Great Rivers Fall Conference Draft Program in Progress

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

  • 12:30 p.m.                          Registration for Intentional Staff Training for Successful Emerging Leaders
  • 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.       Intentional Staff Training for Successful Emerging Leaders
  • 6:30 p.m.                             Dinner

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

  • 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.         Early Bird Breakfast for November 12 Arrivals
  • 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.         Registration
  • 9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.       Welcome and Opening Keynote

Leadership Growth Through Conflict
Jolly Corley, Robindel for Girls
“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument,debate.”  Margaret Heffernan
During this interactive session, you will learn to reframe conflict as an opportunity, rather than a barrier. By seeing conflict as a catalyst for change, you will learn to use it as a tool for increasing productivity. Jolly will explore how emotional intelligence informs our relationship with conflict and work with you to identify your responses before you become emotionally hijacked. Through activities and exercises, you will explore ways to engage in difficult conversations with staff, campers and supervisors. You will learn strategies for setting expectations and creating accountability.

  • 11:00 a.m.-12:15 pm      Breakout Session #1

Model Leadership
Jolly Corley, Robindel for Girls
How do you bridge the gap between the leadership team and frontline staff? This session looks at the unintentional actions of leadership team that cause a barrier and sometimes frustration of staff, “The leadership team have it easy and we do all the work”. Examining camp policies, rules and behaviors allows us to put into place thoughtful leadership that models the behaviors we want from the staff they lead.

Theming Your Camp from the Ground Up
Kali Tomlinson, Nebraska 4-H Camps
Are you looking to add some pizazz to your camp experience? Tired of old themes and ideas? Too many returning campers getting bored? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We will discuss themes for both residential and day camps and how you can use them to your advantage. We will also talk about getting staff engaged and bought into the themes. Connect all your themes to STEM, art and play. Join us!

Facilities Matter
Dave Sherry, The Sherry Group
Our Facilities make the first impression on Mom and Dad when they arrive at camp, they are seen in our photos, advertisements and used in our programs.  We will discuss why their condition is so important and talk about inexpensive ways you can make a difference.  You will walk away with an affordable to do list to improve your camp.

  • 12:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.      Lunch
  • 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.      Hot Topic Discussions

Pick a topic and join a discussion! This is a great time to discuss hot topics, share ideas, and network with others who are interested in the same issues!

  • 2:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m.         Breakout Session #2

Creating a Staff Culture for Retention and Excellence
Jolly Corley, Robindel for Girls
Getting good staff and getting them to commit for a summer let alone multiple summers. How do we compete to find the best staff in an ever global world with so many opportunities available to those we want to work at camp?  Millennials & Gen Z want transparency, collaboration, work-life balance and leadership opportunities. You will be given the opportunity to consider ways to recruit, hire and invest the time and energy required to give the best, and in turn received the best out of your staff, while keeping the needs of potential staff and camp at the forefront. Staff who are thoughtful, engaged and invested in the entire camp culture provide campers with an environment in which to thrive and grow.

Incorporating Science Education into Camp Activities… The Fun Way!                                  
Lindsay Rogers, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Incorporating science education into camp settings is critical for the development of scientifically-literate citizens who care about the environment and are engaged in conservation. Yet, how these science-based lessons are incorporated into the camp setting is critical to camp remaining fun and active. Learn why camps are able to better educate students about scientific concepts, how to include science into your camp programing without sacrificing fun, and discover several regional and national resources available for camps to use when developing science and nature-based programing.
Capital Campaign Takeaways                                                                                                                    
Trent Meyer, Camp Fontanelle
seem insurmountable and overwhelming.  What steps should be taken to tackle a sizeable campaign?  Camp Fontanelle had been considering building a Retreat Center since 2010.  It wasn’t until 2015 that the courage was mustered to start the ball rolling.  Camp Fontanelle conducted a feasibility study in 2016 and hired a campaign consultant in 2017 and started soliciting 3-year pledges in 2017.  The goal of the campaign was to construct a building geared toward housing summer campers.  The original building contained room for 60 campers (all bunkbeds) and an 11,000+ footprint at an estimated cost of $1.8 million but mushroomed to and 14,000+ footprint with 72 beds and 26 toilets at an estimated cost of $2.4 million (unfurnished).  The campaign’s goal is $2.9 to cover campaign fees and furnish the building and have a $200,000 endowment for long term maintenance.  The campaign currently sits at $2.4 million raised ($2 million cash, $400,000 in outstanding pledges) with active solicitation ongoing.  Come share your experiences, challenges and visions related to capital campaigns.
  • 4:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m.     Breakout Session #3

Board Development: Are you Getting the Best from your Board?
Mark Slocom, The Sherry Group
Description: Let’s take a journey and explore the value of a well-designed board of directors,advisors, or volunteers. Is your board designed with the needs of the organization in mind or is it a hindrance? Together we will look at the purpose of your board and how to intentionally create a group that will support you and work hand in hand to meet your goals and serve your clients.

Ask the Experts…. YOU!
Sean Gundersen, Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers
Bring your brainstorming hats as we come together to help answer YOUR questions! In this round table session, there are no topics off limits as we dive in on your issues in a practical working session with other camp professionals. Bring your questions and at the end of the session you will have a practical plan of action to make meaningful steps toward resolution.

Have Faith in Your Brand: Telling Your Story                                                                                     
Gay Bruner, American Camp Association
Share your story. You are unique. Don’t hide your light. Discuss trends. Learn how to tell the world who you are, whether your audience is a parent of your faith or a non-faith-based rental group. Learn to differentiate your programs from others. Explore opportunities to leverage digital platforms to share your story: inspire action, recruit, engage, and fundraise.
  • 5:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m.                        Dinner

Join us for an evening of fun! Share your favorite games or head outdoors for a campfire, songs, and of course s’mores! Connect and continue conversations with other conference attendees. This is an evening social for everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

  • 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.         Breakfast
  • 8:45 a.m.-9:15 a.m.         LCOL Update and Awards
  • 9:15 a.m.-9:45 a.m.         Overnight guests check out and silent auction payment
  • 9:15 a.m.                                Silent auction ends
  • 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.       Breakout Session #4

Fundraising in a Small to Medium Camp
Dave Sherry, The Sherry Group
Not all of us have the luxury of a full-time development director to raise funds for our camps.  How can you increase fundraising to support your program and facilities now and in the future?  We will discuss annual campaigns, capital giving and planned gifts.  We will also discuss your role in the fundraising experience.

Bringing Free Play to your Program
Abbie Parker, Camp Foster YMCA
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers
Camp is the perfect backdrop for letting kids play, but between structured arts & crafts, archery, nature hikes, and more do you look at your schedule and think “are the kids actually getting to play?” In this presentation you will learn about the benefits of play, how to incorporate it into your camp schedule, different types of free play, and how to help your counselors facilitate this activity to keep it safe but still child led.

Resilience and Mental Toughness – What is True Grit?                                                             
Jason Sharp, Sharp Leader, LLC
As Camp professionals, one of our core missions is to build a camper's moral compass, to help prepare them for defeat and disaster. Camp is fun, yes, but it also comes with some of the greatest lifelong lessons and we have a moral obligation to ensure resilience and mental toughness in life.
- Empowering our campers to take charge of their life experience whether at camp, home, school, or elsewhere.
- Gain a tight grasp on present day issues surrounding non-cognitive skill development in youth.
- Understand the importance of having a unique resilience training program for your camp.
- The difficulties involved with convincing parents that non-cognitive skill development and resilience training are critical components for camps in today's environment.
- Build a strong, resilient camp community which fosters independence and mental agility. 

Tour of Carol Joy Holling Center
Carol Joy Holling Center Staff

  • 11:00 a.m.-12:00   Closing Keynote

Let's do this - Making Dreams Come True and Filling your Camp
Dave Sherry, The Sherry Group, LLC
We will discuss tangible ideas and projects that will help make your camp the great camp you want it to be.  We will discuss how to develop ideas and make them a reality for you and your campers.  No dream is too large when camp folks are involved.  Let's have some fun dreaming together!

  • 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m.   Grab and Go Lunch

Thank you for attending!


Register for the Fall Conference