Session & Speaker Details

2023 New England Camp Conference | March 30 - April 1

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

Our 2023 conference sessions have been published to Guidebook (with some updates), so check there or this page for the most up-to-date information!

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

2023 Conference Session & Speaker Details (this is for 2023. 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced in early 2024.)

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!


Note: the numbers below correspond to the order of sessions as they are listed here. Session titles may differ.

Sessions: 1

Thursday, March 30, 9:00 am - 10:30 am | Educational Session 1 (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

15 Ideas to Increase Your Summer Staff Retention

Speakers: James Tresner, Wanakee

Seasonal staff are the backbone of a vibrant, impactful summer program, yet they are increasingly hard to find. Higher education continues to push young adults to pursue internships, and non-camp options are more plentiful and higher paying than ever. Retention is key to building your team and maintaining a positive staff culture, while maximizing missional achievement. With focus and intention, we were able to increase staff retention at Wanakee from 30% to over 90% from 2017 to 2022. The parallel benefits of increased registrations, program quality, camper retention, and more, are obvious.

In this session, we will explore 15 specific, actionable practices, mindsets, and investments that you can make this year to retain your best people.

Bringing Light to Suicide: Supporting Camp Staff to Understand and Address Youth Suicide

Speakers: Jon Mattleman, Minding Your Mind

Suicidal statements and suicidal ideation are scary and overwhelming for everyone involved. Sometimes the message is clear and sometimes there are signs of suicide that we may miss. Join counselor Jon Mattleman for an informative and empowering workshop about youth suicide and what you can do to support young people who are struggling.

Commitment: How to Earn It and How to Keep It?

Speakers: Kim Aycock, Kimspiration, LLC & Jolly Corley, Camp Robindel

An answer to the question of the century may seem counter intuitive, yet is at the core of most camp communities – relationships. Staff are looking for connection and belonging. How do we focus on staff needs without defaulting to program needs we think are necessary to running camp? We will focus on relationship development through flipping our current ideas around recruiting, hiring, and staffing. Come away with various layers of opportunities to earn and keep commitment from your staff.

Equity and Justice at Summer Camps: The Kids are Ready!

Speakers: Simone Gamble, OAAARS

Justice in their camp programming with young people. The conversations around these concepts have lived too long with our camp staff and leadership alone, but it is time we start to have these necessary and transformative conversations with our young people. The kids are ready.

We live in a time where our campers are asking new questions about identity, power, and privilege and we need to start offering the space for them to grapple with these concepts in a safer space like camp. Many of these conversations are becoming taboo in our schools and workplaces so camp must rise to the occasion of curating the environment to create conscious, mindful, and transformative agents of change. The time is now.

I Have a Waterfront - Now What?

Speakers: Dakota Warren, 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 and implement programming to assist with skill development in a short amount of time? 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 camp to ensure that your waterfront is the best of the best.

Mission vs. Supervision

Speakers: Katie Johnson & Meredith Stewart, The Redwoods Group

At camp, our mission and philosophy is often steeped in values of free play, unstructured time, and the opportunity for independent growth and free choice. However, claims data is clear – this is the most common time for incidents of bullying, hazing, or abuse to occur. This session will explore the juxtaposition of these competing priorities at camp – living the philosophy of free play at camp while also effectively supervising to keep campers safe.

CANCELED: 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.

The Importance of Creating Wellness & Therapeutic Spaces at Camp

Speakers: Kailla Rowell, LICSW, Evelyn Lueders-Booth, LCSW, Rosie Boucher, Art Therapist, 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, facilitated by Kailla Rowell, LICSW, Evelyn Lueders-Booth, LCSW, and Rosie Boucher, Art Therapist, 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.

Using Your Fall Season Strategically

Speakers: Dan Weir, Immersive1st

*New session added.*

Learning how to utilize the Fall is the key to taking a camp to the next level. Without intention, the actions taken in the Fall can feel wasted in hindsight. Every Fall should consist of gathering information, creating a strategic plan, and executing goals & objectives. We will talk about the various ways of gathering information utilizing surveys, interviews, and meetings. We will discuss how to write goals and objectives with time-tested methods. With executing the strategy, Dan will make several recommendations on best practices. Folks will walk away with ideas of how they can best utilize a strategic planning process to address their camp’s most critical problems.

Warming-Up Unlocks the Door to Opening-Up

Speakers: Happi Price, Improv 2 Improvement

Warming up is crucial to human development and allows for greater participation. Starting from moderate to vigorous gives the brain, body, and heart the necessary blood flow to focus on what is happening here and now. Join me on an informational and experimental journey on how to physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially warm up through improvisational activities and games so that learning can leave the room.

Sessions: 2

Thursday, March 30, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm | Educational Session 2 (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Advocating for Change at Your Camp

Speakers: Chris Rehs-Dupin, Transplaining for Camps

As a young staff person it is fairly easy to get frustrated as our organizations aren’t moving at the same pace when it comes to JEDI work (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion). We know that generationally those that often make the final decisions are years removed from the experiences of young people and so developing a strategy to change hearts and minds takes a fierce intentionality. This session will focus in on tangible strategies to advocate for change, and how to take care of yourself emotionally while doing so.

Camp for Kids by Kids: Lifting Youth Voice and Choice

Speakers: Krystal Pegram & Josh Waxman, Camp Harbor View

When we think about camp we recognize it is built for kids, but not built by kids. This session will challenge that statement by sharing best practices, narratives, and data to help youth workers and facilitators center and actualize ideas for the overall betterment of programs using cleary-defined concepts of youth voice and choice We will highlight the importance of diverse voices in youth development spaces and how these concepts benefit program while empowerment fosters development in the youth themselves. There will be time for questions, collaboration and, of course, some fun.

Excel with Spreadsheets

Speakers: Marcie Glad, Tenacre Day Camp

Have you taken a spreadsheet course in the past, but need a refresher? Are you frustrated at your spreadsheets and wish someone could answer your questions? You’re in luck! Whether you use Excel or Google Sheets, this is the session for you! Content will include practice and review of:
-Spreadsheet structure & organization
-Pivot Tables
-Print Management
-Linking data
-Conditional formatting
Bring a laptop, your spreadsheets, and your questions. Get ready to improve your ability to handle a spreadsheet and exponentially increase your efficiency!

Inclusive Leadership Doesn't Just Happen

Speakers: Jen Clitheroe, Strength Perspective

Inclusive leadership takes self-awareness, diligence, and intentionality. Want to learn more about what it means to be an inclusive leader? Join us for an interactive and introspective workshop as you explore your personal areas of skill and challenge as well as what makes up the traits of an inclusive leader. We will also spend some time identifying areas for personal growth and development in your role as a leader (or as an aspiring leader).

Is It Conflict or Bullying?: Creating a Culture of Includers

Speakers: Emily Golinsky, Bright Moose LLC

Nobody wants to hear that a participant was “bullied” at camp. But…were they, actually? That particular B word gets thrown around a lot, but it isn’t always an accurate representation of the social situation. This session will clarify the specific differences between conflict (normal!) and bullying (not!), including an emphasis on the sneaky version: social exclusion/relational bullying. We’ll walk step-by-step through when and how staff should intervene (or not), and talk about creating a culture of includers with 10 easy-to-implement ideas. Also: language you can use in your pre-camp materials to help parents/guardians prepare their campers for inevitable conflicts that will arise at camp and how they can expect camp to respond.

Language Upgrade for Camps: A Cultural Appropriation Guide

Speakers: Andrew Corley, YMCA Seven Council Fires (Formerly Sioux YMCA)

We will take a dive into what the Sioux Y has done to upgrade the language at camp – how a simple title change can advance the number of applicants for positions and how a simple schedule change can boost camper numbers. We will look at some nationwide examples of success other camps have done to revamp their camp language. We will look, through research and with both a trauma informed lens and a Lakota cultural lens, at how we can make a more welcoming environment and experience for our campers. Have you ever debated if your Native American camp presence is offensive or enriching? Have you wanted to increase cultural sensitivity? We will look at examples that the Sioux Y has done over the past 139 years of best practice.

Leading Trauma-Informed Groups and Activities

Speakers: Corey Meurer, Justice Resource Institute

Join this hands-on, interactive session to learn how to facilitate activities in a way that allows everyone to have a positive and successful experience, regardless of the group/activity or skill level of participating individuals, all while taking into account the impact of experiences on the bodies and brains of youth. Participants will develop an understanding of what makes a group/activity successful, explore strategies to meet the individualized needs of participants, and provide an opportunity for practical application of the strategies. In addition, participants will get an overview of: Psychological Trauma, the human stress response continuum, and common behavioral and cognitive reactions to stress and trauma.

Navigating Camp Health Services

Speakers: Tracey Gaslin, Alliance for Camp Health

Camp leaders and professionals are all invested in camp health and safety. There are many considerations regarding medication management, communicable disease practices, and developing partnerships with parents. This session will outline a variety of situations that often challenge our camp health practices. We will outline support for significant concerns and help identify plans to mitigate risk at camp.

Reflecting Skills and Methods

Speakers: Phil Brown, High 5 Adventure Learning Center

Reflecting and debriefing are terms used in the Adventure/Experiential Education realm as an opportunity to connect lessons learned in the program to the outside world. This has most commonly been done by sitting in a circle with the facilitator asking questions and the participants answering. This workshop aims to give both ideas and activities to help facilitate discussion within your group in order to get the most out of activities and also to ensure there is follow-up at the end of the program.

Sessions: A

Thursday, March 30, 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm | Lunch & Learn A (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

BIPOC Staff Affinity Groups at Camp: Why and How?

Speakers: Mateo Tebar & Umut Dursun, Harbor Camps

This lunch and learn will feature Mateo Tebar and Umut Dursun of Harbor Camps. Mateo took the initiative to start a BIPOC staff group in 2021, and it has grown and evolved into a wonderful resource for both staff and campers, and it has been helpful to camp overall. Come learn how this was done, what the purpose is, and how you can think about ideas for your own camp.

Kindred Group: At-Risk Youth

Speakers: Terri Mulks, Camp Susan Curtis

Join us to share, celebrate, and strategize programs specifically for at-risk youth. Bring your hot topics for discussion, prepare to meet like-minded new friends, and walk away with resources to strengthen programs. All are welcome. Focus is on youth who are facing socio-economic hardship and mental, emotional, and social health challenges.

Round Table: Director's Topics of Our Time

Speakers: Mark Lipof, Camp Micah

Join this round table where we will discuss topics identified by participants at the start of the session. Possible topics include: staff retention, resiliency training and ideas, and year-round staff compensation and benefits, and whatever else is on your mind!

Round Table: Making Connections and Broadening Your Professional Network

Speakers: Cheryl Oliveira, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts & Members of the Conference Committee

Join like-minded professionals of all levels to talk about what is on your mind. We will start our session brainstorming conversation topics and then participants will choose what is most pressing to them in that moment. This session is a great opportunity for new conference attendees, attendees who have come without a team, or camp professionals looking to meet others!

Round Table: Talking Climate Change at Camp

Speakers: Meghan Haslam, Mass Audubon

Climate change is changing our world. Regardless of where they learn about it, young people around the globe are standing up to demand action against climate change. You can be part of the solution!

So how do you discuss climate change with 1st graders? What is climate justice and what does it have to do with camp? What kinds of solutions can a 12-year-old try to combat the world’s greatest challenge? Do you need to be an expert to teach about climate change?

Nope, you don’t need to be an expert! Come ready to share and learn ways to discuss this challenging topic with staff, campers and caregivers, ideas for incorporating climate themes into camp, plus project and curriculum ideas.

So You Have Hired International Staff... Now What?

Speakers: Megan Lynch, Camp Aldersgate

So you have hired international staff but what now? Come and grab some tips that can help with community building and supporting your international staff and also help bond your staff together before setting foot on camp.

The Rainbow Connection: Supporting a Gender-Creative Camp Culture

Speakers: Chloe Briskin, Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Camp

You’re never too young or too old to play with your gender, and camp creates the perfect safe environment to find yourself for the first time. This session will focus on how we can support and celebrate both campers and staff who are trans, nonbinary, gender-creative, or just experimenting with pushing the boundaries of gender norms. Some topics we will cover include how to introduce and enforce pronouns with all ages, de-gendering our language as educators, and speaking with parents and guardians about gender issues at camp.

Sessions: Th Evening

Thursday, March 30, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm | Evening Programs (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

7:30 pm - 8:30 pm | Connecting Through Drumming

Speakers: Happi Price, Improv 2 Improvement

Join other conference participants in this interactive session that will bring you all together. You’ll connect, create, and collaborate by making a choice, committing to that choice, practicing that choice, and sharing that choice with others in a safe environment – through the art of drumming. Participants will each have their own drum and drumsticks to use as we build community by creating rhythms.

8:30 pm - 9:30 pm | Heroes Wanted: Live Roleplaying Adventure

Speakers: Meghan Gardner, Guardian Adventures

Join us for an exciting, beginner level Live Action Role Playing (LARP) adventure. In this 20 minute interactive adventure for up to 15 attendees at a time, you will have to use your wits, work as a team, and interact with characters in a live action story where you and your team are Heroes. Come prepared to play pretend and get physically involved with hands-on problem solving, creative negotiation, and even an option for defending your team with a NERF blaster. But pick your team carefully… the fate of your group depends on your decisions! No LARP experience necessary. If you want to learn how to run your own LARP adventure, attend Friday’s Running a Simple Interactive Adventure at your Summer Camp during Block B.

Pre-register for your slot here:

Sessions: 3

Friday, March 31, 8:45 am - 10:15 am | Educational Session 3 (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Connect, Create, and Collaborate Through Movement Improvisation

Speakers: Happi Price, Improv 2 Improvement

Fundamental motor skills are essential to all human movement. Join us for a playful exploration of intra- and interpersonal interactive play focusing on different levels, speeds, shapes, directions, and stillness through improvisational warm-ups, skill development, and activities that address diverse learning styles, innate abilities, and collaborative contributions.

Developing Staff Through the Intersection of Hindsight and Foresight

Speakers: Kim Aycock, Kimspiration, LLC

Hello! My name is insight, and I am found where hindsight and foresight overlap. We know that looking back is key to moving forward. Add that to a greater understanding of the bigger picture of camp and clarity begins to form. Quality staff development comes down to quality conversations that help connect the dots between hindsight and foresight. The insight gained from these conversations with staff will uncover countless growth opportunities (and are a direct benefit of working at camp)!

Establishing a DEI Rapid Response Team at Camp

Speakers: Simone Gamble, OAARS

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

Intentionally Designed, Large-Scale, CHEAP Games

Speakers: Dave Ghidiu, YMCA Camp Cory (Alumnus) & Aaron Proietti, Today's Innovator

This session will bring participants along on a journey that transformed the programming paradigm at YMCA Camp Cory: when budgetary constraints led to the emergence of high-quality all-camp games. And we are sharing them with you, for free! Come learn about game design and all the things that make all-camp games exquisite (Dramatis Personae, epic music, engaging costumes, pacing, prop building and storage, coopetition, and engagement strategies).

CANCELED: 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!

Keeping Families Engaged All Year Long

Speakers: Dan Weir, Immersive1st

*New session added.*

Communication is key in every relationship, including camp families. By keeping families engaged all year long, we will stay top of mind as a vibrant community that kids want to return to year after year. We will discuss the importance of engagement and address the reasons we lose touch. We will talk about the benefits to repetition and what it means for camps. We review multiple communication tools and how to turn it into a 12 month plan. This 12 month plan will become a road map for your organization’s engagement with camp families. Folks will leave with a better understanding about how to strategically plan for year round engagement.

Peer-to-Peer Abuse: Not Just Kids Being Kids

Speakers: Katie Johnson & Meredith Stewart, The Redwoods Group

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) reports and claims continue to be on the rise. This is a serious issue affecting the quality of the camp experience and, more and more – costing camps time, money, and their reputation. But what is it – really? Can’t this just be chalked up to kids being kids? Or natural exploration? Join this deep dive into the issue of P2P abuse, including case studies of incidents, strategies for prevention, and how to appropriately respond.

Rolling out the Welcome Mat: Actions Steps You Can Take NOW to Make Your Organization More Inclusive

Speakers: Rachel Hailey, DEI Outdoors

Discussions around privilege, hidden biases and stereotypes often create uncomfortable or eek feelings. Through Rachel’s experience working with hundreds of organizations, she has identified and refined key activities that are foundational to creating a safe space where participants can engage and explore diversity, equity and inclusion. Through these interactive activities, Rachel will model how to create an inclusive outdoor program culture where all members are able to feel safe, increase self- and other-awareness, practice empathy, and build meaningful relationships no matter their circumstances. There will be a focus on tangible results and provide a roadmap for how to create diversity, inclusion, and access within the organization.

Spheres of Acceptable Practice: Challenge Course Operations and Programming

Speakers: Phil Brown, High 5 Adventure Learning Center

It is generally recognized that there is rarely a singular “best” way of doing things when it comes to challenge course practices. Interactively we will explore intersections between standards, SOPS, LOPs, and instructor preferences and how these may affect the operations and programming on your course. Come explore with other professionals the range of acceptable practices and how program design intersects.

Support Avenue

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

Support can mean so many different things in the camp environment. The MESH (Mental, Emotional, and Social Health) needs of our staff are increasing and we must find ways to adapt to make them successful in the camp environment. Join us as we traverse down Staff Support Avenue, where different techniques, including small groups and continuous feedback cycles, help to get your staff ready and keep them focused for a successful summer.

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

Friday, March 31, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm | Educational Session 4 (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Becoming a Vessel of Hope: Learning Skills to Navigate Mental, Emotional, and Social Health

Speakers: Tracey Gaslin, Alliance for Camp Health

Mental, emotional, and social health (MESH) creates ongoing concerns for youth and adolescents. ACH research completed following summer 2022 identified the key MESH challenges camps experienced. This session will outline MESH challenges, tools to navigate these situations, and ways to promote positive staff engagement. MESH issues are more prevalent and need our attention if we are to become vessels of hope for those in our care.

Cracking the Generation Z Code: Recruit, Train, Support, and Inspire!

Speakers: Donna Johns-Thomas, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

Gen Z, people born between 1995 and 2012, now comprise most of our mainline staff (and older camper) populations. They’re far from “new”, but we keep using the same old “tried and true” supervision and management strategies with them that we’ve been using for the last 20 years and are wondering why we’re not getting good results. Gen Z has a unique outlook on the world – and vastly different views on work, loyalty, authority, communicationx and so much more! You will come away with a better understanding of what motivates and inspires them and how YOU can better recruit, train, and support them for better results.

Creating an Engaged, Value-Added Alumni Association

Speakers: Aaron Proietti, Today's Innovator

In 2020, a New York State camp on the eve of its 100-year Anniversary Celebration enlisted a pair of alumni volunteers to design and lead the celebration. Flash forward one pandemic and two years later, the camp now has a renewed and engaged Alumni Association, and it recently held a successful centennial celebration on site with over 400 visitors. Learn about all the key decision points and lessons learned developing an alumni association capable of leading the charge on camp events.

DEIB and Your Mission

Speakers: Doug Sutherland, Doug Sutherland Consulting

This session will seek to align participants’ personal mission with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging discussions and initiatives. We will briefly define terms, have one-on-one conversations, and attempt to find common ground. This session is about connecting where people are on this personal journey and its relation to the professional journey.

Finding your Gaps

Speakers: Shawn Moriarty, Mass Audubon

As camps continue to increase their efforts to create communities where campers truly feel welcomed and to redesign our programs to correct cultural appropriations, we can often be limited in our efforts by our own perspectives. In this workshop we will explore ways to find and address the gaps in our efforts. We will take a look at methods to get more eyes on the changes we want to make. The over arching question we will use is “Who are we forgetting or leaving out?”. There will also be time to share our successes and challenges.

More Large Group Activities for Building Community, Connection, Empathy, and FUNN

Speakers: Jeff Frigon & Andrew Wood, The Browne Center for Innovative Learning

Come back (or for the first time) for another 75 minutes of large group activities! This workshop is back by popular demand! Build your bag of tricks and skills for working with large groups.

This active session will have folks participating in activities that will help break the ice for staff and campers as well as build momentum towards an empathetic and caring community.

Some activities will be intentional, but some will just be FUNN (Functional Understanding Not Necessary) and will include fun ways to make small groups as well as large-scale group problem solving!

Say This, Not That

Speakers: Emily Golinsky, Bright Moose LLC

If you’ve ever found yourself lost for words, or you’ve said something that you realized immediately after just fanned the flames, don’t worry (we’ve all been there)! This session will equip you to walk into difficult conversations and complicated situations with confidence. The responses, lingo, and strategies you’ll learn and practice are simple, but profound…you’ll find yourself reaching for them again and again. They’re applicable to behavior management, staff supervision, difficult parents, customer service, and even that family member who is driving you nuts at holidays! Come join Emily for some fun with language – past attendees say it’s “engaging,” “entertaining,” “insightful,” and “hands down the best session I attended today!”

The Neuroscience of Leadership: Building a Camp Culture of Trust

Speakers: Genein Letford, CAFFE Strategies & Meghan Gardner, Guardian Adventures

The science is clear. Trust is the new driver of productivity. Getting your message across, lowering fears (both rational and irrational), and pulling out the best of your counselors requires strong leadership. Scientists have identified the brain mechanisms that support our ability to connect and communicate with others and reveal how we can activate and strengthen them. Learn how to develop team chemistry and trust by building team identity through shared goals, values, and an increase of oxytocin.

The Power of Effective Feedback in Preventing Employee Harassment Issues at Camp

Speakers: Helen O'Reilly & Katie Toole, The Fresh Air Fund

Happy, engaged employees are the key a successful, joyful summer. From our perspective as a Camp Director (Katie) and as an Attorney (Helen), this training will discuss how to prevent, spot and address workplace harassment challenges in a residential camp setting. We will share strategies for empower camp managers and camp leaders to interrupt problems before they escalate, and we will discuss legal obligations to address harassment or retaliation. We will discuss the vital role of early, effective feedback and the value of positive culture development to lowering the legal risk of workplace disputes. And we will share the ways Camp Directors and a General Counsel have worked together successfully.

What We Know: A Conversation with Department of State Bridge USA J1 Program Experts

Speakers: Diane Culkin, US Department of State & Scott Brody, Camps Kenwood & Evergreen

The Covid pandemic disrupted and changed our world, especially our camp and international cultural exchange world. Travel and visa processing became challenges not easily overcome. Expectations were not as easily expressed and understood. What did we learn? How does that impact 2023?

Sessions: B

Friday, March 31, 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm | Short-Session B (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Digitizing and Sharing Camp Artifacts (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Speakers: Dave Ghidiu, YMCA Camp Cory (Alumnus)

This session covers the process of digitizing one hundred years of yearbooks from Camp Cory and making them available online. The entire endeavor was virtually free (though there is a lot of work involved). Come learn from our mistakes, discuss some of the challenges we encountered, and plan for preserving your camp history. We will showcase the scanning process, how to create discoverable and accessible documents, how to store them online, and how to get the yearbooks printed and listed at Amazon.

Kindred Group: LIT/CIT Programs

Speakers: Krystal Pegram, Camp Harbor View

Camps across New England engage with young leaders through Leader in Training or Counselor in Training programs. This kindred group session is an opportunity for camp staff who run CIT/LIT programs to meet others who are leading these types of programs for teens, discuss how their program works, what challenges they may be facing, and share ideas and solutions.

Kindred Group: Special Needs Camps

Speakers: Dawn Willard-Robinson, Pine Tree Camp

Join us for an informal networking and conversation opportunity for camps that serve campers with disabilities, who provide inclusive programming, or are looking to add inclusive programming to their camps in the upcoming year. We’ll talk about the 2022 camp season and what challenges we might be facing along with solutions and paths that camps are taking to ensure this summer is one that sets our campers and programs up for success.

Learning with Style: Interdisciplinary Collaborations Across Content Areas

Speakers: Kate Grenci, Girl Scouts Heart of NJ

We frequently acknowledge that children are different, and we know those differences can extend to learning and understanding. How can we play to different learning styles? What can we do to bridge content across program areas to entice and excite the masses? Outdoor skills meet engineering! Art meets awareness! Nature meets math! What will you combine to create?

Round Table: Caregiver Communication - what has changed and what are our strategies?

Speakers: Sarah Castro Cunningham, YMCA Camp Takodah & Zach d'Arbeloff, Belmont Day School

We all engage with parents and caregivers – whether daily at drop-off and pick-up, through phone calls and emails during the summer, or when sharing information during the school year. Join this peer-led round table to discuss the changes you have seen with caregiver expectations and communication over the past several years and hear and share some strategies that you have put to work.

Round Table: Crisis PR — What Do You Do and Where Do You Start When Your Camp Faces a Crisis?

Speakers: Janet Prensky, Aigner Prensky Marketing Group

The key to crisis PR is preparation because when a crisis hits, the one thing you don’t have is time. You must be ready before the crisis arrives. Join this session to hear a couple examples of crisis PR situations from both camp and corporate settings. Then, we’ll spend much of our time together discussing what to do and how to prepare for a crisis before it happens based on real-life crisis situations you have experienced or are concerned about experiencing in the future and questions you bring with you. So, please bring scenarios and questions and be prepared to share!

Running a Simple Interactive Adventure at your Summer Camp

Speakers: Meghan Gardner, Guardian Adventures

LARP (Live Action Role Playing) is an interactive experience where participants (campers) navigate a story together where they choose their next action. Think of a video game or choose-your-own adventure book, but live acted and without computers. A LARP can be 30 minutes or an entire summer long. LARPs are widely known for creating a safe space for campers to explore their identity, social skills, and conflict resolution in a safe space through role play. In this session, you will learn how to run a simple LARP at your camp, how to structure your staff training, and possible challenges you may face. You will also hear about integrating STEM into your LARP adventure and how to run virtual Zoom-based LARPs in the off-season to help with camper and staff retention. You do not need to have any experience with LARPs to learn how to run one. However, you are encouraged to attend the Heroes Wanted: Live Roleplaying Adventure on Thursday night for a first-hand experience.

Staff Interviewing: Tips, Red Flags, and Jedi Mind Tricks

Speakers: Donna Johns-Thomas, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

Interviewing is a key component of the hiring process. Being a good interviewer ensures that you get the best information out of each screening conversation. Several factors go into effective interviewing, including preparation, good listening skills, and consistency. Learn interviewing basics, how to be equitable, legal questions to avoid, red flags to pay attention to, and some “Jedi Mind Tricks” like: how to get Gen Z to answer open-ended questions and how to get candidates to subconsciously reveal their best (and worst) qualities.

Understanding Dominant Culture and How it Persists

Speakers: Emerald Anderson-Ford, Communities Reaching for Equity and Diversity (CRED)

Participants will engage with the tenants of dominant culture norms, while wrestling with how these tenants show up in day-to-day operations and the individual’s leadership. Participants will brainstorm ways to continue to evolve their leadership and organization.

Use Your Outside Voice! How to Harness Your Personal Narrative to Make a Difference in the Outdoors

Speakers: Rachel Hailey, DEI Outdoors

We all have a story to tell! In this 45-minute session, we will allow the participant to explore their own personal narrative as it relates to the outdoor space and discover how sharing their story powerfully and with intention can make a difference in their community and world. BIPOC & folks from the LGBTQ+ community are strongly encouraged to attend!

Sessions: 5

Friday, March 31, 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm | Educational Session 5 (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Adaptive Leadership for a New Frontier

Speakers: Anthony Le, PVTL Moments

This session isn’t about a list of what leadership looks like, but a workshop on how to work on becoming an adaptive leader for your community. There are no lists or laws of leadership here. This workshop was created to help leaders like yourself understand what’s in the system and how you can navigate this brand new and ever-changing world. All levels of leaders and aspiring leaders are ecnouraged to attend!

Beyond the Lived Experience: The Presence of Poly-victimization at Camp

Speakers: John Hamilton, Alliance for Camp Health & Jamal Stroud, Camp HOPE America

Join us as we explore the connection between life experience and behavior. When individuals show up at camp, they bring their whole lived experience with them. For some, this includes poly-victimization (Poly-v), which refers to having experienced multiple points of victimization. Engage in conversations that bring to light the prevalence of Poly-V and how this applies to your program. Create a culture that values the entire individual for the experience they bring when they share their whole self at camp.

Beyond Workshops and Trainings: Bringing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB) to Camp

Speakers: Jen Clitheroe, Strength Perspective & Polly Williams, Strength Perspective & Farm & Wilderness Summer Camps

Camps across New England identify core values that include leadership, community, friendship, joy, collaboration, kindness, cooperation, generosity, respect, trust, and unity (just to name a few). These values are the pillars of our visions and our missions. Making our visions come to fruition year after year requires a roadmap. We build strategic plans (roadmaps) to drive operations, staffing, infrastructure, and program, as well as measure our success periodically. DEIB at camp requires us to think beyond summer staff workshops and incorporate DEIB intentionally into our camp culture. Come explore steps to building your camp’s DEIB roadmap of actionable items to create long-term change and support the values we all uphold.

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

Speakers: Jarod Wunneburger, Farm and 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.

Creating a Shared Language Around Conflict: The Compass of Reactions

Speakers: Sarah Brajtbord & Austin Willacy, Raise Your Voice Labs

Conflict is inevitable at camp. It will happen between staff, between campers, between staff and campers, and maybe even with parents. It’s inevitable, and it can bring out the worst parts of ourselves: the parts that make us hide and shrink away from it, and the parts that make us blame others (or ourselves) for everything. But, it doesn’t need to be like this. Conflict can be a deeply powerful moment of growth and learning for all involved. By exploring the most common reactions people have to conflict, and doing a deep dive into our own tendencies and patterns, we’ll use a tool called the Compass of Reactions to develop a shared language and shared understanding of conflict breakdowns and build new, different pathways through conflict.

Incorporate Well-being Into Your Everyday Staff Culture

Speakers: Kim Aycock, Kimspiration, LLC & Heather Logee, Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp

The demands on staff are now coming from more directions and sources. Add that to busy camp days, it is easy for staff to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Set staff up for success AND help them build life skills around their well-being with a tried and tweaked self-care card system. Staff will practice assessing the state of their own mental health to determine self-care needs, the timing of such care (immediate or longer), and the amount (small or more extensive). Incorporate well-being into your everyday culture so staff are better equipped to dig in and push through the hard stuff while feeling heard, supported, and valued. Join us as we collaborate to exchange ideas on ways to meet the mental health needs of staff.

Noodles, Balls, and Cones IV: House of the Noodle

Speakers: Mac Wallace, Zion Lutheran Day Camp & Garrett Coler, YMCA of the North Shore

The 3 Kingdoms of Noodle, Ball, and Cone have been living peacefully for centuries. But now an ancient enemy has cast a dark shadow over the realm forcing the 3 Kingdoms to work together again to save the world. Join us for a hands-on, interactive session where you will learn to utilize budget friendly supplies (noodles, balls, and cones) to create magical experiences for your campers. Both first-time attendees and participants who have joined a noodles, balls, and cones workshop in past years will learn new games and how to train staff to create these experiences for their campers. Come prepared to learn, play, and have a magical time.

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.

Using TikTok as a Recruiting Tool

Speakers: Amanda Hatley & Sarah Walters, She Summits Co

Are you looking for a way to communicate with the next generation of your organization’s staff members? Join us for an interactive presentation on how to use TikTok to recruit staff members that want to work with you and would enjoy working at camp. Learn how to empower your staff to help you reach your niche through guidelines. Get talking points for your stakeholders. This presentation is focused on decision-makers and staff who are TikTok curious and looking to bring more information back to their camp. We won’t be learning how to use the app but will give you plenty of resources to learn on your own. You’ll want to bring your curiosity and your phone so that you can add more to the discussion through our Padlet.

Why Do Small Businesses Offer Retirement Plans?

Speakers: Marty Madden, Merrill Lynch

This session will educate small business (camp) owners on how to attract and retain employees through a retirement plan. It will also discuss how camp owners can properly structure a retirement plan to maximize their own retirement savings.

Sessions: 6

Saturday, April 1, 10:45 am - 12:00 pm | Educational Session 6 (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Feedback Fundamentals: Making Feedback Work for All

Speakers: Sarah Brajtbord & Austin Willacy, Raise Your Voice Labs

Normalizing a culture of supportive feedback is one of the most important ways to ensure an enjoyable, safe, dynamic, and successful season. Feedback is ultimately about helping each staff member (and even each camper) show up as their fullest, best self through timely honesty and supportive accountability. It’s also about creating a culture of gratitude. In this session, we’ll walk through strategies for how to have supportive, impactful 1:1 feedback sessions with staff and explore different feedback systems that can help to create your strongest staff yet.

An Employment Law Crash Course for Camps

Speakers: Isaac Mamaysky, Potomac Law Group

Among the many other hats they wear, camp operators serve as the head of human resources for their organization. This is no small feat considering that a typical mid-size camp may have 100+ employees each summer. As camp operators, we must be conscious of numerous employment law and HR considerations. In this session, we will review the key areas of employment law that camp operators need to have on their radar screens. Participants will have plenty of opportunities to ask their own questions.

Beyond Sticker Charts – Behavioral Health Habits and Systems that Work

Speakers: Jarod Wunneburger, Farm and Wilderness Foundation

Responding effectively to maladaptive camper behavior takes robust organizational habits and systems. This session will cover 3 parts of a system in place at Farm and Wilderness to respond to behaviors:
• Behavior Continuum – A system for determining the level of severity and who responds to a behavior (counselor, director, professional mental health provider, etc.).
• Behavior Board & Meeting – A visual board that shows current behavioral issues at camp and is what centers a daily behavioral meeting to discuss it.
• Camp Behavior Improvement Plans – Inspired by BIPS in special education, these plans can help identify the triggers and find ways to deescalate behaviors.
This presentation will include a demonstration of each of the tools.

Camp & Gender 101: How and Where Do We Start Talking About Trans Inclusivity at Our Camps?

Speakers: Nick Teich, Fairwinds Consulting & Fairwinds Family Camp

As a trained social worker, longtime camp director of a camp for trans youth, and a trans person himself, Nick will give directors and senior staff tools for beginning to think about how to bring trans and non-binary-friendly policies and procedures to their camps. We will go over the fundamentals of what it means to have members of the trans/non-binary community at camp, and how camps can support them within the framework of their existing camp culture. We will cover the foundations of making camps more gender-inclusive by having a safe space that encourages thinking and discussion around questions including: Who are your stakeholders & how might these changes affect them? What are your hopes & fears for gender inclusivity?

Culture and Crisis: Key to Staff Culture That Not Just Survives, but Thrives

Speakers: Jolly Corley, Camp Robindel & Jolly Corley llc

We can’t predict when our camp community will experience crisis. However, we can create and nurture a culture that is able to manage crisis when it hits. This session looks at key components of building a camp culture that can survive and thrive through the best and worst of times.

First-Generation Families: Who They Are, What They Want, & How To Connect With Them

Speakers: Max Claman, VestEd

Approximately 30% of children attend camp, and a large number of those campers come from families who already know camp well; their parents, their cousins, even their friends have had camp experiences. But what about the “first-generation” camp families? In this context, First-Generation (“First-Gen”) refers to those families who have no prior experience with camp — you know, the ones who think that “Color War” is an art activity? This session will examine modern consumer habits, share insight into the mindset of First-Gen families, and provide strategies for how to connect with them (and enroll them at your camp!).

Inclusive Camp - A Pathway Toward Friendship Between Kids With and Without Disabilities

Speakers: Lisa Drennan, MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting

Even before the onset of the recent global pandemic, isolation and loneliness were experienced by persons with disabilities at a considerably higher rate than their non-disabled peers. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we work to create opportunities for social connectedness and belonging. Inclusive camp programs provide an ideal opportunity for this to happen, but we recognize that it may not be a skillset that camp staff come to the table with inherently. When we focus on a person’s gifts and values that they can share with their community, we have taken the first step in facilitating a friendship to be fostered based on a mutual interest that two people might share. Join us to create a pathway to friendship FOR ALL.

Safety Never Takes a Holiday

Speakers: Bryan Martineau, BAM Public Safety

Well-developed emergency plans and proper staff training (such that staff understand their roles and responsibilities within the program) will result in fewer and less severe injuries and less structural damage to the facility during emergencies. A poorly prepared plan likely will lead to a disorganized evacuation or emergency response, resulting in confusion, injury, and property damage. In this session, individuals will gain a better understanding of an efficient Emergency Action Plan and create a template to bring back to their camps.

The Adventure Trail - An Innovative Approach to Team Development That's as Easy as a Walk in the Park

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

From the new ACA bookstore book (by Jim Cain and Shawn Moriarty) comes this innovative new technique for exploring the stages of group development, teambuilding, and an immersive natural experience.

The Black and Brown Experience

Speakers: Doug Sutherland, Doug Sutherland Consulting & Tyriq Howard, Brantwood Camp

Did you know Black and Brown campers and and staff members have a different experience at camp? Of course, it depends on the camp. Of course it depends on the location of the camp. Of course, it depends on the camper and/or staff member. This session will explore what it takes to welcome and create a sense of belonging to Black and Brown campers and staff members. We will discuss language, behavior, and expectations camp professionals put on Black and Brown folks and what we put on ourselves. Change the narrative to match the reality.

Sessions: C

Saturday, April 1,12:15 pm - 1:00 pm | Lunch & Learn C (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

A Tale of Two Citi- err Camps: The Dichotomy of Tech at Summer Camp

Speakers: Nelson Strickland, TIC Summer Camp

To tech or not to tech (at camp)? From cell phones to camera drones – camp professionals across the nation have been split on whether or not to allow technology at their homes away from home. As we exist in tandem with pandemic, words like “zoom” have become a verb and we put increasingly more value into limiting screen time for our youth. However, Nelson begs to question what opportunities we are missing and who are we excluding by taking such a stark stance for or against technology. Join Nelson, a Tech Camp Operations Director, as he encourages you to take a deep look into your opinion of the benefits and costs of technology at camp. Nelson will challenge the existing perspectives of the role technology plays in camp programming.

Back to Nature: Bringing Appreciation of the Outdoors into Non-Nature Activities

Speakers: Allyson Gilbert, Camp Susan Curtis

Whether working at a residential camp or a day camp, staff work hard to instill a sense of appreciation for the natural world in their campers. However, with so much variety in programming and activities, we often take for granted the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. In a camp filled with sports, swimming, and friendship bracelets how can we ensure that all campers are getting the chance to learn about the great outdoors? In this session we will be discussing tips and tricks for bringing nature into every aspect of our camp life. Learn how to put an emphasis on the natural world by incorporating it into your already successful daily plans.

Kindred Group: Women in Camping

Speakers: Megan Lynch, Camp Aldersgate

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

Round Table Discussion: Another World Crisis in Current Affairs? The Show Must Go On

Speakers: Stephanie "Ruby" Compton, Ruby Outdoors LLC

No matter how prepared we may be going into a summer, it feels like some crisis, major catastrophe, or other apocalyptic event seems to strike. This sends our staff (and maybe ourselves too) reeling. During this session, participants discuss how they have managed their staff by providing support, offering outlets for self-expression, and seeking opportunities for calls to action. As much as our camp bubble may be a place of respite, the outside world always seems to find a way in. We can’t ignore it–so, instead, let’s talk how we can be the best managers possible even when the world feels like it’s on fire.

Round Table: Oh Wait, You are a Seasonal Camp Professional?

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

Just because you are seasonal doesn’t mean you can’t be a camp professional. Occasionally the summer is all the time you can give, due to a variety of reasons like college, family commitments, distance, and other careers. We will explore the different ways to stay involved while balancing those commitments, how to continue to seek growth during the summer, and how to build a resume to potentially move into a year-round position. Join a panel of what we like to call “seasonally year-round” camp professionals to discuss and workshop how to navigate being seasonal camp professionals.

Round Table: Your Legal Questions Answered

Speakers: Isaac Mamaysky, Potomac Law Group

As we plan for each summer, camp professionals run into daily legal questions: Should we update our contracts with families? Should parents sign a waiver? Can we mandate employee vaccinations? Should we rethink our retreat agreements? The list goes on and on. This session provides an open forum to discuss your legal questions with Isaac Mamaysky, the founder/director of a large overnight camp and partner in Potomac Law Group, which has a practice team dedicated to the camp industry.

Sessions: 7

Saturday, April 1, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm | Educational Session 7 (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Bottle Cap Crafty Bash

Speakers: Jen Hargrave, Camp Quest Inc

Help save to world and our oceans one creative bottle cap project at a time. We’re going to be upcycling plastic bottle caps of many sizes into useful and decorative projects. We’ll be gluing, cutting, poking, and shaping the caps into unique crafts and masterpieces. Come learn and do 3-4 projects but leave with ideas for plenty more ways to use plastic bottle caps and keep them out of our oceans.

Building Inclusive Spaces: Combatting Microaggressions

Speakers: Nicholas Sailor, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

This workshop is designed to have participants unpack what microaggressions are, how they impact camp culture and climate, and develop tools to combat them. This workshop allows participants to reflect and analyze ways in which power dynamics perpetuate microaggressions and create solutions for a more inclusive camp space.

Dealing with Challenging Behaviors Through a New Lens

Speakers: Lisa Drennan, MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting

Being disability inclusive takes intentional work to ensure that ALL are successful. But… we recognize some children may be more challenging, requiring different mindset and strategies to set them up for successful participation and belonging. From working with families and tips for an effective intake process, to staff training and strategies on dealing with challenging behaviors, attendees will have the tools to avoid suspension practices.

Developing a Health and Sexuality Education for Teens at Camp, From Scratch

Speakers: Evelyn Kirby, Friends Camp, Anna Hopkins,Friends Camp

Comprehensive health and sexuality education is a vital way to support healthy growth in pre-teens and teens. Offering such education at summer camp allows youth to be curious and learn in a space where they feel comfortable. In this session, we will share about our first summer with a Sexuality Education program at Friends Camp. We will share the goals behind this program, the priorities of the curriculum, and takeaways from its first iteration. The focus of the curriculum is for campers to gain skills in communication and consent, particularly when it comes to communicating about their own body. We will talk about developing this curriculum, what worked well, and what we learned. There will also be time for questions.

Empowered Leadership - Creating an Action Plan

Speakers: Anthony Le, PVTL Moments

How many times have you found yourself excited about something you learn from your conference, only to go home, and fail to create change? Instead of tricking ourselves with “SMART” goals, we’re going to embark on making our leadership journey SMARTER. Because this is one of the last workshops of the conference, we will use this session to take time to reflect back on what was most valuable from your time at the conference, articulate that into visions and goals, and set yourself up for success. Come by yourself or with your team!

It's not Quiet Quitting. It's Masterful Boundary-Setting

Speakers: Stephanie "Ruby" Compton, Ruby Outdoors LLC

While camp directors are skilled at telling campers where they can and cannot go on camp property, camp pros are also notoriously terrible at setting interpersonal boundaries in lives in and out of work. This session is a masterclass on boundary-setting and how to do it in a way that feels good for everyone involved. Come prepared to practice having these conversations and to learn fundamental ideas that will make setting boundaries something you are excited to do.

No Plan, No Problem: How to Teach the Art of Magical Moments

Speakers: Nelson Strickland, TIC Summer Camp & Paige Moffett, Change Summer/The Summer Camp Society

Sometimes things aren’t going as planned. The arts and crafts activity you spent a bunch of time planning just isn’t hitting. So what’s next? In this session we’ll explore ways to pivot, improvise, and adjust to ensure your campers are getting into things they’re actually enjoying – even if it’s not the activity we thought they’d love.

The Renewed Value of Icebreakers in a Post-Pandemic World

Speakers: Jim Cain, Teamwork & Teamplay

Teambuilding Guru Dr. Jim Cain shares his favorite collection of ice-breakers and get-acquainted activities through the lens of re-building, re-connecting, and re-engaging camp staffs, campers, and communities.

Understanding and Managing Anxiety at Camp

Speakers: Jill Vetstein, Jill Vetstein LICSW Private Practice

This training will not only explain what anxiety can look like in different people, as it is not always obvious. It will also teach you how to teach this to your counselors and staff. It will explain how anxiety works and how it effects how one thinks, feels and behaves. You will learn strategies to support a child ( and counselor) who is anxious, worried, or is home sick. You will have the skills to teach your staff how to identify anxiety in children and support them through it. Most importantly you will learn concrete ways to manage your own stress and anxiety. The skills you will learn will help you, your staff, and and your campers in managing anxiety, stress, and big emotions.

Speakers (this is for 2023 - 2024 speakers and sessions will be announced later in 2023/early 2024)

Speakers: A

Emerald Anderson-Ford | Founder and Strategist

Organization: Communities Reaching for Equity and Diversity (CRED)

Attending Georgia Southern University, Emerald really began to understand and connect with growing gaps in the education system and those stuck in carceral and poverty cycles. Once completing her undergraduate career, Emerald went on to serve with City Year New Hampshire, where her understanding of community organizing and equity strategy for marginalized and historically pillaged communities grew. Most recently, Emerald served as a co-founder of the City Year Office of Equity, and now as the Chief Diversity Officer of the YWCA NH. She is a small business owner, founding Communities Reaching for Equity and Diversity (CRED), an equity consulting group, specializing in abolition and Black liberation work.

Kim Aycock | Speaker/trainer/educator/consultant

Organization: Kimspiration, LLC

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

Speakers: B

Sarah Brajtbord | Co-Founder and Operations Director

Organization: Raise Your Voice Labs

Sarah Brajtbord has championed the transformative power of dialogue-based leadership development for young people at camps throughout her career. Sarah worked at Seeds of Peace for nearly a decade, serving as the U.S. Programs Manager and Camp Director for 5 years. In both roles, her principal focus was to create a supportive environment for teens from vastly different backgrounds, identities, and lines of conflict to recognize their power and build the relationships needed to create change together. In 2020, Sarah co-founded Raise Your Voice Labs, a creative culture transformation company that uses the power of music and facilitated conversations to build relationships, healthy group cultures, realign missions, and reimagine possibilities.

Brandon Brichetto | Program Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

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

Chloe Briskin | Assistant Director of Camp and Teen Programs

Organization: Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Camp

Chloe Briskin (they/them/theirs) started their camp career working summers as a camp counselor throughout high school and college while earning a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University. After graduating, they went on to work as a naturalist at several residential outdoor schools in California, before returning to Massachusetts to become the Assistant Director of Camp and Teen Programs for the Metro West hub of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Throughout their career, they have grown a passion for working with LGBTQIA2S+ youth and teaching others how to support a gender creative atmosphere.

Scott Brody | Owner and 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 two 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 | Lead Trainer

Organization: High 5 Adventure Learning Center

Phil, originally from England, joined the High 5 team in May 2015 having previously worked in Adventure and Outdoor education for 7 years.
Phil brings high energy and devotion to the Adventure field and has presented at many conferences including ACA New England, ACA Tri-state, ACCT, Northeast and International AEE, BOOST, and several Physical Education conferences. 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.

Speakers: C

Jim Cain | Author

Organization: Teamwork & Teamplay

Teambuilding Guru Dr. Jim Cain is the author of 27 well-loved books filled with team and community building activities from around the world. His real-world in-person train-the-trainer events are legendary in the adventure-based learning community and his staff-trainings are active, engaging, memorable, effective, and fun!

Max Claman | Principal Consultant, Speaker, & Trainer

Organization: VestEd

A longtime senior leader in the camp industry, Max has been working in the 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 also helps support young professionals in the camp industry, and has served on a number of ACA committees at the regional level.

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 served Farm & Wilderness Summer Camps as summer and year-round staff, anti-racism task force chair, camper parent, and board trustee/Clerk of Equity and Inclusion. She has also served the larger ACA community, providing consultation for Diversity Equity Inclusion & Belonging strategic planning, leadership development, workshop facilitation, and organizational change management.

Garrett Coler | Association Director of Sports Operations

Organization: YMCA of the Northshore

Garrett is the Association Director of Sports Operations for the YMCA of the North Shore where he oversees the Sports Programs and Sports Camps for all the YMCAs in the YMCA of the Northshore Community. Garrett grew up attending camps in his youth and loves working with campers all summer long.

Stephanie Ruby" Compton | Chief Exploration Officer

Organization: Ruby Outdoors LLC

Ruby Compton has worked over fifteen years in the outdoor industry in summer camp and environmental education. She focuses on building inclusive work cultures, creating impactful staff training, and managing effective teams. Ruby presents at conferences around the world and is one of the hosts of the staff training podcast Camp Code.

Andrew Corley | CEO

Organization: YMCA Seven Council Fires (Formerly Sioux YMCA)

Andrew Corley is the CEO of the YMCA of the Seven Council Fires (formerly Sioux YMCA) located on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation. He believes in empowering communities through mutual partnerships, cultural competence, and equity for all. Through Andrew’s leadership, the Y of the Seven Council Fires continues strengthening their impact through their strong and trusted roots with the community for over 140 years. In 2007, Andrew joined the YMCA movement in Boston, MA and continued to leverage his commitment by relocating to the Y of the Seven Council Fires in 2014. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from Bridgewater State University.

Jolly Corley | Director

Organization: Camp Robindel, Jolly Corley llc

Jolly Corley, M.S. works each summer developing 150 emerging leaders to create a dynamic & thoughtful camp culture through staff development. Using games, theatre, and life experiences she prepares staff to understand that our own experiences are the most useful tools for reflection & growth to a solid foundation in becoming leaders for life. Her work with Camp Robindel & Jolly Corley, llc, takes her around the world providing training to develop a staff culture that promotes personal & professional growth. Check out for more information.

Diane Culkin | Office of Designation, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Organization: US Department of State

Sarah Cunningham Castro | Camp Director

Organization: YMCA Camp Takodah

Sarah Cunningham Castro is the Camp Director at YMCA Camp Takodah, a concurrent residential camp in South Western New Hampshire. Having grown up going to and working at camp, Sarah is a camp person through and through. She uses her years of experience and training in everything she does. Sarah is Co-Chair of the ACA New England Camp Conference and an ACA Visitor. She hopes to provide campers and staff a place to discover their best selves.

Speakers: D

Zach d'Arbeloff | Director of Summer Programs

Organization: Belmont Day School

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

Lisa Drennan | Founder/ Inclusion Consultant

Organization: MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Counseling

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

Umut Dursun | Executive Director & Camp Director

Organization: Harbor Camps

Umut Dursun is the executive director and camp director at Harbor Camps. He is a former Sergeant in the US Marine Corps, award-winning saxophonist, and 2011 Teach For America alumnus, and the former co-director of YES Institute, a non-profit rooted in suicide prevention and education on gender and orientation. He also serves on the Board of Directors for NH Camps and lives in Miami in the off-season.

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Jeff Frigon | Director of Youth and Student Programs

Organization: The Browne Center for Innovative Learning

Jeff has been involved in Adventure-based Experiential Education for 25 years. He got his start in Camps at Camp Nashoba North in 1994 & has worked in many environments; therapeutic-adventure with Outward Bound, Classroom-based with the Exeter Alternative High School, and has been working with youth and adults as an educational consultant at The Browne Center as well as teaching at UNH since 2010. Jeff holds a B.S. in Outdoor Education and Psychology from UNH and an M.S. in Experiential Education from The University of Minnesota. When not at work, Jeff spends as much time adventuring as possible: surfing, kayaking, SUPing, backcountry snowboarding, MTB and road biking, and spending QT with his wife, Steph and dog, Salty.

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Simone Gamble | JEDI Consultant

Organization: OAAARS

Simone Gamble is a community organizer from NYC. They worked youth organizations throughout NYC, focusing on various social justice issues. Simone has been active in the camping world since she was a child when her mother first enrolled her in day camp at 10 years old. At 18, they were hired as a counselor at a camp in NY where they spent over 10 years of her camping career ranging in roles from counselor to Assistant Camp Director. She has seen all levels of camp and this has guided her lens when consulting on creating safer and inclusive spaces for all campers. Lastly she is the founder of OAAARS – a community of consultants of color that offer social justice centered training to create safe(r) & inclusive workplaces

Meghan Gardner | Director

Organization: Guardian Adventures

Meghan Gardner is the founder of Guardian Adventures, which provides consultation and development of educational events specializing in culturally relevant story-based and emotionally immersive experiences. Meghan is also founder of where people of different lived experience can list and be hired. Meghan is an event designer for Royal Caribbean Cruises, educational game asset developer for University of Georgia, and an annual guest lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Tracey Gaslin | Executive Director

Organization: Alliance for Camp Health

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

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

Dave Ghidiu | Assistant Professor

Organization: YMCA Camp Cory (Alumnus)

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).

Allyson Gilbert | Leadership Team

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Allyson Gilbert has spent the last nine 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, Allyson sees the impact a positive camp experience can have on children’s sense of purpose, resilience, and confidence. In the off-season Allyson works as a high school science teacher, sharing her love of the natural world with a different group of youth.

Marcie Glad | Assistant Director

Organization: Tenacre Day Camp

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 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!” As Founder of Bright Moose LLC (, Emily provides training, consultation, and PD for camps, schools and youth orgs. She has 20+ years of camp leadership experience, including 15 as ED at Camp Starfish (NH). She is the VP for NHCamps and is a visitor, committee member, NCDW faculty, and facilitator for ACA NE. You’ll find her in Camping Magazine, ParentingNH, the Project Real Job Blog, and the Day Camp Pod. She is a special ed advocate and MHFA Instructor, has a BS in Health Psych and MS in Camp Admin/Leadership, and is an avid collector of terribly awesome puns.

Katie Grenci | Camp Director and Property Manager

Organization: Girl Scouts Heart of NJ

Kate holds a Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has over twenty years of experience in youth development and camp, including five years of progressive experience in group home management. Kate is currently a Camp Director and Property Manager with Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, directing their two day camps and supporting year round programs and rentals. She also supports the national conversation around camp and the outdoors as a member of Girl Scouts USA’s Camp Advisory subcommittee.

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Rachel Hailey | Founder/Transformationalist

Organization: DEI Outdoors

Rachel is the Owner/Transformationalist at DEI Outdoors, a firm which deals directly with the outdoor industry to foster DEI in organizations. Her main objective is to transform the outdoors into a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible space. Rachel is committed to creating an industry where anyone can experience, thrive, and lead in the out of doors, and has a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities. Rachel is a speaker and published author. Outside of her endeavor to bridge the gap between racial and ethnic diversity in the outdoors and social justice, Rachel can be found seeking magical creatures in the woods with her daughter and German Shepherd.

John Hamilton | Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer

Organization: Alliance for Camp Health

John is a strategic leader in the camp, out-of-school time (OST) and youth development fields. He currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer for the Alliance for Camp Health (ACH). John has a deep understanding of mental, emotional, and social health needs of youth, national program expansion and a hope-filled perspective. Prior to ACH he served as the National Director for Camp HOPE America where he collaborated with city/county government, national leaders, clinicians, psychologists, and community-based organizations. John has an MA in Leadership and Cultural Justice, has been named ACA’s Subject Matter expert on MESH and Trauma-Informed Care at camp and is a former Executive Director of a camp near Lake Tahoe.

Jen Hargrave | Field Manager

Organization: Camp Quest Inc

Jen is a life-long crafter, with her main hobbies being scrapbooking and knitting. During her 10 years at Girl Scout camp, she was the craft specialist and mentor. 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. Jen currently works for Camp Quest Inc, an organization with camps across the country. Jen has offered over a dozen workshops at the ACA New England conference, as well as several at Tri-State and at her local environmental educator’s conference.

Meghan Haslam | Camp Director

Organization: Mass Audubon

Meghan (she/her/hers) began her career as a camp counselor in the Rocky Mountains. After graduating with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Colorado College, she spent three years in Peace Corps Nicaragua, where she went on to found the 4 Walls Project to improve local housing. She managed a range of educational and outdoor programs in Central America through 2014 when she returned to the US to direct 100 Elk Outdoor Center in Colorado, and later a base camp for North Carolina Outward Bound School. Her passion for connecting with diverse communities through nature led her to Mass Audubon where she directs camps and youth programs in the Metrowest Boston area.

Amanda Hatley | Founder and Director

Organization: She Summits Co

Amanda is an outdoor enthusiast who currently calls Old Town, Maine home. She has worked in the camp and outdoor industries for 18 years, starting as a camp trip leader and now the owner of a summer camp and adventure travel business: She Summits Co. Amanda has a BBA from Boise State University and is currently working on an MBA. She loves spontaneous hiking adventures to new places and all things travel, especially getting lost in a new country.

Anna Hopkins Buller | Camp Director

Organization: Friends Camp

Anna Hopkins Buller has been the camp director at Friends Camp since September 2016. Anna is a graduate of Williams College with a degree in Biology and Leadership Studies and of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business with a Masters of Business Administration in Social Impact. Anna is a Board member of Maine Summer Camps and the American Camp Association, New England, and loves learning alongside peer camp directors to build better camps, serving more children.

Tyriq Howard | Camp Director

Organization: Brantwood Camp

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Katie Johnson | Senior Consultant

Organization: The Redwoods Group

Katie Johnson has spent 20+ years as a youth development professional working with both overnight & day camp programs, including eight years with the American Camp Association. Katie’s experience as a camp director and camp executive has shaped her ability to serve the camp community. Katie joined The Redwoods Group in 2016, where she is sharing her professional experiences to help camps and youth serving organizations provide safe environments and programs for children and families.

Donna Johns-Thomas | Director of Professional Development

Organization: Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

Donna Johns-Thomas is currently on the Human Resources team as the Director of Professional Development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. Before this, she was the Director of Education for the American Camp Association, New England for 13 years. Donna also owns her own business as a consultant, trainer, and public speaker. Her areas of expertise include human resources, group dynamics, staff training, supervision, leadership, morale, and multi-generational workplace characteristics. Residing in New Hampshire, she is also a weddings and event planner and a Justice of the Peace. Her hobbies include playing the guitar, spending time with her friends and family, and filling her Amazon cart with things she will never buy.

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Evelyn Kirby | Assistant Director

Organization: Friends Camp

Evelyn Kirby has been the assistant director at Friends Camp since 2021, after two summers as a counselor and many summers as a camper. Evelyn graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2021 with a degree in Gender Studies and Politics. They now live in Northampton, MA working alongside the camp director to prepare for next summer. For Evelyn, the best part about working at Friends Camp is the opportunity to create a welcoming and fun space for any and every child. As a camper, Evelyn loved the sense of community camp provided, and they are passionate about giving campers (and staff!) the same access to that joy.

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Megan LaCroix | Leadership Development Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Megan has worked at Camp Susan Curtis (CSC) for seven 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. 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, Maine.

Anthony Lê | Leadership Coach, Consultant, Trainer

Organization: PVTL Moments

Anthony Lê is a driven leadership consultant, coach, and trainer. His mission is to inspire and empower leaders to change the game of leadership to be more holistic and equitable for humankind. He envisions a world where leadership is taken on for the greater collective to ensure an even greater future for all. He has managed, directed, and facilitated multiple leadership programs over the years. He is currently leading an immersive leadership class for participants showing passion to transform their work in private, public, nonprofit, higher education, and tech sectors.

Genein Letford | Founder and Chief Creative Officer

Organization: CAFFE Strategies, LLC

Genein Letford is an award-winning speaker, best-selling author, and corporate trainer. As the 2019 LA Lakers Business Woman and the 2015 CA Charter Teacher of the Year, Genein is a national thought leader and creator of the concept of ‘Intercultural Creativity®’. She is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of CAFFE Strategies, LLC which is a consulting, coaching, and training company that trains C-Suite executives and employees to create sustainable organizational equity and inclusion strategies while unleashing their innovative thinking for themselves and in their businesses.

Taylor Levesque | Associate Program Manager

Organization: MGH Aspire

Taylor is an avid Camp enthusiast with over nine 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 Disorders 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.

Mark Lipof | Co-Owner/Director

Organization: Camp Micah

Mark Lipof is the founding co-owner and director of Camp Micah in Bridgton, Maine. Micah is a co-ed, Jewish, residential camp with 290 campers and 170 staff built in 2001. Mark has over 40 years of camping experience as a camper, counselor, head counselor, camp administrator, and director. Mark graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and earned High School teacher certification. He then graduated from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work with an MSW and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

Heather Logee | Camp Director

Organization: Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp

Heather Logee started at Windham-Tolland 4-H Camp as a camper at age seven. She grew up at camp and gained experience in just about every possible staff role before becoming Camp Director in 2007. Heather has a Master’s Degree in Camp Administration and also serves on the Connecticut Camping Association Board. Heather enjoys helping campers/staff find their love for summer camp, helping them grow as leaders at camp and in their communities.

Megan Lynch | Assistant Director for Day Camp

Organization: Camp Aldersgate

Megan Lynch is the Assistant Director for Day Camp 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 two daughters who are excited to be campers. Megan is a part of the EPIC New England Committee. 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.

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Marty Madden | Wealth Management Advisor

Organization: Merrill Lynch

Marty began his financial career at his family’s investment advisory firm outside Chicago. After moving to Maine with his wife to start a family in 2007, he continued to work for his family’s firm and focused of 401k employee education. He also began consulting with other firms to establish 401k education programs for them. After several years, Marty eventually joined Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor in 2015. There, he has continued the 401k concentration he has had for the past 20 years.

Isaac Mamaysky | Partner

Organization: Potomac Law Group

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. He is also the founder and executive director of a large ACA-accredited overnight camp in Wayne County, PA. By working at the intersection of camp and law, Isaac brings a unique perspective to helping camps with their legal needs.

Bryan Martineau | Chief Executive Officer

Organization: BAM Public Safety

Bryan Martineau has an impressive career with over 15 years in the public safety, private security, executive protection, and occupational health and safety industry.He earned his Business Management Degree at Manchester Community College. He continued his education in Organizational Leadership at Southern New Hampshire University and his Certified Safety and Health Officer Certificate from the OSHA Training Institute. Bryan currently serves on the Board of Executive Protection’s ANSI Standards Formation Committee.

Jon Mattleman | New England Clinical Director

Organization: Minding Your Mind

Across all of his work, Jon brings warmth, understanding, and patience…plus a healthy dose of humor! In his more than 30 years of experience as a therapist and presenter, clients and audiences have felt comforted by his ability to acknowledge that the challenges they face are complex – and often downright exhausting! Jon’s most requested presentations are: “The Secret Lives of Teens and Tweens”, “Let’s Talk About The “A” Word” (Anxiety), and “QPR Suicide Prevention”. In addition, Jon has created many presentations in the past two years including “Teen, Tweens, and Quarantines”, and “Resilience Required: Supporting Student Mental Health”, and “Understanding our new norms and supporting our own and others’ mental health in the COVID era”.

Corey Meurer | Building Communities of Care Director of Operations

Organization: Justice Resource Institute

Corey Meurer is the Building Communities of Care (BCC) Director of Operations. He is responsible for oversight and implementation of the BCC curriculum and over 85 trainers across all JRI sites, as well as external training and consultation. Corey has been with JRI for over 11 years, working in various roles in residential settings, and the Director of the JRI Covid Isolation Unit. As an administrator, Corey focused on the training and development of staff to provide a safe, trauma-informed environment. Corey represents BCC at national conferences and has led multiple training initiatives and implementation teams to establish high standards of trauma-informed treatment within programs internally and through his role as a consultant.

Paige Moffett | Head of Operations

Organization: Change Summer/The Summer Camp Society

Paige currently works as Head of Operations for Change Summer, and supports The Summer Camp Society part time with operations.
She believes clear, collaborative processes can…make your camp more inclusive; help your team experience more moments of success and less moments of under- preparedness; save you time and money; build positive team culture through clarity and ease of access to necessary information; and make your life as a camp leader way, way easier. Paige believes that the magic of camp is in the moments with campers and team members that remind her that camp can truly be a place that fosters community, unity, empathy, love, and connection. And she wants to be part of creating these spaces and moments.

Shawn Moriarty | Camp Director

Organization: Mass Audubon

Shawn has spent his whole career since 1983 working with summer camps and outdoor education programs. He worked at a day camp in Connecticut for 11 years before beginning his residential camp career. 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 has worked at eight camps in six states and directed three 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. Along his journey Shawn got involved in learning place-based skills, deep nature connection, storytelling, and presenting at camp and experiential education conferences around the country.

Terri Mulks | Camp Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

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

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Cheryl Oliveira | Associate Director of Day Camps and Outdoor Program

Organization: Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts

Cheryl is the Associate Director of Day Camps and Outdoor Program for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Previously, she was Site Supervisor of the After-School Activities Program and Early Risers Program in Natick MA and also worked as the Education Program Manager for Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Camp. Cheryl has a passion for watching both kids and staff experience accidental learning. She is a committed ACA, New England volunteer where she has served as a Standards Visitor, Volunteer Liaison for the New England Conference, and the Volunteer and Logistics Coordinator for Camp Champions.

Helen O'Reilly | General Counsel

Organization: The Fresh Air Fund

Helen O’Reilly is the General Counsel of The Fresh Air Fund, where she manages a variety of legal, insurance, compliance, and training needs for residential camp programs and year-round youth experiences. She is an experienced trainer who regularly trains large groups on employment law, child safety, and risk management.

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Krystal Pegram | Leadership Academy Director

Organization: Camp Harbor View

Krystal Pegram is the Leadership Academy Director at Camp Harbor View (CHV). In this role, she leads CHV’s 9th grade RISE and Leader in Training program teams and oversees the design and implementation of our year-round curriculum serving high schoolers. Krystal has extensive experience as a mentor of high school and college students, helping them to navigate the financial, social, emotional, and cultural aspects of matriculation. She is a passionate, creative, and innovative person who strives to guide young leaders to reach their fullest potential.

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!

Janet Prensky | Principal - Director of Public Relations

Organization: Aigner Prensky Marketing Group

Janet Prensky has more than 40 years of experience managing public relations and crisis PR for a wide range of clients including the American Camp Association, New England, British Airways, Simon Malls, Shaws Supermarkets, Mount Auburn Hospital, CBS Radio, the Charles Hotel, the NE Flower Show, Juvenile Diabetes, and Panera Bread. She serves on the Boards of two non-profit organizations, Operation A.B.L.E. and Birthday Wishes and was Boston’s first female sports talk host, launching WEEI Sports Radio as co-host of the Glenn and Janet Show.

Háppi Price | Principle

Organization: Improv 2 Improvement

Mr. Háppi J. Price is an energetic teacher, trainer, and mentor with a 25-year history of working within the Visual and Performing Arts community. His mission and philosophy are based on teaching individuals and groups how to connect, create, and collaborate with their innate abilities by using altruistic movements, sounds, and dialogue to manifest innovative creations through Improv in a safe environment. Moreover, embracing vital moments of intimacy, immediacy, and spontaneity while emphasizing positive characteristics.

Aaron Proietti | Founder

Organization: Today's Innovator

Aaron Proietti is the author of the book Today’s Innovator, and founder of a coaching and training company of the same name. He is an innovation expert with 20+ years of experience innovating in complex organizations. Aaron has spoken at many conferences on topics related to program design, organizational values, innovation leadership, customer-centricity, and more. Through Today’s Innovator’s Shout.Camp program, Aaron and team advise camps on strategy, program design, and more.

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Chris Rehs-Dupin | Co-Founder

Organization: Transplaining for Camps

Chris Rehs-Dupin doesn’t shy away from hard topics, hard feelings, or neighborhood cults. With a patterned shirt collection bigger than a camp costume closet, Chris excels at meeting people where they are in a fun, engaging, and impactful way. Chris co-founded Transplaining in 2020, and since then he has helped hundreds of camps become safer, more affirming places. He now runs Transplaining for Camps, as well as serves as the Camp Lead for Camp ReImagined. His seventeen years of combination day/overnight camp experience (plus a few years at the impound lot) have given him unique perspective and a passion for helping others be their best selves and make their biggest impact.

Kailla Rowell, LICSW | 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.

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Nicholas Sailor | National Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Organization: Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Nick Sailor presently serves as the National Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Previous to this role, he was the inaugural Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and worked as the Director of Training & Education for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Providence College. In addition, he is a Board Member of D.I.E.C.E. (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, Council of Excellence) Athletics and Co-Founder of The Baldwin Collective LLC – focusing on providing trainings and strategic planning relative to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Nick has a Bachelors Degree from Providence College in Sociology & Women’s Studies with a minor in Black Studies.

Meredith Stewart | Consultant

Organization: The Redwoods Group

Meredith is a Consultant with The Redwoods Group where she provides insight, tools, and a collaborative approach to keeping children and families safe. Prior to Redwoods, Meredith worked in Safety and Risk Management for the YMCA, with a specialization in camping and the safety of children. Her 22 years of front-line experience in camping and youth-serving organizations have shaped her career into a platform for child advocacy and risk management safety.

Nelson Strickland | Director of Operations

Organization: TIC Summer Camp

Nelson Strickland is a camp director, consultant, envelope pusher, and song singer from Camden, New Jersey. Nelson started going to camp at DragonFly Forest at the age of 11 and hasn’t missed a summer of camp since. Aiding in the advancement of over 40+ camps, he now uses his diverse background to encourage others to ask themselves “How can we make this more awesome?”. Nelson never aims to give folks “the right answer” and is consistently attempting to engineer innovative ideas from other industries to work in the camp space. He is currently the Director of Operations for TIC Summer Camps in the DC area and Lead Content Creator for an amateur esports organization.

Jamal Stroud | Mentor and Outreach Manager

Organization: Camp HOPE American

Jamal Stroud is the Mentor and Outreach Manager for Camp HOPE America. Jamal has received his master’s in mental health counseling from Lenoir-Ryne University. He has over a decade of experience working with nonprofits, at-risk youth, children, and adults with disabilities. Jamal is devoted to assisting others on their growth path and creating awareness to improve hope and healing. Jamal was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres show for his endless community service and the advocation for the youth.

Doug Sutherland | DEI Facilitator and Consultant

Organization: Doug Sutherland Counsulting

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Doug Sutherland moved to New Hampshire to work directly with children and adults in the outdoors. Summer camp is Doug’s happy place. Currently, he is working as a DEI Facilitator and Consultant and he is a member of the ACA, New England Board. His love of camp comes after family, friends, and building enriching communities. Actually, this is pretty similar to camp.

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Mateo Tebar | Leadership Team Bunk Liaison

Organization: Harbor Camps

Mateo Tebar has been part of the Harbor Camps family since 2019 as a bunk counselor and archery coach. Mateo’s passion for ensuring campers and staff had a fantastic summer experience led to creating the first Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Affinity group for the team and BIPOC-focused events for campers. His goal is to continue to make all those who come to Harbor Camps feel safe, supported, seen, and an extension of his family.

Nick Teich | Director/Owner

Organization: Fairwinds Consulting & Fairwinds Family Camp

Nick is the owner/director of Fairwinds Family Camp, a new family camp in Maine for families with trans & non-binary youth. He also runs Fairwinds Consulting, which consults and trains camps and others regarding gender-related issues. Nick founded and spent 13 years as the director of Harbor Camps, during which time the camps served thousands of trans & non-binary kids at its home in New Hampshire and beyond. He is the author of Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue (Columbia University Press). Nick has been involved in camps since 1993. He has a doctorate in social policy and a master’s in social work. He serves on the Board of ACA, New England and lives in the Boston area.

Katie Toole | Assistant Director of The Sharpe Reservation

Organization: The Fresh Air Fund

Katie has worked for over 15 years in the outdoor industry working at both camps and in environmental and adventure education. She has worked for the past 13 years with The Fresh Air Fund. Katie currently serves as the Assistant Director of Sharpe Reservation, The Fresh Air Fund’s outdoor education center. At Shape, Katie focuses on staff culture, training, staff development, and the management of adventure programs. In her free time Katie is a graduate student at SUNY New Paltz in the Social Justice Educational Studies program.

James Tresner | Executive Director

Organization: Wanakee

James has served as the Executive Director at Wanakee, a non-profit camp and retreat center in Meredith, New Hampshire, for seven years. Prior to becoming a full-time camp professional, James worked in fundraising, marketing, and outreach for a large national non-profit, taught 6th grade at a Saudi school on the Arabian Gulf, led an after-school program, and worked in higher education. James is a graduate of Middlebury College (VT), where he studied Environmental Studies and Music, and has finally accepted that his dad was right when he used to muse “what are you going to be, a singing park ranger?”

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Jill Vetstein | Clinical Social Worker

Organization: Jill Vetstein LICSW Private Practice

Jill Vetstein is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the state of Massachusetts. She is a Certified Early Intervention Specialist, Developmental Specialist, Infant Massage Instructor, Certified Child Yoga Instructor, and Reiki Master. Jill’s office is in Natick, MA where she provides Integrative Mental Health Therapy, Emotional Energy Reiki Healing, and Play Therapy to children, parents, and adults in her private therapy practice. Jill provides workshops and trainings in her business “Nurturing Parents and Teachers”. She specializes in child behavior, development, parenting, and mental health.

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Mac Wallace | Camp Consultant

Organization: Zion Lutheran Day Camp

Mac Wallace is from Fort Myers, Florida where he works with camps to help train staff to work with youth to create a positive and supporting environment while also having a lot of fun. For Mac, camp is the place where you can truly be yourself and feel supported by the people around you.

Dakota Warren | Skills Director

Organization: Camp Susan Curtis

Dakota has been involved with Camp Susan Curtis for 19 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 works as an Occupational Therapist at Camp Susan Curtis in the summer and Great Falls Elementary during the school year.

Josh Waxman | Chief Operating Officer

Organization: Camp Harbor View

Josh Waxman is Chief Operating Officer at Camp Harbor View (CHV). Josh is responsible for ensuring that CHV’s systems and structures enable the organization to carry out its mission of supporting 1,000 youth and families annually. Josh brings 15 years of leadership experience that spans the non-profit and public sectors. Previously, Josh has held leadership roles at the Martin Richard Foundation, United Way, and City Year. Josh serves as a big brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and as mentor for aspiring Non-Profit leaders through the Institute for Non-Profit Practice at Tufts University. Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and leadership and management certificates from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life.

Dan Weir | Senior Consultant

Organization: Immersive1st

Dan Weir has been developing overnight camps, day camps, and strategic initiatives 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 ACA NY-NJ and the New York State Camp Directors Association. Known for taking on the challenges facing youth serving organizations, Dan is the Senior Consultant for Immersive1st. With summer camps, he focuses on camper growth strategies, staff recruitment, leading an effective staff training, tools to make a camp director’s life easier, utilizing data for fundraising, and coaching.

Austin Willacy | Co-Founder

Organization: Raise Your Voice Labs

Austin Willacy is a pop and a cappella mentor artist, award-winning singer-songwriter, music producer, and group facilitator with decades of global experience helping leaders of all ages make lasting change. For the past 25 years, Austin has directed ‘Til Dawn, Youth in Arts’ award-winning teen a cappella group that empowers youth to find their voices in many different ways. In 2020, Austin co-founded Raise Your Voice Labs, a creative culture transformation company that helps groups build brave spaces to have discussions that matter and embody new visions of community through musical co-creation. As an organizer and facilitator for YES!, Austin has been co-creating Jams—immersive gatherings of diverse changemakers–since 2007.

Dawn Willard-Robinson | Camp Director

Organization: Pine Tree Camp

Dawn is heading into her 20th year as Pine Tree Camp’s Camp Director. Throughout her time here, Dawn has been involved in ACA New England, the Maine Youth Camp Foundation, and ACA National. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Special Education as well as in Therapeutic Recreation. She has a wide range of experience working with people with disabilities that includes eight years in the special education department in the Lewiston school system and 10 years with Child Development Services in Androscoggin County.

Polly Williams | Director of Alumni Relations

Organization: Farm & Wilderness Summer Camps

Polly Williams has been involved with Farm & Wilderness Summer Camps in Plymouth, VT, for 30+ years and is the former Director of the Farm & Wilderness Day Camp in Plymouth, VT. This fall, she assumed a new position as their Director of Alumni Relations. She holds a BS in Health and Physical Education, as well as a Master of Social Work. Polly has worked with non-profit boards, summer camps, K-12 schools (independent and public), universities, religious institutions, and community groups regarding DEIB, specific to race, gender, and LGBTQ inclusion.

Andrew Wood | Coordinator of Youth and Student Programs & Challenge Course Steward

Organization: The Browne Center for Innovative Learning

Andrew has been working with experiential learning, as well as play-based learning and adventure, for over a decade. In his work, he blends his love for the outdoors with his love for people, seeking ways to foster intrinsic growth and create safe spaces where people of all ages can be vulnerable, explore new ideas, and spread their collective branches. He has been working with The Browne Center for about 8 years, and holds a B.S. in Outdoor Education and an M.Ed in Educational Studies, both from the University of New Hampshire. Andrew enjoys spending his time on rocky mountain summits, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and generally being a huge nerd about his ever-expanding list of hobbies.

Jarod Wunneburger | Camp Director, Timberlake

Organization: Farm and Wilderness Foundation

Jarod Wunneburger (goes by “W”) is the 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 is currently training a Samoyed named Atlas to become a therapy dog.

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