Session & Speaker Details

2023 details to be release in February 2023

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2022 Conference Session & Speaker Details

With seven 75-minute educational blocks and three shorter choose your adventure blocks with a blend of sessions and discussion-based opportunities, the conference has something for everyone!






Sessions

Sessions: 1

Thursday, March 24, 9:00 am - 10:30 am, Opening & Educational Session 1

According to Betty Crocker: Staff Training from Scratch

Speakers: Kim Aycock - Kimspiration, LLC

Is your staff training like baking an “instant” cake or one from “scratch”? Betty Crocker discovered that it’s not what you add but what you take away as the key to making the baking experience real. Take a look at various learner-centered training models that actively invite staff into the learning process as a participant (and not just a receiver of information) through questions, choice, and bite-size portions. Empower staff to take ownership of what they need to know while boosting engagement and retention. Let go and let staff learn from scratch!

Integration vs Inclusion at Camp: Learning the difference:

Speakers: Simone Gamble - OAAARS

In this workshop, participants will define the difference between Integration and true Inclusion at camp. Participants will discuss ways that in our attempt to create inclusion at camp, we may be setting the foundation of Integrationist practices, policies, and culture at our camps. Participants will learn the tools to create safer and inclusive spaces for folks of various marginalized identities at camp

Identifying and Engaging a Successful Camp Staff

Speakers: Tracey Gaslin - Association of Camp Nurses

It is often challenging to think about creating a new culture when camps are in survival mode. Due to the many hurdles during summer 2021, camps struggled to identify ways to promote well-being, especially in the staff. This session will outline new tools, resources, and activities that can help identify qualified counseling staff, encourage self-care, and promote the overall well-being of individuals in the camp community.

Top 5 Missing Safety Practices at the Waterfront

Speakers: Katie Johnson - The Redwoods Group

Each summer, we visit waterfronts and pools across the country during camp season – and see a lot of amazing programs along the way! We have also noticed specific practices that are commonly missing; practices that can affect both the standard of care and potential liability. Every second counts in an aquatics rescue and having these 5 practices in place may help improve lifeguard response and the outcome of an incident. Join us for this discussion to see how your aquatics program compares!

Outdoor Education, Access & Equity

Speakers: Arlynn Polletta & Vanessa Riegler - The Aloha Foundation

Arlynn and Vanessa will guide participants though an interactive session that explores the impact of systemic racism on historically marginalized people’s access to outdoor spaces and programs. We will also discuss ways that outdoor educators can move from deficit thinking to a strengths-based approaches. Finally, participants will brainstorm ideas for designing curricula that centers equity and inclusivity.

Foundations for Trans* Inclusion at Camp

Speakers: Chris Rehs-Dupin - Transplaining

Before we get to the cabin assignments, the bathroom, managing disclosure, creating inclusive forms, and even pronouns, we need to investigate the urgent nature of creating safe(r) spaces for transgender youth. In this session we will do an overview of terms (and not get stuck there!), and then turn our attention to common barriers that transgender youth and adults face in their day to day routines and at camp- with data driven information. Begin making your camp a safer place immediately by identifying microaggressions in your traditions, and resources that you can use to speak with your board, parents and stakeholders about creating inclusive policies that will make kids of all genders feel more comfortable in your camp’s environment.

Music Inspired Teambuilding

Speakers: Douglas Sutherland

You ever listen to a song and feel alive, energized, and/or inspired? For me, there are five songs that have inspired me to create, adapt, and use teambuilding activities to work with groups, “Stand Up” by Cynthia Eviro, “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman by Keala Settle, “Teamwork” by Kenzie, “Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone, and “So What’Cha Want” by the Beatie Boys. This session will take those five songs and incorporate them into activities you can use for your staff, to inspire, or maybe just be a little silly.

Every gift counts: “small shop” fundraising for summer camps.

Speakers: Mary Welz - Keewaydin Foundation & James Hart - Mowglis

This workshop has been specifically designed for “small shop” – camp directors and development staff who want to build their annual fund, maximize their (limited) resources, and achieve success in their fundraising operations. We will discuss:
• who you should be raising money from,
• ideas for your direct mail efforts,
• inexpensive and effective donation website offerings,
• how to use your volunteers (especially your Board!), why you need at least one gift society,
• stewarding donors on a budget,
• alternative and creative revenue stream options, and
• how to keep your focus when well-meaning colleagues or Board have “great ideas”

Sessions: 2

Thursday, March 24, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, Educational Session 2

Need Staff?: Together We Can Tackle Today's Staffing Challenges

Speakers: Kim Aycock - Kimspiration, LLC

The past year was a particularly challenging time for getting folks to commit to any type of employment – this is not a new trend in our industry. In recent years it has become harder and harder to fill camp staff positions with qualified persons. The struggle to hire staff for 2021 (and have them show up and stay) was painfully felt in camps across the country. We worked together to navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic; we can do the same to find solutions for the staffing crisis. Project Real Job resources, standout takeaways from the Staffing Summit, and promising practices will be shared in this timely and collaborative session.

TERRIFIC TRAINING TECHNIQUE: Outstanding Activities & Methods for Immediate Use

Speakers: Michael Brandwein

Save your time! The author of the nationally number one best-selling training books in camp demonstrates easy-to-use techniques and tested activities that you can immediately plug into existing training. These are original, creative, and powerful methods you won’t find anywhere else that will boost staff learning, maximize participation, boost motivation, and grab attention—for both new and experienced staff. It’s so important to have fresh ways each year to present essential skills—it makes training exciting and interesting, a model for what we want camp to be every day. Teach communication, leadership, activity instruction, and other essential skills that staff must know and use to make our programs successful.

Camp: The Crossroad of Children and Nature: Lessons Learned in 97 Summers Teaching in the Outdoors

Speakers: R Laurence Davis, PhD - Camp Pemigewassett and University of New Haven

Research shows that direct contact with nature is beneficial, even necessary, for human growth and development. Camps are in an optimal position to play a leading role in our growing national effort to connect children with nature. In this session, we’ll discuss the unique advantages that camp offers for science and place-based experiential learning and share what we’ve learned from 97 summers of running a thriving Nature Program. We’ll collaboratively look at ways to offer a broad range of topics even with a small staff, combine them with other areas of interest (such as arts and crafts), utilize field experiences, and more. We will also brainstorm how to fit “nature” into a variety of camp programs and settings.

Establishing a DEI Rapid response Team at Camp

Speakers: Simone Gamble - OAAARS

In this workshop, participants will learn the tenets of creating a DEI Rapid Response team at camp that can address incidents of harm through this lens and create preventive structures to create a safer space for marginalized identities. We will learn how to build out how to build the infrastructure for these teams and how to troubleshoot potential challenges. If you are looking for a step forward in your DEI journey, this will be a helpful workshop for you.

The Unbreakable Link Between Camp Culture and Risk Management

Speakers: Katie Johnson - The Redwoods Group

Camps are rich in culture, tradition, customs, and beliefs – making each camp experience and program unique. Your culture – your words, your songs, your actions – directly impact your community’s behaviors and experiences.

Is your culture helping your risk prevention efforts? Or is it inadvertently opening the door to risk? Join this discussion as we connect the dots between camp culture and risk management.

Supportive Supervision in a Wild World

Speakers: Terri Mulks - Camp Susan Curtis

Supporting staff for a successful summer begins with the Application Process and continues on (and on and on). Let’s share ways to select and connect with individuals while building a team capable of meeting the (growing) needs of our current campers . Topics: Application & Interview Process, MESH Activities for Staff Training and beyond, preparing you and your mid-level supervisors to coach and comfort, challenging conversations and consistent communication.

Introduction to Gender Inclusive Housing

Speakers: Chris Rehs-Dupin - Transplaining

As we have come to understand more about gender identity, we are finally coming to acknowledge that our campers and our staff will not all fall into gender binary categories. As we work to affirm each person’s gender identity, we must recognize that traditional camp housing was not built with all genders in mind. In this session we will explore the basics of gender inclusive housing, and first steps to implementation!

Noodles, Balls, and Cones III

Speakers: Mackenzie Wallace - Children's Island Day Camp & Garrett Coler - LVO YMCA Sports Camp

For two years Noodles, Balls, and Cones have been hid away behind laptops, and computer screens. Coming this March is the Trilogy you didn’t even know you needed. Join us this year IN PERSON as we learn brand new games, meet new friends, and have a whole lot of fun. With noodles, balls, cones, and an open space you can run any activity your imagination can come up with. We all know camp program supplies can really start to add up in our budgets. Being able to utilize inexpensive program supplies to build curriculum for campers of all ages, and groups of all sizes can help cut down on those budget costs. In this session you will learn games for large, medium, and small groups using only Pool Noodles, Balls, and Cones.

Sessions: 3

Thursday, March 24, 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm, Choose Your Own Adventure Block

The Camper Experience – Might we Do Camp Differently?

Speakers: Tracey Gaslin - Association of Camp Nurses

Summer 2020 and 2021 created opportunities (and requirements) for camps to adjust their activities and services to promote healthy interactions in a community setting. However, what we learned was more than just care for a camper’s physical health needs. This session will outline how imposed changes led to many positive experiences and the vital importance of “parent partnerships” as a foundation for a successful camp. We will discuss these outcomes and how these changes may prove to be beneficial for your camp’s operations and activities.

EPIC Lunch and Learn

Speakers: Megan Lynch - Camp Aldersgate, Luke Joines - YMCA Camp of Maine, Chris Ramsey - Camp Nashoba North

Join fellow Emerging Professionals in Camping (EPIC) as we discuss our “COVID Keepers” from last summer. What did you adapt or change in your camp programming, practices, or policies that you are going to continue for future summers? Come with your answers to this question and hear from others. Make connections with your peers as we reflect on how we pivoted and share ideas to implement in 2022 and beyond!

Special Needs Camp Kindred Group

Speakers: Mary Schafhauser - Pine Tree Camp

Join us for an informal networking and conversation opportunity for camps that serve campers with disabilities, who provide inclusive programming, or are looking to add inclusive programming to their camps in the upcoming year.

We’ll talk about the 2022 camp season and what challenges we might be facing along with solutions and paths that camps are taking to ensure this summer is one that sets our campers and programs up for success.

Staff as Caregivers – The Importance of Self-Care in Creating Sustained Enthusiasm and Engagement

Speakers: Rebecca Zelis - Keewaydin Foundation

How do you create an environment that supports the well-being of your staff? Many haven’t practiced the life-skills necessary to consistently maintain their energy, focus, enthusiasm, and well-being throughout a long summer. This can result in burn-out, unreliable behavior, safety issues, and even health problems.

Rebecca shares a wellness program (and free online resources) that can help camp communities discuss the importance of personal wellness planning before campers arrive. Self-care is presented as a personal responsibility instead of an “escape” making staff aware of the importance of taking care of themselves, supporting each other, and asking for help when they need it (which is reframed as a strength instead of weakness).

Special Interest Group Gatherings

Speakers:

During this block, there will be space set aside for like-minded camp pros from:

  • Overnight camps
  • Day camps

Sessions: 4

Thursday, March 24, Evening Activities, 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

7:30 - 8:30 pm: Purposeful Play: Quick, Cool, No-Prop Games that Teach Campers & Staff Skills for Life & Leadership

Speakers: Michael Brandwein

Play, Connect, Learn! Here’s a great, easy, fun way to learn highly useful activities and skills while meeting lots of new and old camp friends! Michael will lead us in some of his best original and creative games that you can use with all ages, indoors and out. The campers—and staff!—will be having too much fun to know they are practicing important life skills like communication, leadership, respect, collaboration, and more. These easy-to-learn activities can and should be in the repertoire of every staff person. Plus, see Michael’s fresh spin on a few improv-based activities that are ideal for camp. BONUS: You’ll also learn outstanding and unique game leadership techniques that can be used with any activity.

8:30 - 10:00 pm: Backyard Games

Speakers: Sponsored by Party People

Join other conference attendees for time to unwind, relax, and connect while playing some fun games. A cash bar will be available.

Sessions: 5

Friday, March 25, 8:45 am - 10:15 am, Opening & Educational Session 3

From 1st Contact to End of Contract: The Staff Experience Journey

Speakers: Kim Aycock - Kimspiration, LLC

What makes the staff journey result in successful progress from start to completion of their camp experience? Begin with finding out where they explore job opportunities, what factors excite them about camp, how they embark on the path to apply, and how to express realistic job expectations. From here look at how to welcome staff so they embrace this employment opportunity, are empowered to belong to the community and engaged up to arrival at camp. To round out the cycle, dive into how to support staff on-site so they excel and want to extend their time beyond the current season. Discover promising practices to increase the chance of taking staff from their 1st contact with camp to contract completion (and beyond!).

Enhancing Staff Community using Experiential Activities

Speakers: Phil Brown - High 5 Adventure Learning Center

Community is a foundational component of what makes Summer Camps so important, both for the kids that attend and the staff who work there. Creating a positive staff community can be challenging, especially after the last 2 summer camp seasons. This workshop aims to provide you with activities and ideas that can promote and enhance the community of your staff, which in turn is role modeled for your campers. Ideas will be shared that can be used pre-camp, during staff training weeks, during main camp and also post-camp.

The Call of Nature: How to Establish Effective Nature Programming at your Non-Nature Camp

Speakers: Zachary d'Arbeloff - Belmont Day School

Want to discover the wonders of nature? Whether you’re a seasoned naturalist or a nature noob, join us for a session focused on the specifics of how you can start or update your supplies, curriculum, and staffing in order for nature to be a program area you can be proud of. This will be a discussion and activity based session that will present a few specific activities, as well as hiring advice, supply and budget information, and common pitfalls to avoid. This session is NOT for camps that operate under a specifically-environmental umbrella.

Camp: Hope and Healing in an Age of Trauma

Speakers: John Hamilton - Camp HOPE America

Throughout the pandemic, the American public has sometimes had to choose between objective data and personal testimonials, between science and beliefs. And while the medical, social, economic, and educational toll of it all is unprecedented, some of the effects have been deemed traumatic. If we know trauma has lasting adverse effects on an individual’s functioning and (MESH) mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being, what is ours to do? In this session, we’ll discuss the role of hope and how science is vital to the future of our work at camp, and the social change we long for.

Safety Successes and Safety Challenges: A Summer in Review

Speakers: Katie Johnson - The Redwoods Group

The summer of 2021 is over, and a lot happened as camps navigated the ins-and-outs of COVID. Many camps reported successful, COVID-free summers! Unfortunately, there was also a spike in peer-to-peer abuse incidents and work comp injuries. This session will compare some of the trends to previous summers, and discuss strategies for prevention moving forward. Risk management doesn’t stay still: Let’s talk about what’s happening right now, and what we can do to mitigate risk and meet the moment.

American Red Cross: Training Changes in a Covid Environment Round Table

Speakers: Gwen McNamara - American Red Cross

Come for an overview of Red Cross training changes and options that have developed in response to COVID. We will share updates on new information regarding safety training including our ALS and PALS, program updates and available resources. This will then be followed by a question, answer and sharing session on lessons learned, unique discoveries and opportunities for change to increase operational effectiveness and work towards safer facilities. We will discuss program information, guidelines, best practices. Come prepared to share your experiences and needs and help others with their questions.

In Your Post-Virus Workplace, Protecting Your People, Property, Productivity & Your Posterior

Speakers: Bo Mitchell - 911 Consulting

COVID 19, Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook emphasize emergency planning for your workplace can be a matter of life and death and is subject to many federal, state and local laws, regulations and standards. Your workers have returned traumatized and scared. Have you laid off or furloughed workers? Most who are tasked with creating and maintaining emergency plans are confused or overwhelmed regarding those standards—especially in a post-virus world. Learn what laws, regulations and standards apply to your emergency planning, training and exercises. Learn what a lawsuit will do to you if you don’t create a plan to standard. Learn the 17 mistakes organizations make in creating their plans today. Is your plan compliant?

Unpacking Your Backpack

Speakers: Polly Williams - Strength Perspective & Farm and Wilderness, Jen (Dusty) Clitheroe - Strength Perspective

Are you feeling at a loss about how to train staff who are wanting more training around DEI? Is your camp predominantly white and struggling to deal with unintentional exclusion. We will discuss trainings we have used during camp staff weeks at predominately white camps that begin to prepare staff for opening up more lens in order to support a more inclusive environment. We will answer questions and provide tips we have learned from working at Farm and Wilderness and running Strength Perspective.

Sessions: 6

Friday, March 25, 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm, Choose Your Own Adventure Block

Could Your Feedback Use Some Feedback?

Speakers: Max Claman - VestEd Consulting

As we all continue to adjust on the fly to the “new normal” we’re faced with, it’s very easy to just continue to do certain things “they way they’ve always been done.” But it’s becoming very clear that the “tried-and-true” approach to staff management is falling a bit flat. Our staff are craving feedback and gratification more than ever, yet they have no idea what to do with it once it’s given to them. This session will provide tips and tools you can use to help enhance your feedback cycle at camp, and ways you can more effectively enhance your staff’s growth and development.

Uncover the mystery of a successful Accreditation Visit

Speakers: Standards Committee - ACA, New England

Your Accreditation year is approaching.
You have lots of questions. You are not sure how to organize the information, You aren’t sure what a few of the standards need to be met, and what is a Google Drive anyway?

Members of the Standards Committee are here to answer your questions!
Let us help get you organized and ready for a great visit this summer.

Immunizations: Research, Policies, and Best Practices

Speakers: Phil Owen - CampDoc, Erin Kelly - Mass Audubon Society, Josh Lewis - CampDoc

In this session, Josh, Phil, and Erin will review best practices for immunization requirements, cover what did and didn’t work in Summer 2021, and discuss how to create and implement a comprehensive immunization policy at camp.
Working alongside organizations of different sizes, and missions, Phil and Josh have helped a broad range of camps work through questions of how best to gather health information in a world of ever-changing health objectives.
One of those clients is Erin Kelly and her team at Mass Audubon. With over 15 years of experience creating outdoor environmental education experiences, Erin has been tasked with gathering the necessary information for thousands of campers in multiple locations.

Crafting Your Authentic Camp Story: Video, Photography and Sound

Speakers: Suzi Pond & Christian Kayiteshonga - Redbird Media Group

Whether you seek to connect better with campers, parents or staff (or all three!), join Redbird Media Group to gain a better understanding of how to best communicate your unique story through film and video. In addition to DIY photography / filming tips and advice, we’ll run through a small group exercise to help hone your message. Put our tips to work for Summer 2022.

Session will begin with a fifteen-minute education overview that highlights the benefits and possibilities of photography, video and sound as well as tips for practical usage. Small group break-outs will dive deeper and incorporate specific questions from attendees. Session will culminate with a report out from the groups and final Q&A.

FUBU - For Us By Us

Speakers: Douglas Sutherland - Brantwood Camp

*This session is designed as a safe space for BIPOC-identifying camp professionals specifically.* In the early 90s, FUBU was gaining popularity as an apparel company. Today, the concept of “For Us By Us” really speaks and encourages me to do more. This session is for BIPOC camp professionals only. Why? Connection. Networking. Also, we will discuss our next steps in the New England camping world. What do we want? How are we going to get there?

Make Connections: Meeting and Chatting with Like-Minded Camp Pros

Speakers: Cheryl Oliveira - Mass Audubon's Wildwood Camp; Emily Golinsky - Bright Moose LLC

Join other camp pros to make connections and discuss hot topics of interest! We will spend our time together in three 15-minute rounds of networking and discussion on topics including best hiring practices, keeping your nursing staff happy, transportation, field trip ideas and so much more – including those that YOU bring to the table! Come to this session prepared to meet others and have great conversation.

Special Interest Group Gatherings

Speakers:

During this block, there will be space set aside for like-minded camp pros from:

  • Urban camps (both in urban locations and/or serving urban youth)
  • Single gender camps
  • Independent schools summer programs/camps

Sessions: 7

Friday, March 25, 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm, Educational Session 4

Putting Muscle in Mission: How to Build and Lead an Intentional Program for Real Youth Development

Speakers: Michael Brandwein

Michael coined the term “Intentional Camp” decades ago. It’s the most challenging thing in the business: Making sure our whole team gets beyond providing the fun of camp and focuses expertly on using it to produce important, positive changes in our campers through the camp experience. This is what sets your camp apart from others and makes participation in your program invaluable! Michael makes all of this so much easier by demonstrating what to do to use our activities and programs to develop great qualities and specific character traits, including persistence, responsibility, respect, kindness, teamwork, confidence, and more, to make lasting differences in their lives. Communicate and accomplish the mission with greater clarity and power.

How to Be A _____ Counselor: The Orientation Session You Should Be Running in 2022

Speakers: Max Claman - Self (VestEd Consulting)

While finding the right people is certainly a critical piece of the staffing puzzle, providing them with clear expectations can have even more of an impact on your summer. Clear expectations can help make a good counselor great, and can help make an average staff member thrive in ways you never expected. So how do we do it? This session will provide a literal how-to guide for designing a “must-have” orientation session for your entire staff, including actual examples that camps can consider right now.

What Did You Say? How the Pandemic Has Impacted our Communication Skills

Speakers: Katie Gadapee - Copper Cannon Camp

Are you the one on the web meeting in a nice top and your pajama bottoms? If that is you, come join us, fast. We will discuss what our communication has lost during this pandemic. We may not realize the loss, but those we communicate with do. The campers and staff we communicate with are showing higher rates of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Any therapist will say that communication is the path to helping mental health issues. This session gives us tools for communication. Discussions will span body language to Zoom. We will do activities to help us unlearn the bad communication habits learned during the pandemic. A fun and interactive session!

Improve Belonging: How to Integrate Your Campers' Cultural Stories Into Your Program

Speakers: Meghan Gardner - Guardian Adventures

Games and culturally relevant stories that deliver a lesson can capture our camper’s imagination and inspire emotional engagement while also providing context for learning. We will cover how to use global and individual cultural stories and gamification in your camps or staff training program to improve engagement, comprehension, and retention – as well as active utilization of the new information. Step by step how-to is included to make your camp more emotionally engaging starting tomorrow.

Help! My Staff Are Holding Me Hostage!

Speakers: Emily Golinsky - Bright Moose LLC

Today’s staff are certainly not afraid to share their opinions or speak up when they think something is wrong or unjust. But when does well-intentioned advocacy cross the line into unacceptable workplace behavior? How can we encourage staff to share their needs with supervisors constructively, rather than resorting to ultimatums and even outright aggressive interactions? How can we accept the real, meaningful input they are seeking to share, when they don’t have any understanding of how camp operations truly work from a logistics and budgetary standpoint? This session will answer those questions and more, and you’ll leave with concrete strategies to use when staff offer ill-timed, misplaced or simply mis-considered “advice” to leadership.

Including Trans and Non-Binary Campers and Staff into Single Gender Camps

Speakers: Marijean Parry - Fleur de Lis Camp, Sarah Castro - Fleur de Lis Camp, Tammy Fortune - Camp Wa-Klo, Ken Robbins - Camp Kabeyun

Join directors of traditionally single gender camps for a panel presentation and discussion about how they have integrated trans and non-binary campers and staff into their programs. Topics will include their decision-making process, practical logistics, challenges, and successes. Bring your questions and ideas as we continue our conversation and work on becoming more inclusive camps.

Five Ways to Wreck Empathy: Why most attempts at active listening fail miserably

Speakers: Dr. Chris Thurber - Prep4Camp & Belknap

Let’s get three things straight. First, empathy is not a soft skill. It’s harder to express effectively than most people realize. Second, empathy is not the same as sympathy, which is about feeling pity or consoling someone after a loss. And third, empathy is not agreement, but we let that false belief trip us up every day. Participants in this engaging workshop will learn how to stop short-circuiting empathy and start enjoying its connective power as part of their youth leadership skill set.

REFRESH Your Mind

Speakers: Mackenzie Wallace - Children's Island Day Camp

The past two summers have taken a toll on Camp Professionals mental health. With some camp pros stating this was their hardest summers ever, and some even making the difficult decision to step away. During this session you will learn how to REFRESH your mind so that you can Remember Why you love working at camp. Camp Leaders spend a lot of their time making sure everyone else is ok, and with this session you will learn how to manage your own mental well being.

Sessions: 8

Saturday, March 26, 9:15 am - 10:45 am, Opening & Educational Session 5

It’s Fun, & A Real Job: Exactly How to Build Staff Professionalism, Responsibility, & Motivation

Speakers: Michael Brandwein

This session is packed with tools you can use at all times: interviewing, training, and  day-to-day leadership. We always had the challenge of leading young people for whom this might be first (or near-first) employment. Now, due to Covid interruptions, many of us have staff who may not have had the opportunities to learn in our junior leadership programs. Michael’s unique, practical techniques include: What to ask when hiring; how to set up your training so you are teaching and modeling professionalism from the first day; handling undesired staff behavior; how to motivate and coach through Michael’s method of Goals & Growth and more credible, frequent feedback; building trust and support; motivating our experienced staff; and more!

Consent Can Be Taught To Campers too (and you may already doing it!)

Speakers: Stephanie "Ruby" Compton - Ruby Outdoors

Learning about consent needs to happen well before it comes up in the bedroom. Consent can be a powerful tool at camp to teach campers and staff radical empathy and empowerment. This session shares easy ways to adjust language to teach campers about consent and become a more inclusive, safe, and respectful environment as well as tone down the heat on difficult conversations.

Words Matter - “Inclusion” - Let’s Get On The Same Page

Speakers: Lisa Drennan - MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting

Let’s start by analyzing the term “Inclusion”, using person first language & reviewing other disability etiquette or suggested interactions when considering camp members with disabilities. Next, we’ll break down the different models on how your programs can be offered: Specialized, Adaptive, Integrated, or Authentic Inclusion – what are the core elements, benefits & challenges to each model. Wrap it up with a discussion on the word “Special” and its impact on how people with disabilities are supported to be valued members of our community.

Warm Body or Burning Building?

Speakers: Emily Golinsky - Bright Moose LLC

Often our staff get sorted into categories – “rock star,” “getting it done,” “warm body,” etc. But when is enough, enough? When do staff go beyond being tolerable (with much effort), and instead has become a drain on resources and morale? And once we identify potentially “toxic” staff who are affecting others’ experiences, what do we do about it? How much energy do we put into coaching/propping up staff who are setting (theoretical) fires all over the place for the sake of ratios? This session will address the reality that many of us find ourselves in during a hiring shortage: making the best of not-the-best staff (it’s really ok!), and having to deal with decision-making for those that, in hindsight, might not have been the best.Hire.EVER!

Growth Zone Learning to Enhance Social and Emotional Skills

Speakers: Nicole LaPointe & Katrina Kretschmar - Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Everyone’s growth zone, the space between their comfort and danger zones, is different. In this psychological and emotional space we constructively engage with new ideas, navigate unfamiliar situations, and explore our limits. Getting into and staying in one’s growth zone requires practice, and builds social and emotional skills. Participants will gain an experiential understanding of the Growth Zone Model, learn successful methods for incorporating the model into camp settings, and share evaluation findings that demonstrate a connection between teaching Growth Zone concepts and measuring social and emotional learning outcomes.

Incorporating MESH: A Practical Approach

Speakers: Terri Mulks, Brandon Brichetto, Nicholast McRae - Camp Susan Curtis

As camp professionals, we hear it all the time, MESH: Mental, Emotional, and Social Health. But how do we take all that knowledge we have gained and use it to benefit our campers and staff? One camp will share their successful program model that integrates MESH for all campers and staff beginning with the Application Process and continuing throughout Staff Training, unique teambuilding days, daily activities, relationship building, and evaluation. Plan to ask questions, participate in discussion and activities, and share your own great MESH ideas.

Bringing Groups Together: Community Realized

Speakers: Dave Zamansky - SPEAK Educators

Camp communities are beautiful in their chaos. Participants will experience activities that create deeper relationships in diverse communities with the understanding that we are all connected. When communities are thriving, everyone can be who they are without fear of judgment and feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves. This all starts with our camp directors and filters to our counselors, then CITs, and ultimately to our campers. This highly interactive workshop will concentrate on our communities. New activities and the sharing of stories will engage us, connect us, and make us stronger.

Sessions: 9

Saturday, March 26, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm, Educational Session 6

Make Rainy Days Special Days

Speakers: Roz and Jed Buck - Roz and Jed Training & Consulting

While we may not be able to control the weather at our Camps, we can certainly control how we respond to rainy days.  This session will provide tools and strategies to make sure our rainy days become special days.  We will share a collection of activities that our staff can facilitate in a variety of indoor locations including large open spaces as well as smaller spaces.  We will include a mix of both more active and less active games and activities that can also help create connection and develop into long-standing rainy day traditions that will help our staff create excitement…even on rainy days!

Using Forts to Build Character and Community

Speakers: Patrick Connelly - Connelly Consulting Group & Eric Korp - Camp Korp

This session combines the creative and dynamic presentation style of Patrick Connelly with the knowledge, experience and passion of Eric Korp, the master of forts. Together they will breakdown how you can use adventure programming such as fort building as a tool to help your campers breakdown social barriers, connect on a deeper level, build confidence and self esteem. The beauty of this session is that the concepts can be recreated at any camp, wether you have woods or just a gymnasium.

A Leadership Road Map For Enhancing Your Disability Inclusion Initiative

Speakers: Lisa Drennan - MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting

So, your camp is technically inclusive, but it feels you’re barely getting through the summer supporting campers with disabilities. This is ideal for those seeking to move toward “organizational commitment” or from good to great! Take a deep dive into the principles of inclusion for building an inclusive culture. Next, we’ll move along the “Road Map” of strategic best practice, touching upon staffing structure, sustainability, promotion, making community connections and hiring practices. Attendees will identify specific action points to implement back in your program. No matter where you are on your inclusion journey this is the place and time to move forward toward building more inclusive communities.

Staffing Solutions: From Hiring to Training to Burnout

Speakers: Adam Dubois - YMCA Camp Mataucha & Justin Hubeny - YMCA Camp Sloper

Every camp’s greatest asset is their staff. As leaders, we see generation after generation grow over the course of a season- this process can provide moments of celebration and headaches alike! In this workshop, we will dive deep into the entire staffing process- hiring, training, development, evaluating, and preventing burnout. We will be reviewing the staffing process and will provide some tips and tricks for Camp Professionals to use back at their camp!

Crisis Prevention & Response - Anatomy of an Escalation

Speakers: Emily Golinsky - Bright Moose LLC

This session is essential learning for anyone in need of strategies to help manage escalations (situations in which participants are experiencing heightened behaviors), including aggressiveness. We will cover the stages of behavioral escalation from calm, through triggers and acceleration, to the peak and back down through de-escalation and recovery. We will also address the four major types of aggression; each requires a different and specific de-escalation strategy, which you will learn step-by-step. Finally, we will discuss how to determine which escalated behaviors are beyond your staff’s ability to manage and may require professional intervention.

Your Mind and You: Tools to Navigate Neurological Stress Responses at Camp

Speakers: John Hamilton & Erica Yamaguchi - Camp HOPE America

When was the last time you cognitively processed your response to a situation? Research shows we are twenty times more likely to process the cause of our stress than our response to stress. The combination of media, illness, politics, and natural disasters have made the terrain of life more stressful ever. In this session, we will engage in hands-on activities we can incorporate into training to become more in tune with our own toxic stress and trauma so we can provide care for others.

How and Why to Run a Weddings & Events Business at Camp

Speakers: Moderator: Marie Sorensen - Sorensen Partners | Architects + Planners, Inc, Panelists: Josh Hahn - Somerst, Dan Isdaner - Camp Mataponi, Justin Roman - Camp Kingswood, Mark Van Winkel - Camp Wohelo

The return of in-person events is driving demand for wedding event venues – a trend some camps are benefitting from with a solid calendar of bookings 2 years out, and other camps may want to benefit from through starting or increasing their wedding and events operations. Hear from a panel of private residential camp owners and directors about how and why to run a wedding and events business at your camp. Learn about staffing, insurance, marketing, food and beverage, and facilities requirements and costs. Discuss and consider the benefits and profitability of focusing on a smaller number of alumni events or of running a full-fledged wedding and event operation with up to 30 events a year.

Collective Leadership – A New Style of Leadership in Response to the Digital Age

Speakers: Rebecca Zelis - Songadeewin of Keewaydin

A new model of leadership is emerging as a result of young peoples’ access to information and social media. This model offers astounding opportunities for collaboration and inclusivity, yet also challenges the concept of “Leadership” as we currently know it. The goal of this workshop is to better understand how different generations view their roles and responsibilities in your organization with unique perspectives. Using examples from new media, including the Marvel Universe and Netflix series, we will see how this style of leadership is emerging in popular culture, ways it conflicts with some of our well established systems and traditions, and the potential benefits of embracing some new perspectives on what it means to be a “leader.”

Sessions: 10

Saturday, March 26, 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm, Choose Your Own Adventure Block

Women in Camp

Speakers: Stephanie "Ruby" Compton - Ruby Outdoors

Have you wondered what the heck Women in Camp is all about? Did you know this gathering of camp pros includes folks of all-genders? Did you know there is an annual Women in Camp Summit? During this session, connect with folks who want to learn more about what Women in Camp are up to, experience a brave space, and discover what this unique professional community offers to the camp industry. You might even make a friend! P.S. All-genders welcome at this session.

Your Legal Questions Answered

Speakers: Isaac Mamaysky - Potomac Law Group PLLC

As the industry made it through a second summer of COVID, we look towards a brighter yet still uncertain future.

As we plan for 2022, many camp professionals are running into daily legal questions: What new legal considerations has COVID created for camps? Should we update our contracts with families? Should we ask parents to sign a waiver? Can we mandate that our employees are vaccinated? Should we rethink our retreat agreements? The list goes on and on.

This session provides an open forum to discuss these and other legal questions with Isaac Mamaysky, the founder/director of a large overnight camp and a partner in Potomac Law Group, which has a practice team dedicated to the camp industry.

Pandemic vs. At-Risk Kids

Speakers: Terri Mulks - Camp Susan Curtis

Discussion and sharing about the short and long-term effects of the pandemic on kids with multiple ACES and/or facing economic hardship. What did you and your campers experience this summer and how are you preparing for the future knowing what you know? Let’s talk about the impact of the ongoing pandemic and how we can position our camps to be a place of joy and comfort!

Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Your Camp Nurses

Speakers: Lauren Romanauskas - YMCA Camp Lawrence/ProMedSoftware

Have you ever been flummoxed by how to keep your nursing staff happy? Recruiting quality camp nurses can seem especially difficult in light of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. This session will provide you with some out of the box ways to recruit new nurses to your camps. It will also provide some ideas about training and integrating nurses into camp with a focus on retaining the best ones.

Special Interest Group Gatherings

Speakers:

During this block, there will be space set aside for like-minded camp pros from:

  • For-profit camps
  • Faith-based camps

Have another group you’d like to see meet? Let us know and we can add it!

Sessions: 11

Saturday, March 26, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm, Educational Session 7 & Conference Closing

DUMPING THE DISSING: How to Train Staff to Stop Put-Downs & Other Disrespectful Behavior

Speakers: Michael Brandwein

Support staff in building a respectful camp community in an increasingly diverse world where just reading the tone of social media commentary makes this challenge very clear. This one-of-a-kind session demonstrates precisely what to say and do to confidently handle important negative behaviors, including name-calling, teasing, verbal bullying, and other disrespectful behavior. It provides Michael’s original training tools and activities to train staff—and have them practice immediately—how to be professionally “on” this issue. The big bonus of this session is that by learning these techniques, staff can also use them in dealing with all other undesired behaviors at camp—handling difficult behavior with greater credibility and calmness.

Connection Before Content...It's the Secret Sauce for Success!

Speakers: Roz and Jed Buck - Roz and Jed Training & Consulting

In his 2018 book “Community: The Structure of Belonging” author Peter Block wrote “We must establish a personal connection with each other.  Connection before content.  Without relatedness, no work can occur.”  This premise applies to our camp staff each and every year.  In order for our best work to happen, we need to create connection among our staff.  With the amount of disconnection that we are currently experiencing, this concept is more important than ever.  This interactive session will provide an exciting collection of exercises that camp leaders can use to increase retention, build connection and empower their staff to achieve great things this summer.

The Camp Leader Rises

Speakers: Patrick Connelly - Connelly Consulting Group

This compelling and interactive session is designed to help new and developing camp leaders identify the most common fears and challenges that they will face and provide them constructive strategies to address them.
The Camp Leader Rises combines some elements of the Batman story to help illustrate points and make them interesting and easy to remember.
Each participant will leave with a number of real, tangible action steps that they can actual implement into their work to make them a super camp leader.

Large-Scale Games with Dirt-Cheap Resources: Program Elevation on a Budget

Speakers: Dave Ghidiu & Aaron Proietti - Today's Innovator

This session will bring participants along on a journey that transformed the programming paradigm at YMCA Camp Cory. A shoestring budget a few summers ago (only $2000) meant the program directors had to innovate to meet the high expectations of campers.
This led to the emergence of high-quality all-camp games. And we are sharing them with you. For free! You’ll have access to twenty novel games, encapsulated with all the assets. And you are free to modify them to fit your camp, too.
Come learn about game design and all the things that make all-camp games exquisite (Dramatis Personae, epic music, engaging costumes, pacing, prop building and storage, coopetition, and engagement strategies).

Colorful Fun with the Sun

Speakers: Jen Hargrave

The sun’s light reaches the Earth in eight minutes so in this workshop we’ll be working our way through some fun, repurposed, upcycled, unique, new and maybe old classics to create ways to use that light to create colorful suncatchers that reflect rainbows of colors all around. Come ready to glue, cut, create, fold, paint at least two to three projects but leave with up to five ideas on how you can bring the light from the sun 93 million miles away right here to Earth!

Please Sign Here

Speakers: Isaac Mamaysky - Potomac Law Group

Many camps have used the pandemic as an opportunity to re-evaluate their enrollment agreements, employee offer letters, waivers, assumptions of risk, and various other contracts. While these agreements tend to feel theoretical when everything is going smoothly, they become much more real in challenging times.

Drawing on the speaker’s extensive experience drafting enrollment agreements, employment offer letters, waivers and other contracts for camps, this session will explore various best practices for the many agreements camps use to define their relationships with parents and staff.

The process of Decolonizing your camp program.

Speakers: Shawn Moriarty - Mass Audubon

There is a lot in camp culture and programing that has been culturally appropriated from a wide variety of Native and Indigenous cultures in North America. In addition, there is a lot in our culture in America that is based on a colonizing mindset. So what could it look like to decolonize your camp programming? In this workshop we will go over what Mass Audubon is doing in our camps, education programs, and as an organization overall to decolonize what we do. In addition to sharing what Mass Audubon is doing, we will also explore ways that we as camps can approach this process through what we do, how we do it, the words we use, and the organizational structures we use. And these conversations may be difficult.

Cultivate and (Re)Claim Your Purpose

Speakers: Jabali Sawicki - nXu

Do you, your campers, & staff have a clear sense of purpose? Purpose is a fundamental human motive correlated to major markers of success throughout one’s life. Yet, less than 25% of youth and only 50% of adults have a clear sense of purpose. In this session, participants will explore and learn strategies to foster their own sense of purpose and to help campers & staff develop theirs.

In this session, you will:

-Learn about the benefits of purpose development for youth & adults.
-Experience best-practice purpose & community building rituals & routines.
-Develop & articulate your own purpose statement.
-Explore how you can begin to implement purpose programming with campers and staff.





Speakers

Speakers: A

Kim Aycock | speaker/trainer/educator/consultant

Organization: Kimspiration, LLC

Kim Aycock, MST, has several decades of experience developing young people with skills robots are unable to do. While blending the talents of a master teacher with the knowledge of a seasoned camp expert, Kim ignites the learning for varying levels of camp pros worldwide through her interactive & innovative presentations. Kim speaks at regional/national conferences, contributes regularly to Camping Magazine & ACA blogs, and serves as Co-Chair of ACA’s Staff Recruitment and Retention Committee.

Speakers: B

Michael Brandwein

Organization:

Michael (michaelbrandwein.com) trains camp staffs and leadership teams virtually and face-to face. He’s presented in all 50 states and on six continents. He is the number one best-selling author of staff training and supervision books, including Training Terrific Staff (Vol. 1 & 2), Super Staff SuperVision, (CIT/LIT) Learning Leadership: How to Develop Outstanding Teen Leadership Training Programs at Camp, Skill of the Day: What Great Leaders of Young People Do & Say, and Growing Great Qualities in Kids: The L.A.S.E.R.B.E.A.M. Technique for Bringing Out the Best in Young People. He has presented 3 Emmy® award-winning TV programs on youth communication, has won two ACA national awards, and is a former ACA national board member. He has received the ACA New England Peter Kerns Award for Advancement of Professional Development.

Brandon Brichetto | Program Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Brandon is a long-time staff member at Camp Susan Curtis, serving Maine children facing economic hardship. As a former camper his unique perspective on the benefits of a camp experience provide valuable insights as he creates interesting and interactive daily programs that build a sense of belonging and teamwork. Brandon has a degree in Recreation & Leisure Studies from the University of Southern Maine and works as a full time firefighter.

Phil Brown | Senior Trainer

Organization: High 5 Adventure Learning Center

Phil, originally from England, joined the High 5 team in May 2015 having previously worked in Adventure and Outdoor education for 7 years.
Phil brings high energy and devotion to the Adventure field and has presented at many conferences including ACA New England, ACA Tri-state, ACCT, Northeast and International AEE, BOOST, several regional Physical Education conferences and at the High 5 Symposium. He is also one of the co-authors of the book “Tinker: Building Purposeful Experiences from Classic Adventure Activities” and the producer/host of “Vertical Playpen” – the podcast all about Adventure and Experiential Education.

Roz and Jed Buck | Principals

Organization: Roz and Jed Training & Consulting

Roz and Jed Buck have done what many married couples consider to be “the impossible”…They have worked together, side by side, for almost 20 years. From 2004 – 2016, they owned and directed Meadowbrook Day Camp, a large private camp in NJ, where they trained a staff of over 400 each summer.

Since launching Roz and Jed Training & Consulting, their innovative training techniques and energetic presentations have consistently generated outstanding reviews at a wide variety of conferences. They successfully provide Two Voices, Customized Content, and Real Experience. Roz and Jed have shared their messages with thousands of individuals in 26 states and Canada.

Speakers: C

Sarah Castro

Organization:

Sarah serves as the Camp Director of YMCA Camp Takodah. When Sarah was 10 years old she spent her first week at camp, since then she has held many camp positions from camper to Camp Director. Most recently she worked as the Assistant Director at Fleur de Lis Camp. Sarah has her Bachelors in Child and Family Studies. She is also an active member and volunteer for the American Camp Association, as both an accreditation visitor and New England conference committee member. In 2021 she was awarded the ACA Service and Leadership Award. In her downtime, you can usually find her enjoying the sunshine with friends, family, and her dog. 

Max Claman | Principal Consultant, Speaker, & Trainer

Organization: VestEd Consulting

A former camp director and executive, Max has been working in the camp industry for over a decade, having held leadership roles with both day and residential camps, for both private and nonprofit organizations. Max now serves as an educational consultant, speaker, trainer, and author, facilitating workshops and presenting at conferences since 2014. Max also helps support young professionals in the camp industry, and has served on a number of ACA committees at the regional level.

Jen (Dusty) Clitheroe | Co-Founder

Organization: Strength Perspective

Jen “Dusty” Clitheroe holds a BA in Psychology and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. Jen’s areas of focus include coaching, leadership development, group facilitation, and change management. She has served in both the corporate and non-profit sectors and has been responsible for coaching processes, client relations, mentoring programs, leadership interventions, as well as building leadership and management capability and providing solutions for developing leaders within large corporate organizations. She has also led and served on a number of non-profit boards, striving for equity and access in education as well as organizational capacity for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, leadership development, and organizational change.

Garrett Coler | Sport Director

Organization: LVO YMCA Sports Camp

Garrett is the Sports Director and YMCA of the North Shore Jr. Celtics Director. Garrett oversees the Sports and Day Camps at the Lynch/ van Otterloo YMCA. Garrett grew up attending camps in his youth and loves working with campers all summer long.

Standards Committee

Organization: ACA, New England

The Standards Committee oversees the ACA Accreditation program in New England and its members respresense a diversity of camps and experience levels.

Stephanie "Ruby" Compton | Chief Exploration Officer

Organization: Ruby Outdoors

Ruby Compton has worked for over fifteen years in the outdoor industry at summer camps and in environmental education. Her specialties include staff training and development, productivity, and striving to be the best boss ever. Ruby spends as much time as possible whitewater rafting and is one of the hosts of the staff training podcast Camp Code.

Patrick Connelly | Owner/Operator

Organization: Connelly Consulting Group

Patrick Connelly has been a camping professional for more than 30 years and for the last 15 has been a training and consulting with camps across the country, first as one of the Connecticut Camp Guys and now as the leader of Connelly Consulting Group. Patrick’s camp knowledge and experience, combined with his ability to craft and deliver unique and compelling messages has helped him form niche market. When not working with youth development professionals, Patrick teaches in a magnet school.

Speakers: D

Zach d'Arbeloff | Director of Summer Programs

Organization: Belmont Day School

Zach d’Arbeloff is the Director of Summer Programs at Belmont Day School, a small PK-8 independent school in Belmont, MA. With a background in environmental education and nature camps from a decade-plus at Mass Audubon, Zach’s goal is to more effectively bring aspects of outdoor and environmental education into camp environments that are not implicitly focused on nature.

R Laurence Davis, PhD | Director Emeritus of Nature Programs/ Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Organization: Camp Pemigewassett and University of New Haven

Dr. Davis was Director of Nature Programs and Teaching at Camp Pemigewassett for 50 years. Although he has stepped down from leading the program, he still teaches in it. He is also Professor Emeritus of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Haven. In 2018, he was presented the New England Environmental Alliance’s award for Non-formal Education. He is on the Board of New Hampshire Environmental Educators and has lead field trips and done presentations for them. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and has been chair of its Geology and Society Division and served on its Geology and Public Policy Committee. He has also served on ACA’s Environmental Education Committee.

Lisa Drennan | Founder/Consultant

Organization: MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting

Lisa has a long career people with diverse abilities to be active and engaaged in their community. She was the Director of the Sollar Wellness Center, offering aquatics, fitness, music, and art designed for persons with developmental disabilities. As the Director of Inclusion for her local YMCA, she created an array of inclusive programs including 3 Day Camp sites. While at the Y she led a Resource Group for other Y’s across the country. At her company MERGE, Lisa provides consultation and staff training to community recreation, camp, & sport program providers to help them meet their inclusion goals. She graduated from St Michael’s College in VT and lives with her family in MA. She is an avid fitness enthusiast who enjoys outdoor activities.

Adam Dubois | Outdoor Center Director

Organization: YMCA Camp Mataucha

Adam has been a YMCA Professional in the field of Youth Development and Camp for almost over a decade, he is currently the Outdoor Center Director for YMCA Camp Mataucha (A program area of the Greater Waterbury YMCA) located in Watertown, CT. He has been working in YMCA Camping for 18 years and has been the Outdoor Center Director for 4 years and counting. He prefers to eat his Chex Mix by ingredient.

Speakers: E

Organization:

Speakers: F

Tammy Fortune | Director/Owner

Organization: Camp Wa-Klo

Tammy Fortune just celebrated her 26th summer at Camp Wa-Klo. She started out as a camper and has moved up the ranks to director and co-owner. It was at camp that Tammy realized her passion for youth development. She first attended the University of Denver where she earned a bachelor of arts in Sociology prior to attending Boston College to earn her Master in Education with a focus on elementary education. She taught for several years in Massachusetts but knew her love of camp would lead her to working full time for Camp Wa-Klo.

Speakers: G

Katie Gadapee | Director of Administrative Operations

Organization: Copper Cannon Camp

My husband and I live in Vermont with our two furry children Max, an 8-year-old black Lab, and JoJo Bean, a 12-year-old Beagle. I have my BS in Human Services/Counseling, MS in Sport Psychology, and ABD in Educational Psychology. My dissertation investigates camp culture and how this affects the campers and staff. I love the administrative side of camp, but have done all sides.

My 27 years of camping experience has taken me from one end of the country to the other. I began working for-profit in Maine, turned myself around, and now work non-profit in New Hampshire. I work for Copper Cannon Camp, a tuition-free, residential camp in Bethlehem. I love making a difference in the lives of children! I hope to continue it for a long time!

Simone Gamble | Founder

Organization: OAAARS

Simone Gamble is a community organizer from South Bronx. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Hunter College with a focus on Secondary Education and History and later Social Work and Community Organizing. She has worked at youth organizations focusing on various social justice issues. Simone is also an independent consultant who has led workshops around the issues of safer spaces for people of color. Since 2017, She is the founder of OAAARS that connects talented consultants of color to provide radical professional development training in the fields of social justice, equity, arts, wellness, and education.

Meghan Gardner | Director

Organization: Guardian Adventures

Founder of Guardian Adventures, which provides consultation and development of innovative and educational online and live events specializing in culturally relevant story-based and emotionally immersive experiences where participants are highly engaged and transferring their education from the learning environment into practical use. Meghan is also a story-based adventure designer and staff trainer for Royal Caribbean and a guest lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her free time, Meghan mentors women and minority entrepreneurs in the USA and Uganda and volunteers for hospice where she works with terminally ill patients of all ages as well as their families.

Tracey Gaslin | Executive Director

Organization: Association of Camp Nurses

Tracey Gaslin, PhD, CPNP, FNP-BC, CRNI, RN-BC is a dual-certified nurse practitioner with a doctoral degree in educational and organizational leadership.

Dr. Gaslin treats patients with bleeding disorders and is the executive director of the Association of Camp Nursing, a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and a volunteer for the American Camp Association. Her camp background is in special needs camping. She publishes most of her work in the areas of camp nursing, service leadership, and bleeding disorders care. She serves as a consultant for a camps across the US and Canada assisting them with their health services programs.

Dave Ghidiu | Director of Program Elevation

Organization: Today's Innovator

Dave is a professor of Computing Sciences at a college in upstate New York, but his heart has always been in camping. He has been involved in camping since 1994 where he started his career in the dishroom. Over the years, Dave has held seasonal and full-time positions at different summer camps.

Currently Dave works with camps to elevate programs and align them with organizational values.

He has spoken at national and international conferences for technology, instructional design, Creative Commons, and open content. The marriage between his work as a teacher and camp professional has led to the development of The Two Thousand Dollar Summer – a free and modifiable resource for camp program staff for large-scale games.

Emily Golinsky | Founder/Owner

Organization: Bright Moose LLC

With session feedback including “tremendously helpful,” “definitely not the same-old,” “fun and informative” and “not to be missed – a reason to come to the conference,” Emily is the Founder of Bright Moose LLC. She provides training, coaching, consultation and PD to camps, schools and youth orgs, guided by the motto “Help Others Shine Bright!” Emily sits on the Board of Directors for NHCamps and is an ACA New England Visitor, Conference Committee member, New Camp Directors’ Workshop faculty member, and the Newer Camp Directors’ Roundtable facilitator. Emily spent 15 years as the Executive Director for Camp Starfish (NH), holds a BS in Health Psych and MS in Camp Administration/Leadership, and is an avid collector of terribly awesome puns.

Speakers: H

Josh Hahn

Organization: Camp Somerset

Josh is co-director of Camp Somerset for Girls in Smithfield, Maine. Along with partners, Josh opened the camp in 2018 after a two-year master planning and construction process including a new dining hall, cabins, art spaces, courts and fields, and many other buildings. Along with his passion for camp, Josh’s experience running Washington D.C.-based restaurant group EatWell D.C. influenced the healthy kitchen at Camp Somerset and a robust off-season event business. Josh is also a founding volunteer, and former associate director for Experience Camps, a non-profit organization that provides free, one-week camps to children who have lost a parent or sibling.

John Hamilton | Executive Director

Organization: Camp HOPE America

John collaborates with human services agencies, clinicians, and youth development leaders to offer hope to children around the country. John is an expert in youth programming and trauma-informed care at camp. He brings a unique hope and healing-centered approach to the work, moving people from theory to practice. With a Master’s in Leadership and Cultural Justice from Western Seminary and twenty-plus years of camp experience, John specializes in forging unlikely partnerships and developing unified teams. John and his wife, Lana, live in New Hampshire with their four daughters, Sadie, Kallan, Eleanor, and Wren.

Jen Hargrave

Organization:

Jen is a life-long crafter, her main hobbies are scrapbooking and knitting but she has gone though many craft life stages including stained glass and embroidery. During her 10 years at a Michigan Girl Scout camp, she was the craft specialist for several years and then in a mentor role. Jen is an environmentalist whose passion is taking small steps toward reducing plastic pollution, so you’ll usually find upcycling or recycling a part of her workshops. Since Girl Scout camp she has done crafts with kids and families at many different Outdoor Education centers, Jen has offered workshops at the ACA New England conference for over a dozen years as well as several at the Tri-State conference and her local environmental educators conference.

James Hart | Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Organization: Mowglis

James serves as the Director of Development for Camp Mowglis, where he has served in that role since 2017. James also teaches course in nonprofit management, fundraising, and human resource management at the University of New Haven. James’ passion is helping nonprofits find ways to apply industry-wide best practices in ways that honor the history, culture, and mission of their organization.

Justin Hubeny | Outdoor Center Director

Organization: YMCA Camp Sloper

Justin has been a YMCA Professional in the field of Youth Development and Camp for almost over a decade, he is currently the Outdoor Center Director for YMCA Camp Sloper (A program area of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA) located in Southington, CT, he has been working at YMCA Camp Sloper for 18 years and Outdoor Center Director for 4 years and counting. Justin is also the Camp Chair for the YPN Peer Community Group for Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as a board member for the Connecticut Camping Association.

Speakers: I

Dan Isdaner | Co-Owner

Organization: Camp Mataponi

Dan started attending overnight camp from the young age of six years old. Between being a camper and staff member, Dan spent 18 straight summers at summer camp. After five years in the real world, Dan, along with his wife Marcy, became the Owners/Directors of Camp Mataponi in 1994.  Dan graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Dan and his family reside in Jupiter, Florida when not at Camp.

Speakers: J

Katie Johnson | Senior Risk Consultant

Organization: The Redwoods Group

Katie Johnson has spent 20+ years as youth development professional working with both resident & day camp programs, including 8 years with the American Camp Association. Katie currently works with The Redwoods Group as a Senior Consultant where she is sharing her professional experiences to help camps and youth serving organizations provide safe environments and programs for children and families.

Luke Joines | Program Director

Organization: YMCA Camp of Maine

Luke Joines was introduced to the camping profession in 2015 when he embarked on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program as a Camp Counselor. Since 2015 Luke has progressed through seasonal roles including Boys Unit Leader and LIT/CIT Director. After graduating from England with a Physical Education Degree, Luke was provided the opportunity to complete a 12-month Internship with his current camp. He is currently the full time Program Director at the YMCA Camp of Maine in Winthrop, Maine. Recently, Luke joined ACA New England’s EPIC Committee.

Speakers: K

Christian Kayiteshonga | Director of Photography

Organization: Redbird Media Group

Christian Kayiteshonga became Director of Photography at Redbird Media Group in early 2021. A proud Rwandan, he has fallen in love with Maine and made it home. Chris brings creative and professional insights from his global travels as a filmmaker. He is an avid learner and seeker of different cultures. Chris is an accomplished cinematographer and kind, creative thinker. With a B.A. in Film Making from Full Sail University where he graduated in 2015, Chris continues to grow his unique visual storytelling perspective.

Erin Kelly | Education Manager

Organization: Mass Audubon

Erin Kelly is the Education Manager for Mass Audubon’s Boston region with 23 years of leadership in outdoor environmental education and camp programming. She designed educational programs to meet the needs of urban audiences in diverse communities such as Boston, NYC, and LA.

Erin earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Richard Stockton College of NJ and an M.S. in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England.

At Mass Audubon, she is the camp specialist supporting 18 Mass Audubon nature camps with professional development, organization-wide policies and best practices. At the Boston Nature Center, she oversees two popular nature camps and summer programming that serves children and families from all over Boston.

Eric Korp | Owner/ Operator

Organization: Camp Korp

Eric Korp is a physical education teacher in Southington, CT and has worked at several summer camps including YMCA Camp Sloper. Eric has created several camps on his own, most recently Camp Korp, a summer camp program that feature’s Eric’s Core philosophy. Eric is the master of fort building and he is ready to share his adventure programming experiences.

Katrina Kretschmar | Youth Programs Facilitator

Organization: Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Katrina Kretschmar is the Youth Programs Facilitator for Northern Vermont AHEC. Her current role includes youth engagement, mentor development and team training. Formerly, as the lead consultant at iAm Consulting, Katrina helped individuals, teams, and organizations connect to their core values and create a culture of belonging. Katrina has more than 20 years’ experience in training/facilitating, youth development and program design in camp and enrichment settings. She is a camp kid at heart and is passionate about helping others create a brave space for young people to grow, learn, and have fun!

Speakers: L

Nicole LaPointe | Executive Director

Organization: Northern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Nicole LaPointe, MSW, EdD Candidate, is the Executive Director of the Northeastern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC), part of a statewide network to strengthen the health workforce in Vermont. Nicole earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire in 2001 with a concentration in Community, Administration and Planning. She is a Doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. In her current role, Nicole oversees the design, delivery, and evaluation of programs aimed at improving college and career readiness for rural and underserved high school students after school, and in online and residential camp settings.

Josh Lewis | Client Success Lead

Organization: CampDoc

Over the course of five years at DocNetwork – first as an Account Manager and now as a Client Success Lead – Josh has directly worked with and overseen the Electronic Health Records of over 400 camps and schools across the country. Josh helped implement the build and design of medical forms and waivers for a diverse group of organizations, ranging from small, local nonprofit camps to organizations with thousands of participants that span overseas.

In his free time, Josh can be found backpacking through the woods, kayaking local rivers, and trying new recipes. Josh has an 11-year-old cat and a 3-year-old dog who is full of love and energy and always by his side.

Megan Lynch | Program Director

Organization: Camp Aldersgate

Megan Lynch is the Program Director at Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center in Rhode Island, where she first served as an International Counselor from Northern Ireland in 2010. Megan has worked in childcare settings for over 15 years and is also a member of ACA, New England’s EPIC Committee. She has 2 daughters who are excited to be campers. Megan is a part of the Nerdfighter community which was founded by John and Hank Green which focuses on how to make the world a better place. Megan also enjoys a good cup of tea.

Speakers: M

Isaac Mamaysky | Partner

Organization: Potomac Law Group

Isaac Mamaysky is a Partner in Potomac Law Group, which has a practice area dedicated to the camp industry and represents numerous day camps and overnight camps. He is also the founder and director of a large overnight camp in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

Gwen McNamara | Northeast Aquatics Sales Manager

Organization: American Red Cross

With thirty-five years in the Aquatics industry, including twenty-five as an Aquatic Director Gwen believes in helping others in their quest for success. Gwen began in the aquatic industry as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and CPR and lifeguarding instructor. For the past eight years, she has been with the Red Cross as the Northeast Aquatic Sales Manager and understands the training needs that are required in these unique times and the ability to see multiple sides of a situation. Gwen is currently earning her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and strives to help others in identifying and meeting their organizational goals. She has diverse experience in nonprofit organizations, indoor aquatic facilities, and staffing.

Nicholas McRae | Support Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Nicholas is a long-time staff member at Camp Susan Curtis, serving Maine children facing economic hardship. He created his current role over several years, providing Social and Emotional Learning programs to campers and working with staff to successfully integrate children with high MESH needs into the camp environment. Nicholas has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California and is a social worker for the Portland Public Schools in Maine.

Bo Mitchell | President

Organization: 911 Consulting

Bo Mitchell was Police Commissioner of Wilton, CT 16 years. He retired February 2001 to found 911 Consulting which creates emergency, disaster recovery, business continuity, crisis communications and pandemic plans, plus training and exercises for HQ organizations like GE, Hyatt, MasterCard, four colleges and universities plus 25 secondary schools. Bo earned 23 certifications in homeland security, emergency management, DR, BR, safety and security. He serves as an expert in landmark court cases nationally.
Certifications:
CEM, CPP, CHS-V, CBCP, CSI-ML, HSEEP, CNTA, IAC, MOAB, CHSP, CHEP, CSHM, CESCO, CHCM, CFC, CSSM, CSC, CAS, TFCT3, CERT, CHSEMR, CMC

Shawn Moriarty | Camp Director

Organization: Mass Audubon

Shawn is currently the Camp Director at Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill Day Camp in Sharon MA. He has been working in camps since the 1983. Shawn has worked for for-profit, non-profit, and organizational camps including 22 years with the Y. Shawn has worked at camps in 6 states. Shawn also has along career in the ropes course field and environmental education. He also wrote the book The Ropes of Ecology.

Terri Mulks | Camp Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Terri L. Mulks has a Bachelor of Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University and 25 years of experience with at-risk youth in out-of-school time programming. She incorporates trauma-informed methodology to build collaborative behavior management systems and experiential curriculum while strengthening staff, programs, and operations. She is currently the Director at Camp Susan Curtis (recipient of the 2015 ACA Eleanor Eels Award for Program Excellence) after a lengthy YMCA career. Terri is an ACA Visitor and a Board Member of Maine Summer Camps. She and her husband, Jay, live with their rescued pets and are halfway through a personal lifetime mission to backpack in all the National Parks.

Speakers: N

Speakers: O

Cheryl Oliveira | Education Program Manager

Organization: Mass Audubon's Wildwood Camp

Cheryl is the Education Program Manager for Mass Audubon Wildwood Camp. Previously, she was Site Supervisor of the After School Activities Program and Early Risers Program in Natick MA . She is a lifelong Girl Scout and that is where she fell in love with summer camp. Cheryl has a passion for watching kids experience accidental learning. She is a committed ACA New England volunteer where she has served as a Standards Visitor, Volunteer Liaison for the New England Conference as well as having been the Volunteer and Logistics Coordinator for  Camp Champions.

Phil Owen | Client Success Manager

Organization: CampDoc

Phil is a Client Success Manager at DocNetwork who spends his days working with clients from a variety of fields including Universities, YMCAs, JCCs, camps, after-school programs and more. With a background of over 16 years in the nonprofit world, Phil has a unique perspective when trying to help organizations utilize tools and resources to fulfill their mission in effective and efficient ways.

Outside of DocNetwork life, Phil values time with his wife and trailing around after their 5 kids and their sports or college life. Additionally, he spends far too much time documenting the life of their cranky cat, and cleverly writing third-person bios.

Speakers: P

Marijean Parry | Executive Director

Organization: Fleur de Lis Camp

Marijean “MJ” Legnard Parry is the Executive Director of Fleur de Lis Camp, an overnight girl’s camp in Fitzwilliam, NH. Marijean fell in love with camp as a 10-year-old at Girl Scout camp, launching her life’s work in camping. She received her degree from Springfield College in Recreation Management and has directed camps and outdoor education programs for over 30 years. She has been an active volunteer with ACANE serving on a variety of committees, the Board and Executive Committee, and as an Accreditation Visitor. She has presented at both ACANE and ACA National conferences. MJ currently serves on the Board of NH Camps, ACANE Board Stewardship and Education Committee and as faculty for New Camp Directors training.

Arlynn Polletta | Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Outreach

Organization: The Aloha Foundation

Arlynn Polletta has been an educator for 17 years and holds an Ed.S. terminal degree in Social Justice Education. Previously, she worked at The Pingree School as the Equity & Inclusion Coordinator and Lead Facilitator of the White Educators for Anti-Racism group. At The Aloha Foundation, Arlynn leads DEI initiatives, designs and presents trainings for staff, and develops inclusive programming. Arlynn is committed to working in communities that foster relationship-building across differences.

Suzi Pond | Founder

Organization: Redbird Media Group

Suzi Pond is an awarding-winning digital journalist, producer and storyteller. She is the founder and owner of Redbird Media Group a video/film production company based in Freeport, Maine that specializes in commercial, nonprofit, and fundraising films. Suzi gets camp. From camper to counselor to now camper-parent, Suzi expertly weaves together journalism, documentary and video production skills to deliver cinematic and purposeful videos to her camping clients. Suzi’s work has appeared on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and numerous magazines and newspapers throughout New England. She teaches audio storytelling at Maine Media Workshops and the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain.

Aaron Proietti | CEO

Organization: Today's Innovator

Aaron Proietti is the author of the book Today’s Innovator, and founder of a coaching and training company of the same name. He is an innovation expert with seventeen years of experience innovating in complex organizations. Aaron views innovation not as an activity, but as a core business competency that must be developed, led, and nurtured within both the individual and the organization. Aaron has spoken at numerous conferences on topics related to innovation leadership, innovation strategy, customer-centricity, culture change, and technology trends. Through Today’s Innovator’s Shout.Camp program, Aaron and team advises camps on strategy, future visioning, program design, and more.

Speakers: Q

Speakers: R

Chris Ramsey | Program Director

Organization: Camp Nashoba North

Originally from the New York Metro area, Chris Ramsey began his camping career at Camp Nashoba North in 2005 as a camper. He returned to Nashoba in 2016 as a woodshop instructor, and after graduating from Binghamton University moved into his current role as Program Director in 2018.  Chris has since moved to the Boston area to pursue his career with Camp Nashoba North while coaching part time for Babson College’s Track and Field Program. He is proud to be a member of ACA New England’s EPiC committee and the work they do to help fold new and emerging camping professionals into the greater camping community.

Chris Rehs-Dupin | Co-Founder

Organization: Transplaining

Chris Rehs-Dupin spent the majority of his professional career (17 years) in youth development in the outdoors- including 8 years in overnight programming, and 9 years in day programming. After stepping away from running his own camp Chris co-founded Transplaining, which is working to create a safe(r) world for trans* youth and adults. Chris is a passionate speaker, trainer, and educator- who has spoken at numerous conferences, camps, and to larger organizations.

Vanessa Riegler | Executive Director

Organization: Aloha Foundation

Vanessa Mendillo Riegler is the Executive Director of the Aloha Foundation in Fairlee, Vermont, which operates six core programs: three residential camps, a day camp, a family camp, and an outdoor leadership center. Growing community, providing thoughtful leadership, and empowering others to reach their full potential have been at the core of Vanessa’s career as a non-profit leader. She came to the Aloha Foundation in 2012 as the Ohana Family Camp Director when the program was just two years old, and with her staff, built a growing base of enthusiasts who return year after year. Appointed Executive Director in 2020, just as the world was staring down a global pandemic, Vanessa was charged with navigating the organization through the suspension of Aloha’s summer programs for the first time in over a century, a significant loss in tuition revenue, and a reckoning of our values and what it means to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. Prior to her time at the Alohas, Vanessa spent ten years with Outward Bound and her earliest years with South Shore YMCA.

Ken Robbins | Executive Director

Organization: Camp Kabeyun

Ken Robbins is the Director of Kabeyun, a boys overnight camp on Lake Winnipesaukee, and president of the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association. A Kabeyun camper in the 1980’s, Ken returned as a counselor in 2001, became Assistant Director in 2002, and then Director in 2010. Earlier in his career, Ken worked as Director of Adventure Programs for The Clark Foundation in Cooperstown, NY and as the Challenge Course Director for Sacramento State University. Ken is the president of NH Camp Directors Association. He holds a degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Colgate University, and in the off-season lives with his family in Durham, NH.

Justin Roman | Coach, Music Director, CIT Director

Organization: Kingswood Camp

It was while visiting my brother on “Parents’ Day” that I first stepped foot on the Kingswood grounds. Those White Mountain views over Lake Tarleton immediately felt like home. Ever since, I have not missed a chance to return there every summer, following a path from a junior camper to Music Director, Intern Director and, finally, the Administrator that I am today. I instruct canoeing, baseball, target sports and our music clinics. During the off season, I help coordinate weddings and other events held on the campus as well as taking care of the grounds until we close for winter. I also help coordinate alumni, staff and camper events, and help promote Kingswood at camp fairs.

Lauren Romanauskas | Head Nurse

Organization: YMCA Camp Lawrence/ProMedSoftware

Lauren Romanauskas, RN BSN has been going to and working for camps her entire life. She grew up going to Girl Scout Camp Whispering Pines in Louisiana where she worked for several years. She worked for the Girl Scouts professionally before deciding to go to nursing school. She is a pediatric nurse and school nurse who now finds herself working as a nursing informatics officer and trainer for Professional Software for Nurses. She is also an adjunct professor at Rivier University. She has spent the last 14 summers working as the head nurse at YMCA Camp Lawrence on Bear Island in Lake Winnipesauke.

Speakers: S

Jabali Sawicki | Compass Director

Organization: nXu

Jabali is nXu’s founding Compass Director. Prior to nXu, he was the Senior Director of Inspire at Relay Graduate School of Education and the lead on-camera instructor for Zearn. Jabali also served as the founding principal/Head of School of Excellence Boys Charter School of Bedford Stuyvesant, the first single-sex charter school in NY. He currently sits on the advisory board for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, the Leadership Council of the Robin Hood Foundation in NYC, the National Board of Summer Search, and the Board of Uncommon Schools in NYC. He graduated from Oberlin College with a dual degree in Biology & Philosophy, and from Teachers College, Columbia University with a Master’s in Educational Administration.

Mary Schafhauser | Assistant Director

Organization: Pine Tree Camp

Mary is the Assistant Director for Pine Tree Camp, a program for adults and children with disabilities. After her service in Peace Corps Mongolia, where she focused on summer camp development and working with people with disabilities, she found her two passions becoming her career at Pine Tree Camp. In her time there, she has been actively involved in ACA New England, EPIC, and organization-wide initiatives with Pine Tree Society.

Marie Sorensen | Architect

Organization: Sorensen Partners | Architects + Planners, Inc.

Marie Sorensen is an Architect and Masterplanner whose recent projects include Camp Somerset dining hall, cabins, and masterplan; a 400-acre masterplan for Camp Ramah in the Berkshires; and a dining hall for Camp Marimeta. Marie is a past counselor at Belvoir Terrace and spent every childhood summer away at camp. Camp was the one place she could be a “normal” kid, and Marie is eager to pay it forward. Sorensen Partners | Architects + Planners, Inc. works US-wide with camp directors, owners, contractors, and engineers to build facilities that create life-changing moments for campers and staff.

Doug Sutherland | Executive Director

Organization: Brantwood Camp

Doug Sutherland has been facilitating team building and group development programs over 20 years. He has worked for a variety of camps in the New England area. He believes training and guiding future camp leaders is essential to promoting the advantages of camp. Doug moved to New Hampshire to work directly with children and adults in the outdoors. He has presented at many ACA Conferences, an ACA New England board member, and a member of the New Camp Directors Workshop faculty. He is currently the Executive Director at Brantwood Camp in Greenfield, NH and a DEI facilitator for schools, camps, and organization.

Speakers: T

Dr. Chris Thurber | Psychologist & Educator

Organization: Prep4Camp & Belknap

Dr. Christopher Thurber has dedicated his professional life to promoting the social and emotional adjustment of adventurous youth at boarding schools and summer camps. A graduate of Harvard and UCLA, Chris has served as a psychologist and teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy since 1999. A lifelong entrepreneur, he created Prep4Camp.com and Prep4School.com to teach young people how to thrive away from home. His newest book is The Unlikely Art of Parental Pressure. Learn more at DrChrisThurber.com.

Speakers: U

Speakers: V

Mark Van Winkle | Camp Director

Organization: Camp Wohelo

Mark’s parents and sister were married at camp, as was Mark to his wife Quincy. The name Wohelo stands for Work, Health, and Love. It is within this framework that Wohelo strives to develop life long skills and friendships amongst its campers and counselors. There are more than 5,000 alumnae. Davis and Louise Gulick Van Winkle directed the Wohelo camps for over thirty years and have now passed the reins to their two children, Heidi and Mark and Mark’s wife, Quincy. The entire family enjoys outdoor pursuits and sports. Mark Van Winkle is a standard-bearer for the Wohelo tradition. With 34 years’ experience as a Director at Wohelo and 9 years experience at NOLs, we are lucky to have Mark with us on this panel to share his many years of administrative and creative experience in the camp industry.

Speakers: W

Mackenzie Wallace | Camp Director

Organization: Children's Island Day Camp

Mac Wallace is originally from Florida where he Directed Day Camps for pre school age children. He is currently the Camp Director/Youth Program Director for Children’s Island Day Camp and Lynch Van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead, MA. Mac also worked in Residential camps for 5 years as the Head Counselor for Greenwood Trails Summer camp in Winsted, CT. For Mac camp is the place where you can truly be yourself, and feel supported by the people around you.

Mary Welz | Director of Development

Organization: Keewaydin Foundation

As the Keewaydin Foundation’s Development Director, Mary’s career in fundraising and alumni relations spans 27 years. Before joining Keewaydin, Mary served as Vice President for Vermont Law School’s Development and Alumni Office. She has also held positions at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Norwich University, and the Office of the Chancellor for Vermont State Colleges. Over the course of her career, Mary created three new development offices for non-profits, and has developed and enhanced the operations of several others. This gives her a unique and reality-based perspective on how to run a small shop.

Polly Williams | Co-Founder/ Strength Perspective Acting Director of the Barn Day Camp and IB

Organization: Strength Perspective and Farm and Wilderness

Polly holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education from Slippery Rock University. She also holds a Master of Social Work degree from Simmons College. During the summer, Polly directs the Farm and Wilderness’s Barn
Day Camp, a wilderness camp in Vermont that she has been involved with for 34 years. Polly has worked with boards, schools, colleges, religious institutions, community groups, youth, and adults surrounding issues of equity and justice. She has been a DEI professional for over 20 years. Specifically, trainings on Race, Gender, and LGBTQ inclusion. .

Speakers: X

Speakers: Y

Erica Yamaguchi | Training and Education Manager

Organization: Camp HOPE America

Erica has a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with 20+ years of experience working with youth in a variety of settings such as residential, community and government-based agencies. Before joining the Alliance for HOPE International, she was employed by the Guilford County Family Justice Center and assisted in launching Camp HOPE America – NC. Energized by relationships & community, she provides trauma-informed care and healing centered engagement.

Speakers: Z

Dave Zamansky | Leadership Speaker/Community Builder

Organization: SPEAK Educators

With over 25 years of experience, Dave works with groups of all sizes and approaches leadership opportunities from a different perspective. Dave’s ability to inspire audiences to think in new ways and take risks in new environments sets him apart from other speakers in leadership. Dave is a professional speaker with SPEAK Educators and is the Director of Residential Education at Colby-Sawyer College.

Dave also serves as a Co-Lead Facilitator for the nonprofit organization LeaderShape Inc., facilitating 6-day and 4-day leadership institutes for college students across the country. Leadershape’s mission (and Dave’s) is “To create a just, caring, thriving, world by leading with integrity and having a healthy disregard for the impossible.”

Rebecca Zelis | Staff Wellness Coordinator

Organization: Keewaydin Foundation

Rebecca Zelis is a culture strategist who works with schools, camps, and businesses to build environments that support sustainable collaboration, personal and professional development, creativity, and well-being. Rebecca earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and emphasizes the health and empowerment of individuals are the foundation of strong communities. Rebecca is also the Staff Wellness Coordinator at Songadeewin of Keewaydin.



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