Ellis, the person. Tim drew great strength from his family. His wife Margaret was the perfect camp partner, far more equal visionary and teacher than her formal role of camp nurse and gardener might suggest. Tim graced many a campfire and Sunday Service with his banjo playing and captivating stories. He took his role as financial steward of a not-for-profit seriously, always looking for a deal. Legend has it that camp bunks were secured from a military surplus for free and attempts were made to cajole restaurants into waiving the meals tax for end-of-season staff parties, because after all Chewonki was a non-profit.

Stories about Tim always have a common theme: a belief in everyone's inherent potential balanced with firm expectations, and the conviction that with the right design, more learning could occur in one summer of camp than an entire year of school. As we look to a future where the camps of Maine have tremendous opportunity to partner with schools, we celebrate the leadership of Tim Ellis with the 2016 Halsey Gulick Award. 

The Halsey Gulick Award was first presented in 1982 by the newly formed Maine Youth Camping Association to recognize those people who have distinguished themselves by giving unselfishly of their time, energy, and resources to improve organized youth camping in Maine.

Recipients are selected by their colleagues in camping for their record of public services to the camping movement. 

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