Schedule at a Glance - Mid-Atlantic Camp Conference


*Sessions will be added as they are confirmed.*


Tuesday, January 12, 2021
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

YMHFA Pre-Conference - Course FULL

Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
9:45 am - 10:00 am

Conference Opening and Welcome with Sam Roberts

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Opening Session with ACA's Chief Operating Officer -  Henry DeHart

Henry will reflect on lessons learned from COVID-19 this past summer and our current assumptions for summer 2021. He will also share highlights on ACA's strategic plan, data collection, and updates to the Field Operations Guide.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Panel Discussion With Camps That Ran Virtually & Alternative Programs

Summer 2020 was challenging. Thousands of camps across the country were not able to run in-person programs. Hear from several Mid-Atlantic regional camps that adapted, evolved, and met their community’s needs through innovative programming and ideas.

How do you communicate online with your community during times of crisis? How about during Covid? - Nick Middleton

We will work through the 5 steps you can take to develop a plan to cut through the noise and get your message in front of your intended audience. As individual interactions shift to online spaces, it’s vital to have a communications plan for how to interact, market to, and continually engage your community.
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

A Dozen Do's and Don'ts for Gender Diverse Campers and Staff - Chris Rehs-Dupin

In GLSEN's 2019 National School Climate Survey 86.3% of LGBTQ students have experienced harassment or assault based on personal characteristics- including their sexuality or gender identity.  Camp has an incredible opportunity to give these youth something that is noticeably lacking in school- a safe place to express themselves without fear of harassment and bullying.  In this crash course, Chris will give you 12 points to evaluate how ready your camp is for transgender and gender non-conforming campers and staff.  From forms to frontline conversations we will work together to find the areas you should be concentrating on to make your camp a life-changing beacon of hope for this unique and wonderful group of youth and young adults.

Did They Even Cover That In The Training? Create Trainings That Engage Staff And Maximize Information Retention - Chris Quinn

“Deep breaths” was all I was repeating to myself while in one hand I had an epi-pen and in the other, I had a child with a peanut allergy who had just eaten a peanut butter sandwich.  I was trying to think of all the times we talked about this in trainings. Questions were running through my head.  Where do I stick the Epi-pen? Can it go through the pants? How long do I hold it? Can I do it too hard? I remember wishing I had paid better attention during the training. These types of events are scary and potentially life-threatening. You have someone’s child’s life in your hands.  We attend all the trainings, but when the time comes we don’t remember what we talked about. Come learn how to prepare the staff for weathering perfect storms and how to make sure they engage with the training that will help them navigate a crisis situation calmly.

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Evening Social, Networking and Round-Table Discussions
Thursday, January 14, 2021
9:30 am - 9:45 am Opening Session with Alex Barge
10:00 am - 11:00 am

A Roundtable with ACA Accreditation Aficionados

With the experts to guide you, come share and explore your questions and thoughts about ACA Accreditation. If you're considering accreditation for the first time, or are a seasoned volunteer, join us to talk about the current trends affecting standards, how the modes of operation impact your accreditation, the importance of your statement of compliance, bridging from the 2012 standards to the 2019 standards, becoming a visitor and more!

Lessons Learned from In-Person Programming in 2020 – Jeff Malloy and Dan O’Neil

Join Jeff Malloy and Dan O’Neil as they present how they successfully ran in-person Day Camp programming this past summer, the challenges they ran into, what they learned, and how they are approaching Summer 2021.  Jeff and Dan welcome your tough questions, darts, and suggestions with the goal of everyone walking away with a better understanding of the challenges faced with on-campus programming in the current state.

Virtual Engagement - Allison Klee & Jack Schott

Join Allison Klee, camp director of Camp Stomping Ground, and Jack Schott, Founder and director, to discuss best practices for virtual engagement including conflict resolution skills, program ideas, and facilitation tips to create an online space for fun and connection.


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Engaging Staff: Skipping a Season Without Skipping a Beat - Kim Aycock & Jolly Corley

Summer 2020 was unusual in many ways, but especially for staff. Regardless of how things played out with various scenarios of camp running in some form or not, building a staff team for 2021 weighs heavily on your mind. How do we get staff to buy-in to the unknown of this summer? How do we compensate for the gap in leadership experience for any staff not at camp this past summer? Join us and move forward with practical ways to engage staff without skipping a beat (or panicking!).

Allies vs. Accompliceship - Simone Gamble

In this workshop, participants will discuss the shift in language in the conversations about equity and social justice in this current political moment.  Members will define the difference between ally and accomplice and how to respond to this call to action as camp leaders and professionals.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Camping in COVID Times: Effective Health and Wellness Measures - Dr. Tracey Gaslin

The difficult summer of 2020 has required a great deal of work, innovation, intentionality, and grit. For those camps that provided services this summer, we have a great deal to learn from them. This session will outline research information gathered from camps that operated this summer and discuss decision-making criteria and nonpharmacologic interventions (NPIs) that helped camps provide a summer experience to youth across the US.

Camps and COVID-19: What We Know, What We Don't, and Where We Go From Here - Dr. Laurie Browne

Are you curious about the impact of COVID-19 nationally on camp programs, businesses, and participants? The ACA research team will present what they learned through various studies conducted in Summer 2020 to help you prepare for 2021. ACA’s Director of Research will share new findings and answer your questions in a live Q and A.

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm Closing with Mark Orens