Session & Speaker Details

2024 New England Camp Conference | March 21 - 23

Please note, these are subject to change and all updates after 3.12.24 will be posted in the Conference’s Guidebook app, so please refer to that closer to the conference for the most accurate information.

Click here to see the overall conference schedule-at-a-glance.

2024 Session & Speaker Information

With seven 75-minute educational blocks and three shorter 45-minute blocks (including Lunch & Learns on Thursday and Saturday) we've prepared a blend of sessions and discussion-based opportunities ensuring the conference has something for everyone!


Sessions: 1

Educational Session 1, Thursday, March 21, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Maximize the Adventure, Maximize the Movement

Speakers: Phil Brown, High 5 Adventure Learning Center

Many programs are implementing adventure activities as a tool for advancing social emotional learning (SEL) goals. At the same time many programs need to meet health related fitness goals with their students, and may be challenged to address SEL themes at the same time. This workshop will address the hallmarks of intrinsic motivation, and share techniques and games that get participants physically active while being engaged in cooperative play that relies on mutual support and fun.

Living a S'mores Legacy

Speakers: Kris Ebner Martin & David Oliver, Ebner Camps, Inc.

Living a S’mores Legacy is all about generational camp ownership from the people side: how to navigate “handling” the older, retired generation that still wants to feel involved, how to run a successful people business as the middle generation, and how to gauge the interest and build the legacy of the next generation. Generations and camp families build our s’mores – the foundation, the stuffing, and the promise on top! Kris is a third generation camp owner/operator who has endured the struggles of meeting the expectations of all the living generations. She shares with you her knowledge of and methods for navigating these sticky ingredients!

The Best Donor Recognition

Speakers: Katie Gadapee, Copper Cannon Camp

This session will address how to maintain your donors through donor recognition. It is not about form letters or once in a blue moon phone calls. Even handwritten notes must have the interest of the donor in mind. Come and learn the best way to engage, thank, and recognize your donors.

Operationalizing our DEIJ Strategies

Speakers: Simone Gamble, OAAARS

Since 2020, camps have made a renewed commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) efforts at their camps in order to create a more equitable and inclusive camp experience. However, many individuals and organizations struggle with translating good intentions into sustainable action. This workshop will discuss how camp leaders can build the foundational structures needed for our DEIJ efforts to be impactful. This workshop is designed to equip participants with the skills and strategies needed to stay accountable to our DEIJ efforts and embed them in both culture and policies.

How Gratitude & Celebration Can Connect Your Staff Back To Their Why

Speakers: Jeffrey Harry, Rediscover Your Play

The biggest reason employees leave organizations is that they don’t feel seen, heard, appreciated, and valued. How managers communicate their appreciation to their employees establishes how successful a team will be. What are your leaders doing to communicate their gratitude towards their staff? How can recognizing and celebrating your employees’ successes dramatically improve team chemistry and build psychological safety? We will explore the impact gratitude and celebration can have on a team, examine the psychological ripple effects gratitude can have on an entire company, and break down what actionable gratitude exercises can be implemented in real-time at your camp/organization.

Engaging Staff in Peer-to-Peer Abuse Prevention

Speakers: Katie Johnson & Rachael Wise, The Redwoods Group

Based on the claims and incident reports we see each year, we know that Peer-to-Peer Abuse (often called camper-to-camper abuse) continues to be a challenge within camp programs. These reports also provide important data points about when, where, and how this type of abuse is occurring. Using this information, this session will break down the behaviors and provide participants with staff training tools to further educate staff on this topic, as well as ways to engage staff in your prevention efforts.

Strong Board vs. Weak Board - and Why it Matters to You!

Speakers: David Phillips, Immersive1st

A weak Board is damaging and a strong one challenging – where is the balance and why does it matter? Strong ones can inspire, challenge, delight and frustrate. Weak boards may be easier to manage but have a habit of throwing out what they perceive to be the problem (read: YOU!). This session will help identify the warning signs of a weak/wavering board and how to avoid its quicksand. We will also explore the benefits and challenges that come with strong dynamic Boards. Recognizing the risk/reward ratio is central to a professional’s successful tenure. We will explore a schema to transition from weak to strong. This is some of the toughest and most rewarding work to undertake. Come prepared to interact, consider your approach and have fun.

A Full Mind: Mindful Spaces & Activities at Camp

Speakers: Omar Carranza, Rachel Bergeron & Rosie Boucher, Camp Harbor View

Every kid should have access to mindful spaces and support during the summer. The workshop will introduce camp staff to how mindfulness techniques can be adapted at summer camp to increase children’s social-emotional development.

This workshop will offer a broad overview of the theory and research behind mindfulness-based interventions. In addition, activities and practices to use with youth will be presented, with the opportunity to gain skills through peer practice and feedback from presenters. At the end of the program, participants will be able to implement practical mindfulness activities in both classroom and clinical settings.

Leadership Training = Great Staff!

Speakers: Whitney Ryan, Wyonegonic Camps/Clearview Life Coaching

We know and experience staffing challenges. Each year we look for new and creative solutions to add to our hiring toolbox. It is essential that camps do not overlook the importance of building and maintaining a strong Leadership Program. Your best staff is there, in camp, in the making. Camps need to ensure their Leadership Training Program is effective. The LT participants need to experience and feel their summer experience is one of professional and personal growth and that being a camp counselor is an important step into their future endeavors. Come to ready to evaluate, share, and build your program. You will walk away with a clearer direction and incentive to spend time evaluating and building this essential feeder program.

Classroom Management at Camp?! Behavior Management Strategies that Work, Inspired by the Classroom

Speakers: Jarod Wunneburger, Farm & Wilderness Foundation

We know teachers can hold it down. Teachers regularly wrangle students who struggle to focus, don’t always want to be there, and have individualized needs. While we don’t often see this at camp, we can learn from them. In this session participants will receive a version of Camp Behavior Management 101 that has been used for years at Camp Timberlake. This session teaches behavior management strategies and routines that work in the classroom and are adapted for camp. Best part – campers still will love camp. The session is a mix of strategies that have been used in public and charter schools and is great for current summer staff, those who train summer staff, or those who manage camper behavioral health.

Sessions: 2

Educational Session 2, Thursday, March 21, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Leadership Pathways at Camp: New Insights & Tools to Support CIT/LIT Programs

Speakers: Laurie Browne, American Camp Association, Inc.

Developing leaders from our camper populations is one of the most promising ways camp leaders can mitigate the challenges they face when recruiting, hiring, and retaining camp staff. Join us to learn about ACA’s Leadership Pathways Project, which seeks to strengthen and expand CIT programs, especially for youth who traditionally face barriers to engaging in these programs. We will discuss promising practices, share a new toolkit, and describe how camp leaders can receive grant funds to support their leadership development programs.

Tough Conversations - How to Engage Instead of Avoiding Them

Speakers: Jen Clitheroe, Strength Perspective

I don’t know about you but I am not a fan of difficult conversations! No matter how much we wish we were able to avoid them, having difficult conversations is a part of our universal experience, especially when we are in a leadership role. In order to keep our personal and professional relationships strong, we need to understand not only the other person’s feelings but also our own emotions if we are to come to a mutual understanding. When it comes to achieving positive interaction dynamics when dealing with tough staff subjects, there are actually quite a few practical skills that can be learned. Come explore the things that can make having difficult conversations easier.

Learn How to Capture Important Camp Moments

Speakers: Greg Cronin, GC Training Solutions

Meaningful moments can create lasting moments anytime, anywhere. A big part of camp is the way these moments happen and who they happen with. What happens to people when they talk about their stories and how do they encode their memories? When campers try things for the first time, achieve their goals, or challenge their comfort zone, they expand their skill set. This fun session will help you to identify these moments and teach you how to facilitate the transformational aspects of experiential learning.

Words Matter: Let's Get On The Same Page With Disability Inclusion

Speakers: Lisa Drennan, MERGE Inclusion Consulting

We will start this session by analyzing the term “Inclusion”using person first language & reviewing disability etiquette. Next, we’ll break down the different models on how your programs can be offered: Specialized, Adaptive, Integrated, or Authentic Inclusion – and understand the core elements, benefits & challenges to each model. We’ll 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.

Ugh, I Have to Call a Parent!

Speakers: Emily Golinsky, Bright Moose LLC

OK, this is nobody’s favorite task. And, it’s also not as scary/intimidating/your-word-here as you think it will be. Parents and guardians are people too – and you share a common goal, which is for their camper to have the best possible camp experience. Using this united intent as the baseline, we’ll dive into a practical plan for initiating and responding to challenging conversations about campers, including preparing, identifying potential roadblocks, surviving first contact, solving problems collaboratively, and yes, even getting through getting yelled at. This session will prepare you to approach these necessary and sometimes complicated conversations with confidence, grace, and a solid skill set (rather than dread and angst…#winning).

In Emergency Response, Great Plans Are a Smart Thing; Training Is Everything!

Speakers: Bo Mitchell, 911 Consulting

Smart plans are critical. But, if we don’t get the words off the paper and into staff’s heads, we have failed. COVID 19 and the Sandy Hook active shooter both reinforce that training is everything given that staff can’t and won’t run to look at binders for response in a real emergency. What are the legal requirements for training? What are the current practices and obstacles in organizations regarding training? What are the proven ways to train for emergencies? How does your organization compare?

Playing Team Games Through a Social Justice Lens

Speakers: Chris Rehs-Dupin, TQAMP

We know them, we love them. Team games are a great way to get campers skilled in solving problems collaboratively, building effective communication with each other, and understanding group power dynamics. These skills are also essential parts of building social justice practices into the fabric of your camp community. During this session we will talk about how to frontload inclusive practices into team game actvities, play games that promote belonging and community, and understand debriefing strategies to help young people and adults understand the complicated relationship between power, oppression, and justice.

Written Documentation. It Can Make or Break Your ACA Accreditation Visit

Speakers: Elizabeth Snell, ACA New England

Did you know the top reason for a camp to fail its ACA Accreditation visit is paperwork? The time you put in to preparing this information can make all the difference.

Join me for a session focusing on this all important piece of preparation for your Accreditation visit. In this session we will show examples of ways to organize your paperwork, offer tips to get you on the right track, discuss methods to organize documentation, and highlight common errors so that you can avoid these pitfalls.

Bring your Standards questions and lets get ready to get organized!

From Sunscreen to Storm Shelters: Navigating New Rules for Summer Camps

Speakers: John Spelman, Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center

Explore the dynamic realm where climate change meets summer camps in this session. Uncover innovative strategies to adapt traditional activities to changing weather patterns, ensure camper safety in the face of extreme conditions, and foster a deeper connection to nature. Join us to rewrite the playbook for a resilient camp experience.

Nurturing Wellbeing Under the Sun: Prioritizing Mental Health in Summer Camps

Speakers: Chris Stoddard, Plymouth State University

Camp is usually a fun and exciting place where kids (and staff!) learn and grow. Despite best intentions and efforts, camp can also be a place where children and adolescents struggle. This session will provide perspective and guidance around how to embrace and address the complexities around supporting camper + staff mental and behavioral health. Using practical examples and a solution-oriented approach, this session will provide actionable ideas around supporting camper wellbeing.

Sessions: A

Lunch & Learn A, Thursday, March 21, 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

Enabling Camp Careers: Helping Staff Find Employment Opportunities Year Round

Speakers: Ellis Boettger, Natures Classroom

Let’s collectively shape a sustainable and fulfilling camp career pathway while retaining a passionate and committed staff. Assisting staff in securing off-season employment can bolster staff retention, contributing to a more dedicated and engaged team. In this session, we will provide tangible information that you can provide to your staff as well as discuss other opportunities attendees have found to benefit their staff.

The Key Steps to Creating a Trauma Informed Sensitive Environment

Speakers: Bridget Cepalia, Vita Health

The purpose of this session will be to inform, educate, and instruct camp counselors, administrators, and directors in the area of trauma-informed care. The information presented will provide attendees with the knowledge necessary to establish trauma-informed sensitive environments within their respective camps. Furthermore, instruction will be imparted on establishing policies, procedures, and effective leadership that is imperative for the formation of an effective system capable of change and adaptation as needs arise. An opportunity for a brief questions and answer session will be available at the conclusion of the presentation.

The Hidden Community at Camp – What’s Happening Online When You’re Not Looking?

Speakers: Jeff Jubelirer, AMSkier

Before Google, Twitter (“X”), Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat & TikTok became as part of your everyday off-season lives as S’mores and canteen are in-season, you could sigh come August when you waved goodbye to the last departing bus. These days, however, while the calendar notes the close of camp, it truly never ends, at least online. Protecting your camp’s reputation is a 24/7, 365-days per year season. With the punch of a few keystrokes, parents, counselors, campers and alums can harm the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. But here’s the good news. You have the power to determine whether your camp benefits or suffers as a result. Learn from a camp PR expert about steps you can take today to protect your camp’s online reputation.

Balancing Authenticity and Security: Integrating Wi-Fi and Camera Solutions in Camping Environments

Speakers: Sam Newberry, Adam Heft & James Palmisano, Iserv

In the heart of nature, the essence of camping remains timeless. As the world evolves, so do the needs for connectivity and security. This session delves into the importance of both Wi-Fi and camera security in camping environments, emphasizing the need to strike a balance between maintaining the authentic camping experience and ensuring safety.

Newer Attendee Round Table/Lunch

Speakers: Luke Joines, Y Camp of Maine & Marcie Glad, Help My Spreadsheets

Is this your first time (or two) at the New England Camp Conference? Are you here without a team? Grab/bring your lunch and come to this informal session to get to know/chat with other conference attendees.

Sessions: Th Evening

Evening Programs, Thursday, March 21

Camp Manch


Enjoy an evening “at camp”. Meet new people. Catch up with old friends. Choose an elective, and enjoy your evening.

More details to come!

Sessions: 3

Educational Session 3, Friday, March 22, 8:45 am - 10:15 am

Camp Program Quality: Your Journey Starts Now!

Speakers: Laurie Browne, American Camp Association

Camp program quality is an evidence-based approach to staff training, program design, and continuous improvement that is fundamentally about one thing: campers. By focusing on campers and their unique needs, we are one step closer to consistently safe, inclusive, and engaging camp experiences. Camp program quality is a widely used approach to training, assessment, and improvement that meets you where you are at. Join us to learn about these resources and how you can get started, and why your camp is likely already well on its way.

Managing Team Capacity

Speakers: Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson, EduCare Training and Consulting, LLC

“Professional requirements continue to change, and expectations increase. Your day is full of competing priorities, and it seems there is no end of the pressure in sight. Your team members are giving their all, but not experiencing much progress. They feel exhausted like hamsters on an ever-changing wheel. To harness team energy and see real results, you must manage team capacity.

In this session, Dr. PBJ will facilitate an interactive experience where leaders will establish a foundation of connection and communication while practicing a new model for managing personal and team capacity. Participants will learn and demonstrate a locus of control model that will identify the priority of all the priorities and focus work effort toward documented progress. Leaders will learn where to focus their energy when it seems everything is important and urgent.”

The 7 Orientation Sessions Your Staff Are Asking For

Speakers: Max Claman, VestEd Consulting

Based on input from frontline staff spanning a number camps across the nation, this session will share and provide a walkthrough for seven distinct orientation sessions that you should consider for 2024, and that you can easily provide. This session will also review some big-picture concepts about the changing nature of orientation, as perceived by the staff who experience it. Attendees can expect an action-packed session that will feature a sampling from seven unique orientation sessions!

What Kind of Leader Do You Want to Be?

Speakers: Greg Cronin, GC Training Solutions

Each decision you make in camp influences your ability to be effective. Supervisors provide some guidance, but your credibility increases each time you demonstrate characteristics of positive personal development. All day long you make judgements that are evaluated by campers and staff. You need to find a balance between being good at your job and showing what you have the capacity to achieve. This session will clarify what leadership is and is not by providing 5 key areas for you to follow. Come ready to have fun and learn about your authentic self.

Setting Up For Successful Disability Inclusion

Speakers: Lisa Drennan, MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting

The key to a successful inclusive summer? Start now! Disability inclusion doesn’t start the first day of camp. Inclusion is the intentional work we do every day, planning for the success of ALL. As we explore what inclusion IS (& ISN’T), we’ll dissect the three S.I.T. steps (Staffing – Intake – Training) that will put your organization in prime shape to welcome, engage and support participants with diverse abilities this summer.

Managing Diverse Teams with a Trauma Informed Lens

Speakers: Makela Elvy, BIPOC Leadership Advancement at Camp Coalition Inc. & Donna Chioke-Colbert, Inspired Life Counseling, LLC

Diversity typically leads to better outcomes and you’ve worked hard to improve the diversity at your camp. But managing a team is hard and being sensitive to how your leadership style impacts your team is a skill not taught in most spaces. This workshop will help you to avoid the pitfalls that can trigger team members whose life experiences differ from yours and help you have your most innovative and successful summer yet.

Supporting Child Campers in Managing Stress

Speakers: Taylor Levesque, MGH Aspire

Camp challenges children and teens to participate in inherently-stressful activities. To best support young campers in having a positive and enriching summer experience, it is helpful for staff to be able to recognize stress within their campers and understand that certain challenging behaviors may be the manifestation of stress. This session will discuss how to identify the physical signs of stress exhibited by child campers and provide specific coping strategies to support them. This session is best suited for camp staff that will be working directly with campers or training staff that will be working with campers.

Let's Have Some Fun

Speakers: Stephan Lockney, MetroWest YMCA

Come and play with other camping professionals. This session will involve playing a variety of fun (human tic tac toe, gladiator ball), weird (minnesota handshake, evolution), interactive (leeches, hollywood squares), and most importanly silly (woosh bong, speed rabbit) games that are likely new to you and that can be used at staff trainings as ice-breakers, teambuilding, and movement breaks. If time permits we’d also love you to be ready to share any fun, weird, silly games you know!

It’s About You - The Alchemy of Camp Fundraising

Speakers: David Phillips, Immersive1st

Camps employ professionals who are typically effervescent, smart, engaging and dynamic. This combination is the alchemist’s dream and should result in plenty of precious metal coming your way! So why do some camps struggle to raise money and retain donors and others find it easy? The answer lies in understanding the interplay of art & science and how an authentic approach can engage philanthropists. Come prepared to interact, consider your own approach and have fun. Everyone is welcome from experienced practitioners to those discovering the alchemy of fundraising for the first time!

Preparing Frontline Staff to Support Trans* Campers

Speakers: Chris Rehs-Dupin, TQAMP

No matter where you are on your journey to discover how to best support trans* campers, it is essential to prepare your staff to build compassionate connections with campers of all gender identities. This session will include how to open this conversation with your staff prior to your camp season, and what essential building blocks your training should include to ensure that campers of all gender identities feel like whole, valued participants in your programs.

Supporting LGBTQ+ Campers When Their Parents are Not Affirming

Speakers: Chris Rehs-Dupin, Transplaining for Camps

There is a mental health crisis amongst LGBTQ+ youth in our country. Every 45 seconds an LGBTQ+ young person in America attempts to take their own life. Only 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ youth are affirmed in their homes, and we know that having access to a strong and accepting community can increase their overall well-being and lower their risk of suicide and self-harm. How can camps be the community that these vulnerable youth need in order to build resilience and feel affirmed as their true selves? We will do an overview of what laws govern parent disclosure and how can camps protect themselves while protecting campers of all genders and sexualities.

Sessions: 4

Educational Session 4, Friday, March 22, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Advocacy 101: Come Learn How To Be An Effective Local, State & Federal Advocate for Camps!

Speakers: Scott Brody, Camps Kenwood & Evergreen

In the old days, camp professionals could afford to just keep their heads down and do the work. In recent years, we have learned that one way or another, federal, state and local authorities can deeply impact our ability to run our camps, for better or worse. Wage & Hour Laws, public health regulations, permissible hiring practices, building codes, fire codes, insurance regulations and the ability to host international exchange visitors have all emerged as hot button issues for camps across the country in the last few years. This session will help you learn the core skills of effective advocacy so that you can join with other camp leaders and engage with your state and local representatives and regulators to advocate for workable solutions. Plus, advocacy is a skillset that will serve you well with your boards, funders, parents and others. Come join the fun!

The Adventure Trail - Urban, Suburban, Rural, and Remote

Speakers: Jim Cain, Teamwork & Teamplay & Shawn Moriarty, A Single Footstep/Mass Audubon

Welcome to a new edition of the Adventure Trail, featuring non-wilderness variations, stories from camps that implemented Adventure Trails in 2023, an entirely new collection of activities and even more ways to create your own version of the Adventure Trail for your campers and staff. Learn how to explore the stages of group development while immersed in your local environment, anywhere in the world.

Caring for the Special Needs Camper in Traditional Camp Settings: Considerations and Potential Limitations

Speakers: Tracey Gaslin, Alliance for Camp Health

Many traditional residential and day camps are asked to care for youth who may have additional health care needs from mobility challenges to medical conditions and neurodivergent situations. Camps often question their capacity to care for these individuals in a safe way. This session will outline some of the key considerations when asked to serve populations that are not the norm for your camp.

What’s Your System for That?

Speakers: Marcie Glad, Help My Spreadsheets & Maggie Magner, Summer Fenn Day Camp

“This session is about solving puzzles, breaking down components of a problem, identifying “ins” and “outs”, standardizing your kid/human-centered systems you have at camp, and seeing how a well-designed spreadsheet can make you and your staff happier.

Join for a case study of how Summer Fenn responded to a staffing issue and ended up revamping their process for planning electives.

This session involves spreadsheets, but it’s not about spreadsheets. It’s about making a system that makes sense and reduces friction points.”

Why The Barbie Movie Has The Answer To Building Psychological Safety In Your Workplace

Speakers: Jeffrey Harry, Rediscover Your Play

85% of employees are disengaged at work. We have more resources than ever telling us Barbies and Kens, every day is a great day, yet we know from our experience that this isn’t true.  The Barbie movie not only lifted the veil of patriarchy and misogyny, but also showed how we can create a world and workplace where we all can feel recognized and understood.  The Barbie movie embodies the zeitgeist of our time, mapping out an ideal future of work where feminine and masculine leadership are both celebrated.


In this workshop, we will explore how can we learn from characters like weird Barbie on building psychological safety, so our staff feel seen, heard, and appreciated.  We’ll dive into how to embrace our inner Alan, so that we can show up uniquely as who we are rather than feeling forced to fit inside a toy box. Finally, we will challenge the patriarchal expectations in this Barbie/Ken world, aiming to build workplaces of the future that represent not only who we are but who we want to become.

Stress Management for Camp Staff: Kleenex Box Strategies

Speakers: Kathleen Hilchey, Third Way Conflict Specialists

“We know that camp is a full-on experience – between the needs of campers, the long hours, and short breaks, life at camp can get overwhelming all too often. In this interactive breakout session, Kathleen will step you through a series of stress management techniques to find ways to keep stress at bay. In this session, you will explore (by experiencing!):
– What parts of your life help keep stress down, and which actions or choices increase your stress.
– Some research-backed mindfulness techniques.
– A toolkit of movement techniques that will bring cortisol down.
– Some ways to express your discomfort or needs to those around you.
– How to fit these new tools into your busy camp day.”

CITS – Our Future Leaders and a Risk Management Gray Area

Speakers: Katie Johnson & Rachael Wise,The Redwoods Group

Whether you call them CITs, LITs, Jr. Counselors or Future Leaders, providing opportunities for our next generation of leaders is a natural extension of the camp experience. Yet, having young leaders (minors) in leadership roles also presents a unique set of risks and challenges. This session will delve into this grey area, highlighting essential risk management practices to keep your campers, CITS, staff, and camp community safe.

Support Avenue 2.0

Speakers: Megan LaCroix, Dakota Brichetto & Brandon Brichetto, Camp Susan Curtis

Using feedback from 2023 and more data, we are back with more ways for you to support your staff! The MESH (Mental, Emotional, and Social Health) needs of our staff are going up and we must find ways to adapt to make them successful in the camp environment. Join us (for the first-time or again if you were here in 2023) as we traverse down Staff Support Avenue, where different techniques, including small groups and continuous feedback cycles, help to get your staff ready for a successful summer.

Helicopters and Lawnmowers: Working With Instead of Against Parents and Caregivers

Speakers: Chris Rehs-Dupin, TQAMP

As we work to improve lines of communication with caregivers, they are more freely expressing their frustrations with camps–sometimes in ways that aren’t very constructive. In this session we will explore what may be lurking beneath those frustrations so we can more effectively address their concerns. We will learn standard de-escalation techniques, how to build useful communication scripts, and how to care for ourselves and our staff after a potentially harmful caregiver confrontation.

DEIB, There's a Policy for That!

Speakers: Doug Sutherland, Doug Sutherland Consulting

Well, maybe there is not a policy yet. A policy of zero tolerance does not necessarily lead to the the growth and understanding we seek in the camp environment. When it comes to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) policies it could be even harder. Questions such as, “What do you do if someone uses the n-word towards another person?” or “If there is a fight and both are feeling unsafe at camp, what do you do?” This session will provide a framework of developing policies to help answer these questions.

Sessions: B

Short Session B, Friday, March 22, 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

What is ACA Doing in Washington DC and How Can My Camp Benefit?

Speakers: Scott Brody, Camps Kenwood & Evergreen

Come and hear about ACA’s ambitious federal agenda, and how you can support our advocacy efforts in DC. Current hot topics include protecting the Bridge USA J-1 visa programs, future federal support for the role camps play in MESH support for campers and staff, recognition of the workforce development value of working at camp, making sure camps can secure property insurance in a challenging market, the deductibility of overnight camp tuition, and other important federal matters. We will also discuss ACA’s Hill Days on May 8th and 9th, and how you and your camp community can participate!

Assessing Our Assessments: Let's Review Our Feedback & Evaluations

Speakers: Max Claman, VestEd Consulting

Setting clear expectations is a hallmark of staff orientation, but are we doing a good enough job setting clear expectations about how we give/receive feedback at camp? This session will provide tips and tools you can use to help evaluate and enhance your feedback systems at camp, and ways you can more effectively enhance your staff’s growth and development before campers even arrive. Participants should expect the opportunity to share with one another during this session.

The Stress of it All: Family, Camper and Staff Current Challenges and Needed Support

Speakers: Tracey Gaslin & John Hamilton, Alliance for Camp Health

It seems we are hearing a great deal about the current stress and anxiety of many different populations. Young and old, near and far, bold and meek who are trying to navigate life with sometimes limited support and resources. This session will share some fun tools and ways to support stakeholders (families, campers, staff) who desire a camp experience to change, to learn, and to engage. Come join us to gather take aways for your camp that support well-being and learn more about ourselves in the process.

Camp Schedules Round Table

Speakers: Marcie Glad, Help My Spreadsheets

“Your camp schedule influences each and every aspect of camp. You need to find an arrangement of time and frequency that makes your campers and your staff happy. Once you do, you have to put it on paper and comb through all the details. And THAT, my friend, can be a very daunting task.

Let’s gather together and learn from each other as we share the details of our scheduling. Conversation topics include:
-Assigned activities vs. Electives?
-Mechanisms, software, and systems for creating/selecting schedules
-What are the bottlenecks in your schedule? How do you address them?”

An International Spark

Speakers: Megan Lynch, Camp Aldersgate

The “International Spark” session aims to explore the enriching potential of incorporating international staffing into summer camps. With the world becoming more interconnected, cultural diversity is a valuable asset that can significantly enhance the camp experience for both campers and staff. This session will delve into the benefits, challenges, and best practices of international staffing, highlighting how it can create a vibrant and inclusive camp environment.

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Speakers: Isaac Mamaysky, Potomac Law Group and Camp Zeke

This is a highly-engaging session about the contracts that govern our relationships with parents, vendors, retreat groups, and staff. What key provisions should these agreements contain? What are the main considerations when evaluating the strength of our contracts? What are the downsides of reusing contracts that we “borrow” from other camps? Drawing on the speaker’s extensive experience drafting a wide range of contracts for camps, this session will explore best practices for the many agreements camps use to define their commercial relationships.

Let's Play GAMESS (Great Activities Making Everyone Smile & Safe)

Speakers: Bob McAdam, Wheeler School (Wheeler Summer Camp)

Do you like to play? Do you like to have fun? Do you want to learn and share some games, activities, and ideas with your colleagues? Well than come to this session and play some GAMESS with Bob, including different levels of beanbag tag, group juggling, and balloon volleyball. There will be some giveaways and maybe even a karaoke break during the session.

At-Risk & Underserved Campers Round Table

Speakers: Terri Mulks, Camp Susan Curtis

Join us for an honest and hopeful discussion about providing transformative experiences to at-risk and underserved youth. This will be a no-agenda conversation to connect with one another and share resources around children experiencing trauma, facing economic hardship, and other challenges in the camp community.

Putting Body Positivity on the Menu at Camp

Speakers: Cristin Wipfler, Cristin Wipfler Nutrition; Kingswood Camp

“The focus on size and appearance in today’s social culture is causing higher numbers of disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and mental health complexities. Impressionable campers look up to their counselors as role models and absorb everything they see and hear. Thus, creating an environment that promotes body acceptance over body shaming has a direct impact on the health of the camp community.

This session will share the most up-to-date research about body image and how diet culture can skew individual’s perceptions of themselves, help camps examine their own camp culture, and guide them in developing best practices so campers fuel their bodies while at camp and return home happy and healthy.”

Sessions: 5

Educational Session 5, Friday, March 22, 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

I Have a Waterfront Now What?

Speakers: Dakota Brichetto, Camp Susan Curtis

Waterfronts are one of the most dangerous activity areas at camp, and one of the most widely enjoyed. How do you create an environment that you know is safe AND fun? How do you set up your waterfront? How do you create a staff team of lifeguards, and non-lifeguards to ensure that every camper is safe and enjoying all the activities your waterfront has to offer? These are all questions that will be answered as we discuss expectations at your waterfront to ensure that your waterfront is the best of the best.

Moving Past Microaggressions Towards a Safer Camp Culture

Speakers: Makela Elvy, BIPOC Leadership Advancement at Camp Coalition Inc.

There are other ways to foster belonging and promote racial equity at camp than a discussion on microaggressions. Sure, identifying microaggressions and addressing them is important, but in this workshop we will deepen the discussion by taking a look into the root causes of microaggressions and identify ways your camp may be able to promote racial equity in a way that leads to more tangible outcomes.

Cooperative Large Scale Games

Speakers: Dave Ghidiu & Aaron Proietti

Are you sick of playing adversarial games at your camp? Want to bring in cooperative games instead? Check out this session for examples of cooperative games (or competitive games that rely on “coopetition”). After exploring several examples of large-scale games that buck the competitive trend, we’ll debrief and collectively identify ways to modify existing games to be more cooperative.

Please Just Do Your Job!

Speakers: Emily Golinsky, Bright Moose LLC

Do you wonder “why don’t my staff take initiative?” We know that staff will do well if they can, so we should be asking “why can’t my staff take initiative?” For our current generation of staff, this is an issue of lacking skill, not will. The good news: skills can be taught! Join Emily for a thoughtful, engaging look at why many staff are currently lacking this skill and more importantly, what we can do to encourage growth. We’ll dive into proactive efforts you can take at the interview and reference checking stage to seek out high-initiative candidates, explore things you can do during training to build the resourcefulness skillset, and highlight some coaching options you have in-season to encourage ongoing growth in this essential area.

Fundraising for Nonprofit Summer Camps

Speakers: James Hart, Camp Mowglis / Elm City Solutions

This session will combine an exploration of fundraising essentials for camps and useful ways to deploy industry best practices on a budget. We will discuss how to utilize your board best, donor stewardship, new donor acquisition, as well as development planning, and a look at where camps fall in the bigger picture of philanthropy in America.

Working on Cultural Appropriation in your Camp and Relationship Building among Your Constituencies

Speakers: Andy Lilienthal, Camp Winnebago

“Since March 2021, Maine Summer Camps has been working to address concerns raised by representatives from the Wabanaki Tribal Nation regarding cultural appropriation in camp and in doing so has produced tools and resources, including an Indigenous Appropriation Assessment Tool for camps.

This session is designed for camp leadership who are interested in building an understanding of:
• What cultural appropriation is and why it is important for camps to discuss and act on;
• Who the stakeholders are in this work at your camp (e.g. alumni, staff, donors, etc.); and
• The cultural audit tool and how it can help you assess your camp’s degree of cultural appropriation and to better understand what steps you can take to create an action plan that turns a negative into a positive.”

Reasonable Accommodations: Our Obligations Under the ADA

Speakers: Isaac Mamaysky, Potomac Law Group and Camp Zeke

This session will provide a comprehensive overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act so participants walk away knowing exactly what the ADA requires of them, what protections it offers to employees and campers, and how to approach ADA questions. We’ll examine case studies volunteered by audience members to consider how the ADA applies to real-world scenarios in the camp industry. The session will also include plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Intense Feelings of Missing Home: Adjustment to Separation in a Hyperconnected World

Speakers: Dr. Chris Thurber, Camp Belknap & Phillips Exeter Academy

Intense feelings of missing home (or “homesickness,” as campers and parents call it) can block any benefits of your carefully created camp program. Even worse, homesick kids monopolize your counselors’ time, lower your return rate, and spread bad press about your camp. Fortunately, there is a solution—a way to promote emotional adjustment to separation from home—but it requires three surprising things most camp directors overlook. Learn to implement them now and enjoy a happier camp this summer.

How to Keep Staff on Your Team Throughout the Summer

Speakers: Dan Weir, Day Camp Community

As a supervisor in a camp setting, your role evolves from creating magic to assembling the team that brings that magic to life. Building this magical team begins on day one and extends well beyond the summer season. In this session, we will explore the formula for optimizing your team’s performance throughout the summer. We will delve into essential aspects of performance management, focusing on achieving a balance between flexibility and setting boundaries. Being a leader in Summer 2024 requires leading by example, emphasizing communication and integrity. Using various examples from visiting 25 camps during summer 2023, we will illustrate promising practices for training your leadership and camp staff to optimize their performance.

Navigating Difficult Conversations using Play

Speakers: Lauren Yee,

“Does the idea of having challenging conversations make you cringe? It doesn’t need to! Communication is a sandbox, and when you play in it, it can lead to building trust, establishing inclusivity, and creating psychologically safe spaces where people can thrive. If we don’t talk, we can’t learn, and ultimately relationships fracture.

We’ll walk through low-stakes activities that will provide you with play-oriented tools to practice exploring language and tone, shifting perspectives, and questioning the stories in your head. Replace confusion with clarity by adjusting your communication habits that will help build a stronger, healthier future for us all.”

Sessions: 6

Educational Session 6, Saturday, March 23, 10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Teachable Moments - processing, debriefing, reviewing and reflection for groups

Speakers: Jim Cain, Teamwork & Teamplay

Jim Cain, one of three co-authors of the book A Teachable Moment (one of the most loved reviewing books on the planet), shares his newest collection of powerful techniques for processing, debriefing, reviewing and reflection.

Developing Change From Camp Evaluations

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

Your summer is over! You made it through the long haul and sent our your Camper Experience Survey before turning on your away message and enjoying some much needed R&R. Your families are giving you honest feedback- the good, the bad, and the ugly on how the summer went. Now what? Learn how to turn your valuable feedback into actionable items with your team to make the next summer the best that it can be!

Design Your OWN All-Camp Game

Speakers: Dave Ghidiu & Aaron Proietti

Come join us in a workshop where we will design a unique all-camp game! We will briefly cover some broad game design concepts and principles and how they related to all-camp games. Then we’ll look at a few examples of novel all-camp games. And then spend the bulk of our time digging in and facilitating game design for you as you create a game for your camp! No previous experience necessary. This workshop also provides a model for camp leadership to use during staff training to have program staff develop bespoke programs.

Wonders of Weaving

Speakers: Jen Hargrave, Deer Valley YMCA Family Camp

Come explore different materials you can use when creating wonderful woven projects, including paper, basket reed and yarn. We’ll be exploring lots of skills including measuring, cutting, knot tying, taping, twisting, laughing as well as weaving itself. Participants can expect to complete 2-3 projects at the workshop but walk away with ideas for many more.

Supervision & Support: Reviewing the Basics

Speakers: Terri Mulks, Camp Susan Curtis

In our everchanging world, supervision is never the same twice and staff members now require more support than ever. Together we will review some of the basic tools and techniques of supervision and staff support that will either build your skills or refresh your knowledge! Join us for an honest presentation about today’s challenges and some great tips and tricks for everything from Applications & Interviews to Coaching & Supporting. Walk away with a few new ideas and easy to implement resources for Summer 2024.

Sports are for Boys & Art is for Girls: Unintentional Gendered Messaging You May be Sending Your Campers

Speakers: Marco Seaberg, Camp Howe

“Gender inclusion isn’t limited to transgender and gender nonconforming campers. Every camper experiences gender, and gender inclusion is necessary for all of our campers. Learn about how we are accidentally limiting campers’ experiences in our communities.
This session is designed to critically examine and explore your own camp’s programming and find simple ways to improve it. In a world where gender is becoming a more expansive and complicated word, how will you respond in your camp community?”

Charting A Path Forward: Nurturing Equity and Authentic Belonging at Camp

Speakers: Nyaunu Stevens & Sandra Vonniessen-Applebee, The National Conference for Community and Justice/NCCJ ANYTOWN

Where does your camp’s compass point for genuine inclusion and belonging? Developing your guiding star requires an in-depth understanding of equity and cultural dynamics. This workshop, tailored for all camp professionals, emphasizes the discovery and creation of environments where every camper truly belongs, rather than merely fits in. Navigate along with experts skilled in inclusivity, cultural competency, and cultural humility within youth settings. This highly interactive session explores strategies to cultivate a genuine sense of belonging and charts a course to steer your camp towards the equity horizon, offering each camper an experience infused with an authentic appreciation for their own identity and the identities of others.

From Freaking Out to Dialed In: Emotion Regulation Strategies that End Bad Behavior

Speakers: Dr. Chris Thurber, Camp Belknap & Phillips Exeter Academy

Think your staff have a robust collection of behavior management tools, or were some camper misbehaviors still beyond their reach last summer? Rather than focusing on superficial “tips” that work only for minor behavior problems, learn to tame the wild emotions and distorted thinking that fuel major eruptions. This practical workshop also includes preventive strategies to reduce aggression and intense anxiety. Bring new calm and confidence to camp by enhancing everyone’s emotional intelligence.

How to Market When Attention Spans are 3 Seconds Long

Speakers: Dan Weir, Day Camp Community

The essence of a camp experience can be challenging to express. Communication is key in every relationship, including camp families. Now on social media, it is documented that the attention span is around 3 seconds long. To keep a person’s attention, all posts, images, and videos must fall into one of three categories: educational, empowering, or entertaining. We will talk about best practices with social media, crafting a call-to-action, and create FOMO (fear of missing out) for every camper and staff.

Lesson Planning for the Young (Camp) Educator

Speakers: Jarod Wunneburger, Farm & Wilderness Foundation

Great programs start with great planning. Teaching inexperienced educators how to plan well can be a daunting task. Camp Timberlake has adapted the Natural Cycles model to create consistently great programming through a unified language around a simple and flexible model. This model will feel intuitive because it is, giving young educators a powerful tool. Participants will practice using the model and see how it can be used for a single activity or to plan an entire summer.

Sessions: C

Lunch & Learn C, Saturday, March 23, 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

The Kids ARE Going to be OK: Mental Health at Camp

Speakers: Caroline Christie, Upper Valley Wellness Consulting

There is tremendous awareness around the mental health challenges our campers and counselors face in our post-COVID world. The data is alarming, but there are countless reasons to be optimistic, and camp is one of them. Join Caroline Christie in an information session discussing evidence based universal interventions to support our campers and staff in gaining and accessing skills to overcome barriers to success. Take the next steps in providing transformational summers to a population with changing needs-but also tremendous potential for resilience. Learn how an understanding of the physiology of anxiety and depression, can help campers build skills they can take out into the world.

Preventing and Managing Challenging Behavior at Summer Camp

Speakers: Jill Fenniman, Camp Takodah

During this session participants will learn about the science of behavior and the why behind challenging behavior. Participants will learn the common functions of behavior and be better able to analyze the antecedents and consequences that impact behavior. Participants will gain an understanding of strategies that can be used to prevent challenging behavior. Additionally, we will discuss how to respond and analyze challenging behavior situations. We will discuss common behavior challenges we see in the camp setting and how we can better educate our staff to manage those situations. Participants will walk away from the training with numerous strategies they can use to better support their campers and staff.

There’s an App(rentice) for That! (Round Table)

Speakers: Megan LaCroix, Camp Susan Curtis

Every camp calls it something different: LIT, CIT, Leaders, Junior Counselor, Apprentice. Regardless of the name, the structure is often similar and has its challenges. This round table will talk about one camp’s structure for its leadership development program while also opening up to hear how other camps are structuring their programs to best fit the needs of their campers and future staff.

A Well-Oiled Machine! How Do Families Describe YOUR Transportation Process?

Speakers: Jeannine Lawless, J. Lawless Consulting

Come find out how a large, fully outdoor day camp moves hundreds of campers in and out through one entrance! Spoiler alert…through years of trial and error and a willingness to take feedback and make changes. Moving from an old-school bullhorn to a barcode scanner, our families now agree that our arrival and dismissal process is “seamless.” Come learn some best practices and work together to brainstorm and solve your own camp’s unique transportation challenges!

Navigating the Storm Through Summer - Parenting Style (Round Table)

Speakers: Megan Lynch, Camp Aldersgate

Parenting is a journey full of challenges and adventures, and navigating the camp season can be particularly exciting and demanding. In this round table we will be discussing things that can/ have come up during the summer session. This session is for parents and camp people who are thinking of parenting world.

Sessions: 7

Educational Session 7, Saturday, March 23, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Doing Well by Doing Good: Translating Your DEI Values into Effective Policies and Practices

Speakers: Jacob Brier, Butterfly Benefits

The presentation will begin by reviewing the benefits of holding Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity as important elements of a camp’s values. Following the overview, it will inspire and equip camp professionals to focus on ways to align the organization’s policies with those values. It will provide examples of how to implement practices and programs that make campers, staff, parents, board members and all of a camp’s stakeholders feel a shared sense of inclusion and belonging.

Games That Teach

Speakers: Jim Cain, Teamwork & Teamplay

A short course in how to present activities that explore specific topics, such as leadership, teamwork, creativity, problem solving, character building, decision making, trust and more.

Too Much To Do: Making Staff Training More Efficient

Speakers: Stephanie "Ruby" Compton, Ruby Outdoors LLC

There’s never enough time for staff training, ever. During this action-packed session, hear several strategies for designing an effective and efficient staff training, no matter how many minutes you have to train camp staff. Learn a process for prioritizing what to include during your pre-camp trainings as well as how to simultaneously make training more useful for returning staff. Ready to update your training and enjoy facilitating again? Join in and be ready to take notes, reflect, and even play a little bit too.

Why Nature Matters

Speakers: Allyson Gilbert, Camp Susan Curtis

Over the last decade there has been a dramatic decrease in children’s connections to nature and their environment. This has led to an increase in health challenges and developmental delays. The best fix? More environmental education programming in informal settings such as summer camps! This session will cover background information, as well as tips on how to have your programming make the biggest impact. Participants will walk away with the tools they need to create reflection questions targeting camper connections to the outdoors, as well as resources surrounding program development. Let’s help kids get reconnected with the outdoors!

How to Help Our Hardest Campers

Speakers: Kathleen Hilchey, Third Way Conflict Specialists

We know these campers all-too-well. They can be explosive, sullen, tearful, or refuse to participate. How is it possible to handle them AND provide a good experience for the other campers in the group? Kathleen will help you make sense of these campers, and give you concrete tools to work with them. By combining restorative justice and trauma-informed conflict coaching practices you will learn how to help these campers feel calmer, understood, and, find ways to engage them with the group in a positive way.

Day Camp Counselor's Toolbox

Speakers: Stephan Lockney, MetroWest YMCA

Preparing day camp staff for the summer is much more than just teaching them games, songs, and teambuilding. This session will explore how to create a Tool Box to support day camp staff in their efforts to be the best version of themselves. We will look at games at a deeper level and how age groups, energy, and weather determine how and what to play. We’ll explore how counselors can go above and beyond and what that looks like and means. And, we’ll talk about what is hands on management of campers and the 7 skills to invite cooperation in children and get to see, touch, and play with actual day camp staff toolboxes.

Staff Mental Health and Morale: Mitigating Burnout

Speakers: Nick Teich, Fairwinds Camp Consulting

This session will discuss the emerging trend of front-line staff feeling more burned out and less appreciated than ever. The session will give tangible, tried-and-true ideas for helping camps make their staff feel more supported and able to care for campers all summer long. There are several components that must work in harmony in order for camps to see results, and as a camp founder, longtime director, and social worker, Nick will give you concrete takeaways in this session.

All Brains Welcome: Neurodivergence at Camp

Speakers: Lauren Yee & Maddy Gabor

“All Brains Welcome” is all about getting the best from ourselves, our teams, and our time. This brain-focused inclusion workshop will help participants understand the basics of neurodiversity, such as ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, through informative and engaging hands-on activities. Pulling from evolutionary psychology and cognitive behavioral science, this interactive training teaches participants the language, tools and practices necessary to understand and embrace different types of thinkers. It explores why and how our brains function and what we can do to empower neurodivergent people and build the most inclusive and fruitful camps for staff and campers.


Speakers: A

Speakers: B

Rachel Bergeron | Clinician

Organization: Camp Harbor View

Rachel Bergeron is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). As a member of the Clinical Team at CHV, she supports the wellness, empowerment, and community growth of young people in the Leader in Training (LIT) Program. Rachel is a youth development professional with experience providing counseling services and addressing everyday struggles and goals, including communication, friendships, and anxieties. She is dedicated to creating trusting relationships with young people and helping them develop social-emotional skills, mindfulness, and a sense of empowerment. She is passionate about nurturing community-centered relationships and creating brave spaces where young people can feel safe to express themselves and advocate for their needs.

Ellis Boettger | Assistant Program Director

Organization: Natures Classroom

With 14 years in the camping world, Ellis is a passionate outdoor educator. Having worked in various day camps and year-round facilities, Ellis is now the Assistant Program Director at Nature’s Classroom, an environmental and outdoor education organization. His dedication lies in teaching and empowering others through the wonders of nature, creating meaningful experiences, and fostering a love for the outdoors.

Rosie Boucher | Clinician

Organization: Camp Harbor View

Rosie Boucher is a CHV clinical team member, currently serving as the Wellness Clinician for the 11th-grade Leader in the Training cohort. In this role, she focuses on providing complementary and exploratory experiences for young people alongside the Leadership Academy curriculum, which provides opportunities for reflection, community building, and self-discovery. Rosie’s previous work experience has centered around offering expressive therapies to predominately BIPOC youth within a school-based setting, specializing in play and art-based therapy.

Dakota Brichetto | Skills Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

​​Dakota has been involved with Camp Susan Curtis for 20 years, seven of those years as a camper. As a camper Dakota knew that she wanted to be a lifeguard and worked hard to earn multiple waterfront related certifications, including LGI and WSI. Dakota worked in a leadership role at the waterfront for seven summers creating a safe environment, building programming, adapting teachings for the at-risk youth population, and mentoring and training staff to be successful. In addition to being a professional at the waterfront, Dakota has begun to work as an Occupational Therapist at Camp Susan Curtis.

Brandon Brichetto | Assistant 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 with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Southern Maine and works as a full time firefighter/paramedic for the City of Westbrook, Maine.

Jacob Brier | Principal

Organization: Butterfly Benefits

Jacob Brier (they/them) is an experienced Human Resources professional with a passion for community building and helping organizations interact inclusively with their people in productive ways. Jacob earned their MBA in organizational leadership from Johnson & Wales University. Their connection to summer camp is as a former camper, counselor, Leaders In Training program coordinator, year-round philanthropy officer, and they are a current parent of a summer-camper. Jacob runs an organizational engagement consulting business and served as a member of the Town Council in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Scott Brody | ACA Government Affairs Chair, Owner/Director

Organization: Camps Kenwood & Evergreen

Scott Brody is an educator and thought leader in the areas of 21st Century Learning, Workforce Development, and Child Development. He is the Founder of Everwood Day Camp and the Owner and Director of Camps Kenwood & Evergreen. Scott is also a strategic partner of IDEAS Education in Beijing, China. Scott is the former National Board Chair of the American Camp Association and serves as an Executive Board member of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning in Washington, DC, and as a Board Member of the Foundation for Jewish Camp in NY, NY as well as other state and local boards. Scott has represented the camp profession in Washington, DC, for the last several years and has led presentations for the US Congress on the ways in which learning experiences like summer camp promote college and career readiness.

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 both nationally and internationally. 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.

Laurie Browne | Senior Director, Research & Education

Organization: American Camp Association

Dr. Laurie Browne is the Senior Director of Research for the American Camp Association. In this role, Laurie and her team work to improve, elevate, and expand the value of the camp experience through research and continuous learning. Much of the team’s work today is informed by the findings of ACA’s National Camp Impact Study, which elevated the importance of program quality, camp-school partnerships, and understanding and mitigating financial, geographical, and cultural barriers to camp attendance. Outside of ACA, Laurie is an avid long-distance triathlete, a (not-so-avid) gardener, and mountain lover. She lives with her family in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson | Founder

Organization: EduCare Training and Consulting, LLC

Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson, known in her community as Dr. PBJ, gives educators the strategies for accomplishing purposeful work without burnout. Dr. PBJ is an educator of almost 25 years and an Executive Coach for more than 10 years. She holds a doctoral degree in Education Administration, served in executive leadership at colleges and universities, and facilitates leadership training as a faculty member for the Center for Creative Leadership. Dr. Jackson worked in higher education at many levels, from student assistant to President’s Cabinet and is the recipient of several professional awards and accolades. Dr. Jackson founded EduCare Training and Consulting, LLC out of a purpose pouring in to those who pour out so much. Much of her work is specifically focused on equipping and refreshing educators. Compassionate work can carry a high price tag: your mind, body, spirit and relationships may be in distress as you serve the needs of others. Dr. Jackson leads her community to serve well without paying an ultimate price.

Speakers: C

Jim Cain | Author

Organization: Teamwork & Teamplay

Teambuilding Guru Dr. Jim Cain is the author of 29 books filled with team and community building activities from around the world. His train-the-trainer workshops are legendary in the adventure-based learning community.

Bridget Cepalia | VP of Operations

Organization: Vita Health

Bridget Cepalia currently serves as the VP of Operations at Vita Health. Vita Health is a mental health telehealth organization who focuses on high and low acuity adolescents and specializes in suicide care. As a mother of three young adults, the youngest of which were proud sleep-away campers from the ages of 8 and 9, Bridget draws on her unique experiences supporting her children’s behavioral health in her role at Vita. She is pleased to partner with ACA, New England as well as individual camps, and looks forward to collaborating as Vita Health continues to expand our camp services.

Donna Chioke-Colbert | Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Organization: Inspired Life Counseling, LLC

Donna Chioke-Colbert, LCSW MSW has over 20 years of experience working in the mental health field. Throughout her career, Donna has supported diverse populations ranging from those living with HIV, LGBTQIA populations, and chronic or terminally ill individuals during pivotal life-changing events. Donna is a graduate from Yeshiva University, and as a sincere believer in the dignity and worth of all people, Donna is dedicated to empowering people to be agents of change in their respective lives.

Caroline Christie | Mental Health Consultant/ Private Practice Therapist

Organization: Upper Valley Wellness Consulting

Caroline Christie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified School Social Worker, private practice therapist, and camp professional with over 15 years of camping experience. Most recently, Caroline was the first Wellness Coordinator for the residential camps of the Aloha Foundation. Caroline uses mental health best practices to support organizations in creating strength-based communities focused on connection, effective wellness policy, and evidence-based strategies and interventions to support campers and camp staff. Caroline believes in the positive life changing power of a high-quality summer camp experience, and works to support in offering those transformational summers.

Max Claman | Principal Consultant

Organization: VestEd Consulting

A former camp director and administrator, Max has worked in the experiential education field for close to two decades, having held leadership roles with both day and residential camps, for both private and nonprofit organizations. Max serves as an educational consultant, speaker, trainer, and author, facilitating workshops and presenting at conferences across the country. Max has helped support dozens of camps throughout North America, and has engaged with thousands of camp professionals and staff since 2008. His workshops have ranged in size from one-on-one coaching sessions to large-scale trainings with over 1,000 participants.

Jen Clitheroe | Principal/Consultant

Organization: Strength Perspective

Jen “Dusty” Clitheroe is the Principal Consultant for Strength Perspective, a consulting firm that works with organizational leaders and their communities, empowering individuals to create more inclusive organizations, environments, and teams. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MS in Organizational Leadership. She has also served on a number of non-profit boards (including the Farm & Wilderness Foundation and Summer Camps) working to support sustainability, providing consultation for Diversity Equity Inclusion & Belonging strategic planning, leadership development, workshop facilitation, and organizational change management. She also serves on the Board of ACA, New England.

Stephanie "Ruby" Compton | Chief Exploration Officer

Organization: Ruby Outdoors LLC

Ruby Compton has spent over fifteen years working in the outdoor industry in summer camps and environmental education programming. Ruby focuses her work around guiding folks to foster connections with nature, design intentional staff trainings, and practice setting boundaries. She is also passionate about the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina where she resides and where there is an outdoor adventure for any weather condition. She is the Chief Exploration Officer for her company Ruby Outdoors which is an organization designed to help busy professionals be more present and confident outside.

Greg Cronin | President

Organization: GC Training Solutions

Greg Cronin, MPA, CCD, was a camp director for over 30 years and has been conducting staff trainings since the early 1980s. He is a conference speaker, consultant, staff trainer, award winning author, former American Camp Association (ACA) National Board member, and standards visitor. Greg has trained 1000s of camp staff nationwide on the complexities of leadership and youth development. His 50+ innovative workshops are designed to help staff gain valuable skills through sharing and interactive participation. Greg has appeared on TV, radio and is a frequent contributor to Camping Magazine and is featured in ACA’s “By the Expert” book series with chapters on leadership and staff training. He can be reached at

Speakers: D

Lisa Drennan | Founder | Inclusion Consultant

Organization: MERGE Inclusion Consulting

Lisa has a 39-year career supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be active and engaged within their community. At New England Village in Pembroke, MA, she gained experience in working as a Direct Support Worker and eventually as the Director of The Sollar Wellness Center specifically designed for this population. In 2014, she joined the South Shore YMCA as the first-ever Association Director of Inclusion, creating innovative programs and comprehensive staff trainings to build a culture of inclusion. In 2018 Lisa started her company, MERGE Inclusion Consulting, where she provides consultation, staff training and systems implementation to community entities committed to disability inclusion.

Adam Dubois | Outdoor Center Director

Organization: YMCA Camp Mataucha

Adam Dubois is the Outdoor Center Director for the Greater Waterbury YMCA. He has overseen YMCA Camp Mataucha in Watertown and YMCA Camp Oakasha in Southbury for the last 6 seasons. Adam enjoys volunteering as an Instructor for the American Red Cross, and leads classes regularly. Adam graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Community Recreation and Youth Development. He currently serves currently on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Camping Association and is a Peer Community Leader for the CT/RI YMCA Alliance.

Speakers: E

Kris Ebner Martin | President and CEO

Organization: Ebner Camps, Inc.

“Kris Ebner Martin is a third generation camp owner. She grew up at camp as a camper, CIT, counselor, waterfront director, program director and director. She is now the President and CEO of Ebner Camps, Inc., which operates 2 residential camps and 2 day camps, as well as a wedding/banquet facility, in NW Connecticut. Kris has worked at a private school in the Boston area and as ED of a YMCA camp in Florida before returning to her roots in CT!

Kris has served as chair of the ACA NE conference, a standards visitor and instructor, and as an aquatics instructor trainer for more years than she cares to count! She has three boys, two daughters-in-law, and one granddaughter, with another grandchild on the way!”

Makela Elvy | Executive Director

Organization: BIPOC Leadership Advancement at Camp Coalition Inc.

Makela (she/her) is a camp consultant dedicated to fostering community, and revolutionizing summer outdoor leisure programs. With 8+ years of experience in curriculum development and training, she formed a nonprofit: the BIPOC Leadership Advancement at Camp Coalition (BLACC) to humanize how camp institutions approach leadership development for BIPOC camp professionals. We aim to ensure BIPOC are provided equal opportunities for safe exploration and viable career pathways within the industry.

Speakers: F

Jill Fenniman | Family Relations Director/Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Organization: Camp Takodah

Jill has spent the last eight summers working at Camp Takodah in various roles including division head, behavior specialist, assistant director, and most recently Family Relations Director. Jill has a bachelors degree in early childhood education and a masters degree in special education and behavior analysis. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and spent four years working in education as a teacher and a behavior analyst. Jill is extremely passionate about disseminating the science of behavior to best support children of all ages across multiple settings. Jill has provided behavior training to Camp Takodah’s staff team for the past two summers and is excited to share with more camp professionals.

Speakers: G

Maddy Gabor | C.E.O.


Maddy is an impact-obsessed, life-long learner with a passion for leadership, data, and play. She was born in Minnesota, raised in North Carolina, and currently resides outside of Boston; she often pulls on her cross-cultural life experience in her professional leadership. Driven by a dedication to understanding and an unending belief in human betterment, Maddy envisions a more empowering, engaging, and compassionate world. Using analytics as the tool and values as her compass, she pursues this vision relentlessly.

Katie Gadapee | Director of Administrative Operations

Organization: Copper Cannon Camp

Katie has been in the camping industry for 30 years and is working on her dissertation for Educational Psychology. She has been working at Copper Cannon Camp for 6 years and have found her niche! For Katie, it is a passion, not a job!

Simone Gamble | Founder

Organization: OAAARS

“Simone is an independent consultant leading workshops with nonprofits, schools, camps, and after school programs centered in youth work around the issue of safer spaces for people of color with an intersectional, anti-oppressive lens.
Simone has been active in the camping world for over 10 years, ranging in roles from counselor to Assistant Camp Director. They have seen all levels of camp and this has guided their lens when consulting on creating safer and inclusive spaces for all campers. Lastly, They are the founder of OAAARS – a community of consultants of color that offer social justice centered training to create saf(er) & inclusive workplaces with the hopes to cultivate agents of change in the workplace and beyond.”

Tracey Gaslin | Chief Executive Officer

Organization: Alliance for Camp Health

Dr. Gaslin completed her PhD in Educational and Organizational Leadership and taught for 10 years specializing in pediatric development, service leadership, and research on gratitude. Dr. Gaslin publishes the majority of her work in the areas of pediatrics, camp nursing, behavioral health, and service leadership and has co-authored several texts. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Alliance for Camp Health where she travels and trains individuals regarding health services and well-being of youth and young adults. She continues to be an active speaker, writer, and publisher representing the Leading Voice in Camp Health to promote hope and healing in youth serving programs across the US and Canada.

Dave Ghidiu | Chief Program Elevator


Dave has been involved with resident camping since 1994. He grew up working at YMCA Camp Cory in the heart of the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. After twenty years of seasonal and full-time jobs at camps, Dave pivoted to higher education. Currently he is a professor of computer science and director for the Center for Teaching and Learning at a college in upstate New York (though he still is actively involved in camping as a contributor and consultant).
His work in camping is through the lenses of program elevation, cognitive science, SEL, and employee empowerment.

Allyson Gilbert | Leadership Team

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Allyson Gilbert has spent the last ten years working at Camp Susan Curtis in a variety of roles. Starting as a cabin and program staff member, she worked her way through various leadership positions including the Science and Nature Director and Bunkline Director. After working in so many different roles, Ally sees the impact a positive camp experience can have on children’s sense of purpose, resilience, and confidence. In the off-season Ally works as a high school science teacher, sharing her love of the natural world with a different group of youth.

Marcie Glad | Spreadsheet Consultant

Organization: Help My Spreadsheets

Marcie Glad had her first summer camp experience going to church camp at the age of 12 and she HATED it! Luckily, she got over the homesickness, made friends, and embraced a career in the camp industry. She specializes in staffing, programming, and creating resident and day camp schedules using Excel. Marcie launched her own spreadsheet consulting company in 2023 to help camps be more streamlined in their administrative work. Marcie earned her MBA from Boston University and has a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. Her superpower is knowing the exact size of Tupperware to use for leftovers.

Emily Golinsky | Founder/Owner

Organization: Bright Moose LLC

Emily’s sessions get called “tremendously helpful,” “definitely not the same-old-same-old,” and “not to be missed–a reason to come to the conference!” Emily retired from a 15-year role as Executive Director at the therapeutically-based Camp Starfish (NH) to found Bright Moose, LLC (, which provides training, consultation, and PD for camps, schools and youth organizations nationwide. Emily is the VP for NHCamps and is a visitor, NCDW faculty, and facilitator for ACANE. She is a Special Education Advocate and MHFA Instructor, has a BS in Health Psych and MS in Camp Admin/Leadership, and is pursuing her Higher Ed Teaching Certificate through Harvard. Fair warning: she is an avid collector of terribly awesome puns.

Speakers: H

John Hamilton | Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer

Organization: Alliance for Camp Health

John is a strategic leader in the camp and out-of-school time (OST) fields. He currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer for the Alliance for Camp Health. John has a deep understanding of mental, emotional, and social health (MESH +) of youth and national program expansion. Prior to ACH he served as the national director for Camp HOPE America. John has an MA in Leadership and Cultural Justice, is the cofounder of the Outdoor Wellbeing Lab, and is a former executive director of a camp near Lake Tahoe.

Jen Hargrave | Environmental Education Director

Organization: Deer Valley YMCA Family Camp

Jen is a life-long crafter, main hobbies being scrapbooking and knitting. During her 10 years at Girl Scout camp, she was the craft specialist and mentor for several years. 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 GS camp she has done crafts with kids and families at many different Outdoor Education centers and camps across the country. Jen recently accepted a job at Deer Valley YMCA Family camp in Pennsylvania, where there is a whole craft building. Jen has offered over a dozen workshops at the ACA New England conference, as well as several at Tri-State and at local outdoor educator’s conferences.

Jeffrey Harry | Positive Psychology Play Speaker

Organization: Rediscover Your Play

Jeff Harry combines positive psychology and play to heal workplaces, help teams build psychological safety and assist individuals in addressing their biggest challenges by embracing a play-oriented approach to work. Jeff was selected by BambooHR & Engagedly as one of the Top 100 HR Influencers and has been featured in the NY Times, Mashable, Upworthy, Huffpost, Shondaland, Wired, & NPR. Jeff has worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff to infuse more play into the day-to-day. Over the past 15 years of facilitation and speaking, Jeff’s main goal has been to help work suck less by assisting leaders in building a playground workplace atmosphere.

James Hart | Director of Development

Organization: Camp Mowglis / Elm City Solutions

James has served as the development director for Camp Mowglis for nearly ten years and operates a private nonprofit consultancy focused on outdoor education and youth development. He teaches courses in nonprofit fundraising, nonprofit management, and youth development at Southern Connecticut State University and the University of New Haven. James is passionate about helping nonprofit summer camps deploy industry best practices in ways that both honor their mission and speak to the distinct community of THEIR camp.

Kathleen Hilchey | Founder & Lead Trainer

Organization: Third Way Conflict Specialists

Kathleen Hilchey spent 10 summers working in camping and outdoor-education and then over 10 years teaching in the secondary public system. She is now a conflict specialist in Ontario, Canada. She works primarily with camp staff to help them find the tools needed to meet our campers’ mental health and relationship challenges. Kathleen also works directly with clients and trains professionals (including camp staff!) on her conflict management strategies for complex conflict. She has an M.Ed. in Peacebuilding Techniques from Brock University and is a Qualified Mediator.

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 has been Outdoor Center Director for 6 years and counting. Justin is also a Peer Community Leader for the YPN Peer Community Group for Connecticut and Rhode Island as well as a board member for the Connecticut Camping Association.

Speakers: I

Speakers: J

Katie Johnson | Senior Consultant

Organization: The Redwoods Group

Katie Johnson has spent 25+ years as a youth development professional working with both overnight & day camp programs, including 8 years with the American Camp Association. In 2016, Katie joined The Redwoods Group as a consultant where she is sharing her professional experiences to help camps and youth serving organizations provide safe environments and programs for children and families.

Jeff Jubelirer | Public Relations Partner

Organization: AMSkier

Jeff Jubelirer is an AMSkier Partner specializing in public relations and media support. Along with being a former camper and camp counselor, Jeff comes to AMSkier with nearly three decades of professional experience in issue management and crisis communications, and serves as a camp public relations expert to help directors and senior staff with the media, parents and virtually any kind of communications support needed.

Speakers: K

Speakers: L

Megan LaCroix | Staff Development Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Megan has worked at Camp Susan Curtis for 8 summers, helping serve Maine children facing economic hardship. At CSC, she works to ready high school aged campers for the workforce, whether in the camp environment or in the real world, while also supporting newer staff members. This work also influences her work as a middle school teacher, where a portion of her students are also CSC campers. Megan has a degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Special Education, from the University of Maine at Farmington and works in the Oxford Hills School District in Maine.

Jeannine Lawless | Owner

Organization: J. Lawless Consulting

Jeannine Lawless has an extensive background in operations and marketing. Most recently, she served as the Associate Director of Operations and Communications at Camp Sewataro, a large day camp in Sudbury, Massachusetts (and her childhood camp). Having experienced camp from the lens of camper, counselor, and parent, Jeannine brings a unique perspective to camp operations and communications.

Taylor Levesque | Associate Program Manager

Organization: MGH Aspire

Taylor is an avid camp enthusiast with ten years of experience working in summer camps for children with special needs. This summer, Taylor returns as a Camp Director to MGH Aspire’s Adventure Camp. Aspire specializes in supporting individuals with high-cognitive Autism Spectrum Disorder to achieve success in social competency, stress management, and self-awareness. Taylor sees each child through a holistic lens, supporting campers with a developmentally-informed, play-based approach to intervention. In her Camp Director role, Taylor trains 60+ staff members and supports 100 campers. Year-round, Taylor works in Aspire’s Child programs, leading social groups, special events programming, curriculum development, and staff supervision.

Andy Lilienthal | Director

Organization: Camp Winnebago

A third generation owner, Andy was raised at Winnebago and has been the owner/director for the past 23 years. Andy’s work in the camp world extends outside of Winnebago. He has chaired a national committee for the American Camp Association, served as a board member to the Association of Independent camps (AIC) and is the former president of the Maine Youth Camp Foundation (MYCF). Andy and his wife Laura have two sons and they live in South Portland, Maine.

Stephan Lockney | Associate Exectuive Director Camping Services

Organization: MetroWest YMCA

Stephan is a master level Community Social Psychologist and 30 year YMCA Camping professional working in both the residential and day camp fields. He developed an inclusive day camp model in the 90s that was recognized and funded by the state of Massachusetts. He furthered that work coming out of COVID by getting a National YMCA grant to build all gender housing at Camp Frank A. Day. He is a L.E.A.D certified Summer Camp Mental Health and Transplaining LGBTQIA2s+ Inclusion at Summer Camp Trainer. Stephan loves leading camp programming and believes it is one of the best social emotional learning centers for children and young adults.

Megan Lynch | Assistant Director

Organization: Camp Aldersgate

Megan Lynch is the Assistant 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. She has 2 daughters who are excited to be campers. Megan is in the Nerdfighter community which was founded by John and Hank Green and focuses on how to make the world a better place. Megan also enjoys a good cup of tea.

Speakers: M

Maggie Magner | Director

Organization: Summer Fenn Day Camp

Maggie brings considerable experience in both camping and enrichment programming for children. She was most recently the Director of Hill House Summer Camp in Beacon Hill, and previously spent years working in a residential camp setting in New York. Maggie’s breadth of experience in the field of enrichment programming includes training Head Start and Early Intervention educators, as well as developing curricula and training for a national parenting company. Her approach to program delivery is centered on age-appropriateness, experiential learning, and allowing each child to be challenged and to participate at their own level.

Isaac Mamaysky | Partner and Director

Organization: Potomac Law Group and Camp Zeke

“Isaac Mamaysky is Partner in Potomac Law Group, where he started a practice team focused on the camp industry. He and his law partners regularly represent day and overnight camps in a wide range of legal matters.

In addition to his law practice, Isaac is the founder and executive director of a large ACA-accredited overnight camp in Wayne County, PA. He is also a cofounder and chief legal officer of QuantStreet Capital, a portfolio management firm that offers investing and financial advising services to camps and camp professionals.

By working at the intersection of camp, law, and finance, Isaac brings a unique perspective to helping camps with their legal needs.”

Bob McAdam | Wheeler Maintance, Auxillary Programs

Organization: Wheeler School (Wheeler Summer Camp)

Bob has spent half his life teaching and working at schools. Bob graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education. He has been a teacher, coach, facilities manager, and recreation consultant. Bob’s love of the outdoors is evident by all the activities in which he is involved. If you’re looking for Bob and can’t find him, don’t worry you will be able to find him. He will always be there to help and lend a helping hand.

Bo Mitchell | President

Organization: 911 Consulting

Bo Mitchell was Police Commissioner of Wilton, CT for 16 years. He retired to found 911 Consulting which creates emergency, disaster recovery, business continuity, crisis communications and pandemic plans, plus training and exercises for organizations like GE HQ, Hyatt HQ, H&R Block HQ, MasterCard HQ, four colleges and universities plus 25 secondary schools. He serves clients headquartered from Boston to LA working in their facilities from London to San Francisco. Bo has earned 22 certifications in homeland security, emergency management, disaster recovery, business continuity, safety and security. He also serves as an expert in landmark court cases nationally.

Shawn Moriarty | Camp Director

Organization: A Single Footstep

Shawn has spent his whole career since 1983 working with summer camps and outdoor education programs. In 1988 he began working in the ropes course industry with running ropes course programs, and teaching others how to run and build them. Shawn also worked and lived in Japan, teaching English, and in Thailand working with a corporate teambuilding program. Shawn has worked at 8 camps in 6 states and directed 3 of those camps. Shawn got his undergraduate degree in Asian American Relations from UCONN, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from Prescott College. Shawn is a published author with 2 books to his name. And, he is currently the Education and Camp Director at Mass Audubon’s Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

Terri Mulks | Camp Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Terri Mulks has 25 years of experience with underserved youth in non-profit camps. With a Bachelor of Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University, she has been able to incorporate intentional curriculum, collaborative behavior management, and experiential learning for thousands of campers and their families while strengthening staff, programs, and operations. She is currently the Director at Camp Susan Curtis in Maine after a YMCA career in Connecticut, Boston, Providence, and Alabama. Terri is a Visitor with ACA and serves on the Executive Committee for Maine Summer Camps. She and her husband, Jay, live in Maine with their rescued pets and are closing in on their personal lifetime mission to explore all of the National Parks.

Speakers: N

Sam Newberry | VP of Engineering

Organization: Iserv

Sam Newberry, VP of Engineering at Iserv, brings a wealth of knowledge in integrating modern technology solutions into diverse environments. With a focus on Wi-Fi, camera security and digital safety, Sam has been instrumental in ensuring safe and efficient tech implementations in public spaces of all sizes and types.

Speakers: O

David Oliver | Vice President/General Manager

Organization: Ebner Camps, Inc.

David Oliver has over 20 years of experience in the banking industry, from being a teller to being Vice President of Commercial Banking. He has been a speaker at many banking conferences on topics such as business ethics and acquisitions to the state of today’s banking industry. He was instrumental in helping Ebner Camps acquire their PPP loan during the Covid pandemic. David has three children; one in law school at Villanova, one a sophomore in the CT college system, and a senior in high school.

Speakers: P

David Phillips | Principal

Organization: Immersive1st

David Phillips is Principal of Immersive1st, a firm that specializes in fundraising, planning, governance, coaching, program creation and organizational analysis. A life-long communal professional with a trademark British sense of humor, David has gained a reputation as a leader in the field and is a frequent contributor and author on issues related to nonprofit management. As a presenter he is known for engaging participants in a learning experience that provides tangible help and is fun. David holds a MSW in Social Work with a focus on community organizing and development from the University of Pittsburgh. He lives in Jupiter, Florida and with Karen they have two children plus Murray the dog. He supports Chelsea & Crystal Palace!

Aaron Proietti | CEO


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 20+ years of experience innovating in complex organizations. Aaron has spoken at many camping conferences on topics related to program design, organizational values, disruption, innovation, customer-centricity, and more. Through Today’s Innovator’s Shout.Camp program, Aaron and team advises camps on strategy, program design, and more.

Speakers: Q

Speakers: R

Chris Rehs-Dupin | Co-Founder

Organization: TQAMP

Chris (he/him) is the founder of TQAMP and has found so much self-healing and joy in working with camps around the country on building belonging into their culture. With a patterned shirt collection bigger than a costume closet, Chris uses humor, storytelling, and a theater background to ignite people into action. Chris meets people where they are and educates with empathy, not shame. He brings seventeen years of combination day/overnight camp experience and a passion for helping others be their best selves and make their biggest impact. Through TQAMP , Chris has helped hundreds of camps create broader belonging for campers and staff.

Kailla Rowell | Clinical Director

Organization: Camp Harbor View

Kailla Rowell is a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW) who has experience providing clinical support for children and families and leading youth-empowered initiatives. Passionate about making therapy fun and creating spaces for youth to become their best selves, Kailla leads Camp Harbor View’s clinical program. As a licensed social worker, Kailla has dedicated her career to advocating for children and families and providing brave spaces for children of color. She uses art and music therapy to create healing through artistic expression and is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Whitney Ryan | Consultant/Founder and Owner Cleaview Life Coaching

Organization: Wyonegonic Camps/Clearview Life Coaching

Whit Ryan has more than 35 years of experience in camping. She has served as Director of Staff Recruitment and Leadership Training at Wyonegonic Camps in Maine. Previously, Whit was a senior staff member at Alford Lake Camp, ME and director of Waukeela Camp, NH. As a career educator and founder and owner of Clearview Life Coaching, Whit focuses on working with camps, schools and individuals to build stronger citizens and communities. She has extensive experience in all aspects of camp. Whit has presented at both ACA National and New England conferences.

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Marco Seaberg | Leadership

Organization: Camp Howe

Marco Seaberg is a scholar for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS). He studies at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia within his self-designed WGSS program. In Harrisonburg, he engages in local community activism surrounding community safety and wellbeing as well as the importance of queer-centered studies. Marco works at Camp Howe in Goshen, Massachusetts. Marco has lived experience as a queer, transgender man as well as experience in overnight camps, day camps, single gender camps, and multi-gender camps and feels passionate about using these experiences in his work. Through his work in camp and education in WGSS, Marco works to develop and educate others in gender inclusion for all youth and in youth spaces.

Elizabeth Snell | Director of Accreditation Services

Organization: ACA, New England

Elizabeth grew up in Long Pond Pennsylvania. Starting as a camper at age 8, she never left camp. Elizabeth has a B.A. in English from Alvernia College, MS.Ed in Sport Management from East Stroudsburg University and a Masters in Camp Administration from Indiana University. She is currently the Director of Accreditation with ACA, New England.

John Spelman | Executive Director

Organization: Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center

As both a youth development professional and non-profit manager, John Michael Spelman’s mission is to provide a space for young people to develop into creative and compassionate leaders. John Michael is the Executive Director of Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center, a ministry of the United Methodist Church of New England. In addition to his work at Aldersgate, John is a member of the national United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries leadership team for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. John also serves as the Vice President of the Rhode Island Association of Camps (RIAC) and is responsible for organizing state-wide professional development opportunities and tracking legislation that affects summer camps in Rhode Island.

Nyaunu Stevens | Director of Programs

Organization: The National Conference for Community and Justice/ NCCJ ANYTOWN

Nyaunu Stevens is the Director of Programs for the National Conference for Community and Justice. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and brings with her over two decades of experience as an educator and 15 years of experience in the world of social justice advocacy. She holds a Master’s in Sociology from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Theater from Cleveland State University where she was graduated summa cum laude. She is a subject matter expert in Sociology of the Body, Fat Studies, and Race, Class, and Gender.

Chris Stoddard | Psychologist

Organization: Plymouth State University

Dr. Chris Stoddard has over 20 years of experience working with children and adolescents in camps, schools, and clinical settings. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and school psychologist with specialty in working with pre-teen and adolescent boys who may struggle with emotional and behavioral challenges. Since 2001, he has been involved in numerous capacities with both day and resident summer camps in NH, MA, and CO. During the school year, he directs the school psychology graduate training program at Plymouth State University. He and his wife met through summer camp nearly 20 years ago, and they live with their two children in the beautiful White Mountains of NH.

Doug Sutherland | Camp Professional and Consultant

Organization: Doug Sutherland Consulting

Doug Sutherland has been facilitating team building and group development programs for over 20 years. He has worked in for-profit and not-for-profit camps in the New England area. He believes training and guiding future camp leaders is essential to promoting the advantages of camp. As DEIB Consultant, Doug’s mission is “To Stand Up, Speak Up, and Do Something” for all those around him. He has presented at many ACA, New England Conferences and is a member of the ACA, New England Board.

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Nick Teich | Owner

Organization: Fairwinds Camp Consulting

Dr. Nick Teich is the founder and was the longtime director of Harbor Camps, an overnight camp in NH serving marginalized populations. He is now an executive coach for camp directors, helping them with their camp’s unique needs and goals, through his business Fairwinds Camp Consulting. Nick is on the ACA, New England Board of Directors and currently runs two groups for ACA, New England on the topics of the business of camp and MESH systems. He is a trained social worker and holds a doctorate in social policy. Nick lives in the Boston area.

Dr. Chris Thurber | Psychologist

Organization: Camp Belknap & Phillips Exeter Academy

Dr. Christopher Thurber has dedicated his professional life to promoting the social and emotional adjustment of adventurous youth and intrepid adults. A graduate of Harvard and UCLA, Chris has served as a psychologist and teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy since 1999. A lifelong entrepreneur, Chris created and to ensure young people thrive away from home. His newest book is The Unlikely Art of Parental Pressure. Learn more at and Reach.Cloud

Speakers: U

Speakers: V

Sandra Vonniessen-Applebee | Director of Operations

Organization: The National Conference for Community and Justice/ NCCJ ANYTOWN

Sandra Vonniessen-Applebee is the Director of Operations for the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). Sandra has been a social justice educator for more than 25 years, working as a private consultant and facilitator of social justice programs for many of the leading organizations in the field. Sandra believes in brave allies who are lifelong learners, who educate and challenge others to show up for those who are marginalized, and change the systems that marginalize people

Speakers: W

Dan Weir | Founder

Organization: Day Camp Community

Dan Weir has been developing day and overnight camps for over 20 years. With a Master’s Degree specializing in youth development, Dan’s work has been recognized for program and research excellence. He has volunteered in multiple capacities for the American Camp Association and the New York State Camp Directors Association. Known for taking on the challenges facing youth serving organizations, Dan is the Co-Founder of Day Camp Community and Senior Consultant at Immersive1st.

Cristin Wipfler | Registered Dietitian

Organization: Cristin Wipfler Nutrition; Kingswood Camp

Cristin is a Registered Dietitian and health coach, living in Northern Virginia with her husband (co-director of Kingswood Camp) and two kids. She has two undergraduate degrees; a BA from the University of Notre Dame and a BS from James Madison University. Additionally, Cristin holds a Master of Public Health from the George Washington University. In addition to working with individual clients in her practice, Cristin also leads educational sessions with school groups and camp groups on nutrition and body image.

Rachael Wise | Consultant

Organization: The Redwoods Group

Rachael has been with Redwoods since 2020 and currently serves on the Camp movement team. She has a background is in higher education administration working in risk management and outdoor education at Brown University and George Washington University. Most importantly, she has a deep passion and respect for the transformative power of youth serving organizations.

Jarod Wunneburger | Director of Camps, Director of Camp Timberlake

Organization: Farm & Wilderness Foundation

Jarod Wunneburger (goes by “W”) is the Director of Camps and Director of Timberlake (TL), a camp with the Farm and Wilderness Foundation in Plymouth, VT. He’s been with TL since 2007 and is TL’s first BIPOC mixed-race director. He previously worked for the Trevor Project (LGBTQ+ suicide prevention & crisis intervention), taught special education and middle school math, and was a school administrator in the Bronx and Manhattan. He has a MA in School Leadership from Harvard and a MA in Special Education from St Johns. He’s passionate about using the best teacher tools to coach staff and support campers. He sits on the board of an independent school in Vermont and currently training a Samoyed named Atlas to become a therapy dog.

Speakers: X

Speakers: Y

Lauren Yee | C.O.O.


Lauren has facilitated interactive workshops as well as been a keynote speaker for groups of all sizes and ages. She has previously presented sessions both independently and with at various organizations/companies (Dome Construction, Old Pal, Bet Tzedek Legal Services), schools (University of Michigan, Flint), and summits/conferences (BambooHR, World Domination Summit, Hivery Summit). Coming from a decade of working with kids in enrichment and camp settings, her experience and focus is on how play, curiosity, and inclusion can improve productivity, innovation, teamwork, and leadership.

Speakers: Z

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