ACA, Southern California/Hawaii Spring Leadership Conference


April 16-19, 2024


Margaritaville Resort
Palm Springs, CA 92262


Pricing details below.



Spring Leadership Conference (SLC) is known for excellent professional development, unrivaled social events, and an incredibly relaxing and energizing conference location.  Participants will leave with innovative ideas and practical takeaways that can be implemented upon their return to camp.  Bring your full team to improve staff training, staff management, and staff retention with proven techniques shared by industry leaders.  For excellent educational content, and the very best networking, join us at Margaritaville in Palm Springs! 

Join us for:

  • 3 Keynote Presentations  
  • 40+ Education Sessions 
  • 3 Incredible Networking Socials
  • National Conference Caliber Speakers 

Our participants aren't just from Southern CA/HI anymore...And we like it!

We've been so pleased to have participants from all over the country at the Spring Leadership Conference. We've rolled out the welcome mat to camp professionals from:

Arizona | Colorado | Georgia | Idaho | Indiana | Kentucky | Louisiana | | Maine | Massachusetts | Minnesota | Missouri | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Mexico | New York | Northern California |Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Texas | Utah | Washington | Wyoming |

Early Bird registration is available through March 19, 2024.

  • Registration fee includes all SLC hosted keynotes, education sessions, social events, and dinner on Wednesday. Accommodations are not included.
  • Not an ACA Member? Join today for FREE and get the best rates for this event.


Type Early-Bird Regular
Member $370 $405
Nonmember $450 $485
Additional person from same organization-member $205 $255
Additional person from same organization-non-member $285 $335
Speaker member/non-member $170 $170
Student / Retiree-member $175 $210
Student / Retiree-non-member $215 $245


Opening "Playnote"--Kassandra Wilsey

Kassandra Wilsey

Growing up with both parents as camp directors, you can truly say, Camp is in her blood! Kassandra graduated top of her class with a Masters Degree in Recreation Management from California State University Northridge (CSUN), with an emphasis in Experiential Education. She just completed her 20th summer at Cali Camp where she is the current Executive Director. While not at camp, Kassandra has continued the education of students at CSUN as a part-time lecturer in the Recreation Management Department teaching Outdoor Education, Environmental Sustainability, and Adventure Recreation for the past 12 years. Her energy and enthusiasm for children to learn through PLAY makes her a perfect person to kick off this year’s SLC’s “Playnote.”


In my Play Era...

Are you ready for it...? Welcome, camp professionals, to a playnote where the players gonna play, play, play and shake off the seriousness. It’s important to be able to articulate what we all know in our hearts with some science about why “play” is actually so important for everyone, at every stage of life. By diving (not too deep, don’t worry) into the significance of play, and how everything we do at camp can have intentionality and purpose we can make our programs even better (and marketable). There’s no better way to learn than through play, so let’s get this party (I mean conference) started with some good ol’-fashioned icebreakers, games and activities. 1,2,3... Let's go SLC!

Wednesday Keynote--Rahel Bayar

Rahel Bayar image

Rahel Bayar is a sought after keynote speaker, trainer, workshop facilitator and consultant. Rahel is trusted by companies, K-12 schools, camps and organizations across the country to deliver inspiring abuse and harassment prevention training, and inspire those she meets to work collaboratively to create safe spaces. She uses her expertise as a former sex crimes and child abuse prosecutor, and a former managing director of the sexual misconduct consulting and investigations division of a global investigative company to effectively help each organization work to create a safe space for all.

Creating a Safe Place for Staff

Most think of harassment and abuse prevention as a heavy, risk prevention - topic - but what if we could use insight, humor, and leadership empowerment to engage our staff on what it means to create a safe space for them.  Creating camp safe spaces is all about leadership development - so let’s learn how to empower your staff to create a space that is free from harassment, understands the nuances of consent and brings some joy into these conversations.  

Thursday Keynote--Earl B. Hunter Jr.

Earl B. Hunter Jr. photo

The Earl B. Hunter, Jr story is powerful. After a high-flying career as an executive in global sales, Earl went camping for the first time in Western North Carolina and was suddenly “all in.” While working for Sylvansport RV & Camping Trailer Company as the Vice President of Sales, he took a cross-country camping trip with his son. After 20 states (plus 2 Canadian provinces) and 49 campgrounds, Earl was shocked (and a little appalled) at having encountered only ONE other Black family camping. Black Folks Camp Too was soon launched. Black Folks Camp Too is an internationally known company forging relationships and securing partnerships with global outdoor industry companies, brands, and organizations. 

LEADERS...lead with the WHY! 

When leadership learn and lead with the WHY, it's easier for them to create Sincere, Meaningful, Meaningful and Sustainable solutions!

Monday, April 15, 2024

  • Arrive early to enjoy this beautiful resort!

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

  • 9:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.  CampWell Training
  • 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration open
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.  New Attendee Orientation
  • 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Opening “Playnote”
  • 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Welcome Reception-free appetizers & cash bar
  • 7:30 p.m. – Dinner/Time on your own

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

  • 7:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Registration open
  • 9:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m.  Educational Breakout Sessions #1
  • 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.  Keynote
  • 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.  Lunch on your own--Get some pool time
  • 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.  Educational Breakout Sessions #2 
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Educational Breakout Sessions #3
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Time On Your Own
  • 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Cocktail hour and Snacks in the Exhibit Hall
  • 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Included Dinner
  • 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Dance
  • 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Chilling at License to Chill

Thursday, April 18, 2024

  • 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Educational Breakout Session #4
  • 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Keynote
  • 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.  Lunch on your own--Get some pool time
  • 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Educational Breakout Session #5
  • 2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Snack Break
  • 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Educational Breakout Session #6
  • 4:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Meet with your team (conference rooms available)
  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Dinner on your own / Night on the Town (Palm Springs Street Fair)
  • 8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Trivia Night Social
  • 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. Chilling at License to Chill

Friday, April 19, 2024

  • 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Educational Breakout Session #8
  • 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Educational Breakout Session #9
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. SLC Closing Campfire


"Playnote" and Welcome Reception

SLC Opening Playnote

Learn by doing and get to know your other conference attendees!  We will kick off the conference with an interactive and energizing “playnote” followed by our welcome reception with complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.


Spring Leadership Conference Cocktail Hour, Dinner, and Dancing

A highlight for many!  Wednesday evening activities include a themed cocktail time followed by an included dinner, and costume dance party.  For those who want to continue the fun, join others at License to Chill Bar in the hotel lobby following the dance. 

Y2K slumber party graphic with old cell phone

Y2K Slumber Party

The SLC Planning Team is excited to share the theme for the 2024 cocktail hour, dinner, and dance. It's a Y2K Slumber Party! Dust off your butterfly clips and dig out your watermelon lip smacker because it's time to party like it's Y2K all over again. Imagine yourself lounging in a blow-up chair, surrounded by the soft glow of a lava lamp and glow-in-the-dark wall stars, when suddenly, your flip phone buzzes with an invite to the ultimate slumber party.

Join us as we transport Margaritaville into the heart of the early 2000s for a Campy Slumber Party extravaganza! Whether you're channeling your inner Mean Girl with "we wear pink on Wednesdays" vibes or reliving the magic of Freaky Friday and 13 Going on 30, this is the event you've been waiting for.

Hosted by SoCal camp professionals, we've got all the essentials covered – from blow-up chairs to endless nostalgia-inducing snacks. So come dressed to impress in your best early 2000s slumber party attire and get ready to dance the night away to the tunes of Britney, *NSYNC, and Destiny's Child.


Night on the Town followed by Trivia Night Social

Go downtown for the Palm Springs Street Fair.   Have dinner with friends both old and new.  Then come back for a fun and challenging trivia social.  Following trivia join us for an informal gathering at License to Chill Bar in the hotel lobby. 


Closing Campfire

A Spring Leadership Conference tradition!  Join the conversation for our closing general session that will feature an inspirational talk and a chance to get energized for Summer 2024! 

Margaritaville Resort Photo

Welcome to Margaritaville Palm Springs.  We can't wait for you to explore this outstanding hotel which features a state-of-the-art conference facility, stylish upscale accommodations, and lots of great spaces to just relax and enjoy the perfect weather of April in Palm Springs!  Lounge by 2 sparkling pools, schedule a spa treatment or indulge in innovative craft cocktails at the 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar.

Some other exciting features of Margaritaville Palm Springs:

  • Beautiful modern hotel with two pools, hot tubs, and poolside bar.
  • Hotel photo gallery.
  • Great location - 1 mile from downtown and 4 miles from Palm Springs International Airport.
  • Award winning full-service spa.

Reserve your hotel room by Tuesday, March 26th!

  • ACA Room rates are (Guaranteed through March 26th):
    • $179 – Standard Room Two Queen Bed
    • $179- Standard Room One King Bed

Reserve your room by calling Margaritaville’s Central Reservations Team at 866-403-1929 or by using this link:  Reserve your room!

If using the link to book, do not be alarmed if you see a message stating only one or two rooms are left.  Plenty of rooms are available!

**Important Note: ACA has negotiated a reduced resort fee for our attendees, however, the hotel’s reservation system cannot be changed.  Rest assured, the resort fee will be reduced to $10/day at check-in.**

The exhibit hall date is Wednesday, April 17, 2024. 

Booth cost

Register to exhibit

Sponsorship Opportunties

  • Title sponsorship:  $8,000 – Choose three of the elements listed below.  Includes an exhibit booth, and two minutes to address the participants
  • Keynote:  $3,000 – includes an exhibit booth, two minutes to address participants
  • Pool reception:  $2,500 – includes an exhibit booth – you can also have an area at the pool reception for a product display if there is room
  • Dinner sponsor:  $5,000 – includes an exhibit booth
  • Session sponsor:  $1,000 – you will be assigned to a session
  • Snack/break sponsor:  $600

All sponsors receive logo recognition on signage.

Contact Kim Fitzgerald for exhibitor questions and sponsorship packages and details.

Registration for CampWell is closed. If you would like to be placed on a waiting list, contact Betsy Thamert,, 765-342-1349. 

CampWell is a six-hour skills-based, training course that guides participants to identify, understand, cultivate, and create a community of well-being.  CampWell is a collaboration between the American Camp Association (ACA) and the Alliance for Camp Health (ACH) and is supported by the H.E. Butt Foundation.  The CampWell training program aims to help all be well at camp and seeks to create consistent care across the spectrum of all summer learning spaces.  

CampWell Training at SLC

  • The first portion of CampWell training at SLC is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.  Remaining CampWell sessions will be incorporated into breakout sessions on Wednesday, April 17.  In other words, there will be designated CampWell sessions during scheduled breakout times.  CampWell registrants will also participate in a pre-course Zoom session.
  • CampWell sessions will be limited to those who are registered for the CampWell track. 
  • The registration fee for CampWell is $70 per person.  This fee covers the program as well as lunch on April 16.  In addition, Participating camps will receive ACH’s MESH Resource Guide and slide deck for for use during staff training and a complimentary ACH membership.  This is a $200 value in addition to the course content.  Upon completion of the course, participants will have the content and resources necessary to incorporate CampWell into their staff training in 2024.   
  • Participants will sign up to be part of the CampWell Track by selecting the CampWell Track in step 4 of the online registration process.  
  • Registration for CampWell is limited to 40 participants.  
  • The goal is that camps who wish to be part of this training will register two staff for the track.  Those participants will attend all CampWell sessions.  If camps wish to register more or less than two staff, contact Betsy Thamert, 765-342-1349.
  • If you have registered for the conference and would like to participate in the CampWell track, contact Betsy Thamert, 765-342-1349. 

CampWell Schedule with Session Descriptions

What People are Saying about CampWell

We can prove with our 90% retention of staff that they feel well taken care of here. Our staff feel safe, supported, and connected. Without CampWell, our staff would quit. They were leaving and not coming back, and now they’re here.  Camp Behavioral Health Specialist (LCSW)

What we liked about CampWell is that it wasn’t a reaction to the mental health challenges, it was a holistic approach to well-being. It offered a path forward where we felt like we could build skills to actually prevent challenges from happening and give our staff and participants some resilience and skills in order to help them face challenging times.  Camp executive who has been part of the CampWell program for two years

Thanks to our sponsors!

UltraCamp logo
Cliq logo
Redwoods logo
Trinity/HPSI logo
Outfit Your Logo

Event Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring an ACA event will extend your brand identity and marketing capabilities.  For questions regarding sponsorship opportunities, contact Kim Fitzgerald,