ACA's Subject Matter Experts

ACA's subject matter experts develop online courses, facilitate web-based seminars (webinars), and help ensure the quality of the educational content. Listed below are ACA’s subject matter experts.

(Faculty alphabetized by first name.)

Ann Gillard, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Youth Development at Springfield College in Massachusetts. Her teaching and research includes program evaluation, mindfulness in summer camp staff, youth with HIV/AIDS, gender issues, and social justice. She is currently the President of the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Ann was a camp director for the Girl Scouts, and has worked and volunteered with youth programs for over 13 years. View Ann's recorded webinar about gender inclusive environments for youth. View the CAQ courses Ann was a part of creating-CAQ-Entry Level Staff, Experienced Staff and Middle Managers.

Ann McCollum has been a camp, school, and outdoor educator for the past 25 years, most recently spending a 13th summer on staff at Cheley Colorado Camps as Girls Camp Director. Focusing on maintaining the best practices of experiential education, McCollum is an independent risk management consultant specializing in staff training as well as reviewing and writing risk management policy and practice for educational and youth development programs. McCollum has real field experiences in crisis (student attempted suicide, fire evacuation, armed intruder) and first response in both front and backcountry environments. McCollum holds an M.Ed. in adolescent counseling, maintains a Wilderness First Responder certification, and has served on the ACA National Standards Commission. View Ann's recorded webinar on crisis and risk management for camps and other youth programs.

Ariella Randle Rogge is the Associate Director/Program Director at Sanborn Western Camps in Florissant, CO. She has spent the last twenty years working as a youth development professional in the camping industry and in the experiential and secondary education fields. She is a passionate advocate and supporter of the Children in Nature movement and utilizes her expertise in social media to emphasize the importance of outdoor and camp experiences for all children. Ariella received a B.A. in English from Colorado College and is a certified secondary English educator and Wilderness EMT. She lives happily in the Colorado woods with her husband and two adventurous young sons. View the CAQ courses Ariella was a part of creating-CAQ-Entry Level Staff, Experienced Staff and Middle Managers

Bob Barcelona, PH.D is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire.  His research examines recreation and sport as developmental contexts for youth, and focuses on the ways that recreation and sport organizations build healthy and sustainable programs and communities.  Bob currently serves as the Program Director of CoachSmartNH, a youth sports coaches training program, and he is actively engaged in recreation planning, consulting, and program evaluation projects throughout the country.  He also holds adjunct faculty appointments in Clemson University’s fully online graduate program in Youth Development Leadership, and North Carolina State University’s online graduate program in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management.  Bob’s interests in instructional technology and his involvement in online teaching and learning have allowed him to explore tools that are available to improve communication and professional management practices in recreation and youth development. Bob's upcoming webinar is No More Paper Surveys!  Using Mobile Devices for Collecting Data in Camp.

Bob Ditter is a child, adolescent, and family therapist in Boston, Massachusetts. He consults with youth agencies throughout the United States, including the American Camp Association (ACA), Girl Scouts of the USA, YMCA, Salvation Army, JCC, and many others. He has visited over 500 camps in the United States, writes a popular column for Camping Magazine called "In The Trenches," and has authored several books and many training videos for camp and youth development professionals.  View Bob's course on staff supervision skills.

Brandon Stratford is a Research Scientist working in the Youth Development area at Child Trends. He focuses primarily on research and program evaluation related to mental health and positive youth development, with an emphasis on school-based interventions.  He has a Ph.D. in public health from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on child and adolescent health. He has worked as an educator and a school-based social worker in the United States and Latin America and has experience implementing a number of evidence-based programs related to students’ behavioral health as well as positive parenting behaviors in both English and Spanish. He is passionate about applied, multidisciplinary research on children’s health and well-being that can serve to better inform policy and program decisions. He is particularly interested in understanding the direct and indirect pathways through which schools contribute to child well-being. Sign up for Brandon's webinar on Mental Wellness!

Chris Amidon is a Registered Nurse with 28 years of experience, and have national certification as a school nurse. I have served as a nurse at two camps, but do not claim to be an expert in camp nursing. I am currently a high school nurse, and I direct health services in our school district. I have taught sexuality education to students from sixth grade through college for 10+ years. My husband, teen daughter, and I live with our three dogs in a small town in the Midwest.  I have led efforts to improve the quality of health curriculum, including sex education, for students and adults in our community. I enjoy volunteering with my state school nurse association, and spend most of my volunteer efforts in the free health clinic that I helped to found in our county. Sign up for her webinar related to adolescent health and sexuality.

Christy Landwehr has been active in the horse industry for over 30 years. Hunter/jumper, dressage, native costume, side saddle, western pleasure, hunter pleasure, barrel racing, endurance riding and saddle seat equitation are just some of the disciplines Christy has competed in at the local, regional and national levels. Christy is a Master Level Riding Instructor and Equine Facility Manager through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) and has been teaching children and adults how to ride for over 25 years. She is a Past President of the American Youth Horse Council (AYHC) and an AQHA Professional Horseman.  With an undergraduate degree in public relations and speech communication from California State University Fullerton and a graduate degree in mass communication and journalism from University of Colorado at Boulder, Christy has vast experience in marketing and business. Currently, she is the CEO for the Certified Horsemanship Association, a non-profit 501(c)3 association whose purpose is to promote excellence in safety throughout the horse industry. Contact Christy at Clandwehr@CHA-ahse.orgView Christy's webinar on risk management essentials for camp horseback riding programs.

Connie Coutellier is an international trainer, consultant, and author. She is a national field executive for Camp Fire USA and a past national president and director of professional development for the American Camp Association. A list of the books she has written includes Camp Is for the Camper, Day Camp from Day One, Management of Risks and Emergencies, and The Outdoor Book. She has more than 15 years of experience as a day and resident camp director in four camps in the USA and one in Malaysia, and over 30 years of experience in youth development and outdoor program administration training and development. She has written online training courses, assisted in the writing of the ACA Outdoor Living Skills books, and served as a consultant for both the development of the ACA’s Basic Camp Management book and the curriculum for the ACA and the International Camping Fellowship camp director courses.  View Connie's risk management course for directors View Connie's risk management course for frontline staff.

Daniel C. Mathews, M.Ed., CTRS is the Director of Camping Services for Camp Twin Lakes, which partners with nearly 60 non-profit youth-serving organizations across the state of Georgia to provide camping opportunities for kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend due to serious illnesses, disabilities, and life challenges through its extensive programming and operation 3 campsites. He is a certified recreation therapist and manages camp operations, partner relations, food service, medical oversight, and site and facilities. Dan also serves on the faculty of Georgia Southern University, teaching in the Recreation Therapy Curriculum.  Dan has served as an ACA Visitor, Section VP and Section Treasurer. View Daniel's course Middle Managers Certificate.

David Sherry began his camping career with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee as the Outdoor/Adventure Education Program Director at Camp Whitcomb–Mason, in Hartland, Wisconsin. From there he was the Camp Director at the Woodson YMCA–Camp Sturtevant in Wausau, Wisconsin where he operated the summer resident camp, day camp, teen programs, and climbing wall programs. He has been the Executive Director of the Des Moines Y–Camp, a branch of the YMCA of Greater Des Moines, since January of 2001. Dave speaks regularly at regional camping events as both a keynote and session presenter. He is a member of ACA’s National Standards Commission and sits on boards for multiple nonprofit organizations, including the ACA Great Rivers Board. Dave received his Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.  View Dave's recorded webinars on camp facilities and maintenance.

Dawn Ewing is the Executive Director of Project Morry. Prior to joining Project Morry, Dawn worked with Amy and Morry Stein at Camp Echo Lake as an Associate Director. She received a BS from the University of Maine. She is a former ACA National and New York Section Board Member, current Program Chair for the Tri-State Camp Conference, member of the New York State Safety Advisory Council, and a Standards Visitor.

Denise Mahnke is the Camp Programs and Outside Use Manager for Girl Scouts of Western Washington. She hasten years of experience in the camping industry as camp professional including Camp Program Manager overseeing nonprofit partnerships for six Western Washington Camps. Denise is a Project WET, Aquatic WILD, PLT, and Salmon In-Classroom Facilitator, ARC Instructor Trainer, ACA Instructor, Challenge Course Facilitator, ACA Standards Visitor, ACA Evergreen Section Education Committee Chair, and past ACA Evergreen Delegate to National Board.

Diane Tyrrell, CCD has over 30 years experience and an extensive background in water safety, paddlesports, and aquatics risk management. She has over 20 years experience in the camp and youth development field, and is widely respected as an expert on aquatics risk management. She has been a speaker at multiple American Camp Association national and regional conferences.  Diane maintains various Instructor Trainer level certifications and has worked with camps, municipalities, universities, and various youth organizations, including the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, YMCA, 4-H, and Special Olympics.  Diane is the author of the book 101 Games & Activities for Canoes & Kayaks, contributed content to the American Red Cross Small Craft Safety and Lifeguard Management training curriculums, and provided content for the book Camp Waterfront Management by Cathy Scheder.  Diane is the Director of Camp Motorsport and CEO of Frog Pond Aquatics, which offers certification training, management consulting, and risk assessment services.   Learn more about the webinar Diane will be leading on building a better lifeguard in March 2012.

Dr. Edward Walton completed Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics residencies at the University of California, San Diego. Currently, he is the Division Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He has received a variety of honors and recognitions for excellence in education, service, and patient care. The Michigan College of Emergency Physicians named him “Emergency Physician of the Year” in 2007.  View Dr. Walton's course on injury prevention.

Erin Policinski is the Program Director for Girls Inc. of Monroe County. Erin holds a Master's degree in Recreation and Park Administration from Indiana University (IU), and grew up going to YMCA summer camps and working at YMCA and Girl Scout summer camps. Erin is a Standards Visitor and the Secretary for the American Camp Association, Indiana. Erin has trained New Director Orientation for ACA as well as the Awesome Campfire Programs e-Institute course. When she's not at work, Erin is training for triathlons, playing with her dog, Boulder, and cheering on Notre Dame Football and IU basketball.  View Erin's course on campfire programming. 

Elizabeth Rundle is the Director of the Junior Program at Sanborn Western Camps. She is also an instructor with the High Trails Outdoor Education Center, an experiential-based school program. Her goal is to help campers and staff take time to slow down and make relevant, meaningful connections with the natural world.

Elizabeth Snell, originally from Pennsylvania, started out attending camp as a child. Over the years she became a CIT, Counselor, Adventure Director, and Camp Director. Elizabeth completed her Master’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation from Indiana University and has spent the past eighteen years working with several nonprofit organizations providing programming. Elizabeth is currently a member of the ACA, Indiana Board of Directors, serving as the Standards Chair. She is also a Standards Visitor and Standards Instructor. Elizabeth has presented at several state and national conferences.  View Elizabeth's course on campfire programming. 

Ethan D. Schafer, Ph.D. received his doctorate in child clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2004. He earned his BA from the University of Michigan, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with High Honors in Psychology. Dr. Schafer is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at Case, where he teaches classes in abnormal child psychology, psychological assessment of children, and human sexual behavior. He is licensed child clinical psychologist.  Dr. Schafer specializes in treating children and adolescents with a variety of emotional and behavioral issues. Dr. Schafer consults with summer camps and local schools, conducting training and educational workshops for parents, teachers, camp counselors and staff, day care staff, and other child care professionals.  Learn more about the Ethan's webinars on improving staff training.

Gabe Chernov is the second generation owner and director of Birch Trail Camp. Gabe has presented at National and Regional conferences and is the author of the AIC’s Internet Policies for campers, staff and parents. Gabe is the founder of, a safe, fun social networking site for camps. Gabe’s lifelong ambition has been to find the fountain of youth. He found it, but did not go in because the water was too cold.  View Gabe's recorded webinar on social media policies and norms.

Genie Gunn, a former Camp Director, is currently serving as the Food and Nutrition Manager for the model kitchen of "Rainbow In My Tummy ©", an innovative initiative to improve the quality of food served to children in early care settings in Western North Carolina and beyond. Founder of Happy Camper Food Solutions in 2012, she envisions camp environments which model sustainable lifelong habits in and beyond the dining hall. View Genie's webinar on healthy food culture.

Gwynn Powell, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Recreation and Leisure Studies Program in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia. She has experience with environmental education and day and resident camp, as well as work experience with camp directors in Russia through Camp Counselors Russia Study Abroad. She has collaborated with students to create several ACA e-Institute courses, assisted with several ACA publications, and served in a variety of volunteer roles at the section and national level. She received the ACA National Honor Award and the Southeastern Section Distinguished Service Award.

Jamie Sabbach, M.S., CPRP has spent the majority of her professional career working in and for public parks and recreation, and higher education. She has worked for notable public agencies such as the Champaign Park District (IL); the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department (IN); and the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department (CO) in the capacities of programmer, facility manager, superintendent and director.  She has taught in the Parks and Recreation Administration program at Illinois State University, and has continued to contribute to higher education as an adjunct faculty member at Metro State University in Denver, Colorado.  Jamie currently works as a consultant (110 Percent, LLC) where her focus is on enhancing organizational effectiveness and efficiency.  Learn more about Jamie's webinar on building community partnerships.

Jeff Jacobs, Ph.D., is as an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California. His research and teaching has focused on outdoor and camp leadership, adventure travel and tourism, affinity for nature, and sense of community. Jeff has served as a summer camp director for the past fourteen summers, continues to lead international adventure trips, and is often the biggest kid at camp. He has made multiple international, national, and regional presentations and has been a frequent contributor to Camping Magazine. Jeff has served as the coordinator of ACA’s Camp Research Symposium since 2007.  View Jeff's course on creating community in camp.

Jeffrey Leiken, MA, President of Evolution Mentoring International, is a Professional Mentor and internationally regarded expert in mentoring youth into thriving adults. He’s an Award Winning author and acclaimed speaker noted for his unapologetic, provocative style and practical, doable advice that generates real results. He’s helped over 200 Camps train their staff to be extraordinary and to create riveting programs that change lives. Expect intelligent, in-depth exploration of critical issues, exploring the horizons of what is possible.  Learn more about the webinar Jeff will be leading on motivating millennial staff in April 2012.

Dr. Jennifer H. Selke is a Licensed Educational Psychologist and runs a large day camp at UC Berkeley. For the last twenty years, Jennifer has been running youth programs for both the US Air Force and UC Berkeley. In her spare time, she has a private practice assessing and teaching social skills to teens with Asperger’s syndrome, Autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities. She runs the popular blog, teaches online social media classes for LERN, is a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education UC Berkeley, and speaks at conferences around the country.  View Dr. Selke's autism and aspergers course.

Jen Burch believes in the spiritually transformative potential of camp.  She is Management Consultant for ACA’s Religiously Affiliated Camps (RAC). She holds a Masters of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology, and B.A. in Psychology from Haverford College.  She served as Camp Director/Manager at Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp in Montana, and Pine Lake Camp in Wisconsin, and has been a contributor to New Earth Outdoor Resources ecumenical Christian camp curriculum. She currently serves on the United Methodist National Camp & Retreat Committee.  Jen lives in Colorado with her nature-loving husband and son. 

Jim Sibthorp, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. He teaches courses on youth programming, outdoor education, and program evaluation. Jim is one of the original authors of the ACA Youth Outcomes Battery and has subsequently developed additional measures for this tool. Jim was also involved in the work to develop a camp quality assessment system with ACA. In addition to his work with ACA, Jim is active in research with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and regularly publishes articles on outdoor education and adventure programming.

Jodi L. Rudick, MAS is the owner of ADvisors Marketing Group and is the "creative force" behind the firm, responsible for new project development, creative management, training, and consultation. Jodi’s marketing plans and strategies have helped all types of camps — public and private, faith-based and community day camps — increase attendance, customer loyalty, referrals, and profitability. She proudly serves on ACA’s Fund Development Committee and has served two terms as Park and Recreation Commissioner in the City of Oceanside, California.  View Jodi's course on marketing essentials.

Joel Haber, Ph.D., “The Bullycoach” is a Clinical Psychologist, camp consultant, professional speaker, a member of the Council of Experts, and the consultant for, the first social on-line game where kids create superheroes and learn to deal with bullies. He is a creator of helping kids deal with the emotional challenges they face today and winner of 5 major parenting awards. He is the author of the book, "Bullyproof Your Child for Life."  View Joel's course on bullying prevention.

John Hall is the President of Pure Environmental Solutions, LLC, which provides environmentally-friendly services in bed bug control, integrated pest management, indoor air quality restoration, proactive disinfection of indoor surfaces, and disaster recovery.  John started in business and service in 1982, when he founded Camp Horizons, a full-service summer camp in Virginia that now serves over 1300 campers per summer.  Innovative camp programming at Camp Horizons led to new opportunities, resulting in the founding and success of Horizons Consulting Group, Horizons Youth Services, The Outdoor Learning Center at Horizons, and Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center.   View John's recorded webinar on effective bed bug planning and response in camps.

John Paul McNeal is a Drupal website developer for Redfin Solutions, LLC. He graduated with honors from the University of Georgia, where he received his master's degree in education. Prior to joining Redfin, John Paul worked for more than 10 years in the field of youth development. He has experience with arts education, after-school programs, day camp, resident camp, and international youth programs. View the CAQ courses John Paul was a part of creating: CAQ-Entry Level Staff and Experienced Staff

Jordan Richmond has been involved in camping for over 27 years in various positions. He has held the role of Aquatics Director, Camp Director, Camp Consultant, Leadership Education Director, and much more. In addition he is an Outward Bound and National Outdoor Leadership School instructor. The founder of Hire Adventure LLC, he holds fifteen years of recruiting and training experience. He is a certified Life Coach and holds an MS in Creative Studies and Change Leadership. He serves on both the ACA and AEE National Conference Committees. He is also the former Director of Operations for Broadway in Chicago and works with several fortune 500 companies as a creativity consultant and leadership coach. View Jordan's Webinar Audition Versus Interview: Casting the Role of Camp Counselor here:

Karla Henderson, Ph.D., is the Chair of ACA's Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation (CARE) and is a professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. As a member of ACA for over thirty years, she has served on numerous section committees as well as on the ACA Publications and Education Committees. 

Keliann LaConte, Informal Education Lead, Lunar and Planetary InstituteKeliann LaConte leads the Lunar and Planetary Institute's informal education efforts, including developing NASA educational materials for use in out-of-classroom learning experiences and conducting training events. Through her work, Keliann has the opportunity to support professionals in a variety of settings — including libraries, camps, and parks — as they bring STEM into their programs. Keliann received her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Denver and her M.S. in environmental science and engineering from Caltech. She began helping others connect to the wonders of the natural world during her previous work as a park naturalist and museum and aquarium docent. Watch Keliann’s webinar Integrating STEM into Your Camp Activities with NASA.

Kim Aycock, MST, Kim Aycock, MST, has 25+ years of experience blending the skills of a master teacher with the knowledge of a seasoned camp expert.  She trains camp staff at all levels and speaks professionally at regional and national conferences.  Kim has the ability to connect with and motivate learners of all ages through her interactive and innovative presentations.  More information can be found on her website:  View Kim's recorded webinar on improving staff training programs.

Kurt Podeszwa is the director of Camp For All, a Texas residential camp serving children and adults with special needs and chronic illnesses. He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Illinois University and has spent much of his adult life working in outdoor and adventure education. A former Marine, Kurt has more than eighteen years of professional recreation experience. A frequent speaker and trainer on topics ranging from staff training to adaptive programming, Kurt is also an ACA standards visitor and visitor instructor. In addition to serving on the faculty of ACA's e-Institute, he is also a faculty member of Expert Online Training and the founder of Journey Consulting, which hosts blogs authored by Kurt and other innovators in outdoor education.  View Kurt's recorded webinar on behavior management strategies for special needs populations.

Dr. Laurie Browne is the Director of Research for the American Camp Association.  In that role, she facilitates national-level research on the outcomes of the camp experience and industry research on camp business operations.  She also supports camp evaluation and trains camp professionals in the use of ACA's Youth Outcomes Battery and Camp Program Quality Assessment tools.  Dr. Browne earned her degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and the University of Utah and currently lives in Salt Lake City with her family.  View Laurie's course on evaluating outcomes and program quality in camps.  View Laurie's recorded webinars:  "Beyond the Survey: Creative Approaches to Assessing Camper Outcomes" and "Tips and Tricks for Surveying Campers."

Linda Ebner Erceg, RN, MS, PHN, is the Associate Director of Health and Risk Management for Concordia Language Villages and Executive Director of the Association of Camp Nurses (ACN). She lives at camp in Bemidji, MN. An avid proponent of “healthier camping for all,” Erceg authored The Basics of Camp Nursing (2009) with Myra Pravda, has written and spoken extensively in the area of camp health and risk management, developed the seminar “Management of Camp Health Services,” and has been actively involved with the Healthy Camps research initiatives. Her formal education includes degrees in nursing, health education, psychology, and physical education. Linda’s ACA efforts include Chair of the Healthy Camp Education and Monitoring Program Advisory Committee, column author for Camping Magazine, being a Standards Visitor, activity in her Northland Section, a National Board term, and service on ACA’s CARE Committee.  View Linda's course on a counselor's role in camp healthcareView Linda's course on injury and illness prevention.  Learn about Linda's recorded webinar on exploring technology and camp healthcare.

Lindsay Bartolone, Chair, NASA Science Mission Directorate Informal Education Working Group
L. Bartolone serves as the Education and Public Outreach Lead for NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer Mission. She manages a national team of partners to share the exploration and discovery aspects of the mission in ways which make the science relevant to the learner. She leads a number of activities related to this mission including the creation of a nationally field tested integrated space science curriculum guide for grades 6-8 (with GEMS at Lawrence Hall of Science), teacher professional development, an internationally distributed digital planetarium show, a kit of educational materials to support the show in museums, the creation of materials for people with visual impairment and a website and social media effort. L. Bartolone is also Co-I on two of NASA’s Science Education and Public Outreach Forums: Astrophysics and Heliophysics. These teams of Education and Public Outreach Professionals are formed to increase the awareness, knowledge, and understanding of scientists, researchers, engineers, technologists, educators, product developers, and dissemination agents of best practices, existing NASA resources, and community expertise applicable to E/PO. By coordinating and supporting the NASA E/PO community, the NASA SEPOF partnerships will lead to more effective, sustainable, and efficient utilization of NASA science discoveries and learning experiences. L. Bartolone was a part of Adler Planetarium’s Education Dept for 14 years, and participated in a number of museum project and program teams. Watch Lindsay's webinar Integrating STEM into Your Camp Activities with NASA.

Maggie Braun directs WeHaKee Camp for Girls, a private Catholic camp in Wisconsin. Maggie also directed Catholic Youth Camp in Minnesota. Maggie spent 17 years professionally with the Girl Scouts as an Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and Camp Director.  Maggie is a member of the ACA Board of Directors and chairs the National Board Development Committee.  She holds an MBA and is adjunct faculty at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.

Mary Fuller Everhart received her BA in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University in 1987. Ms. Everhart is employed as the Training and Development Director for Mandatory Reporting at the Children’s Law Center, University of South Carolina School of Law.  With over 30 years of experience in law enforcement, Mary is currently a trainer for the SC Department of Education in the area of Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect and has trained more than 14,300 mandatory reporters in the last three years.  She has extensive experience teaching youth program providers around the United States on the topic of interviewing children and on mandatory reporting of abuse and neglect.  View Mary's course on recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.

Mary Marugg RN (along with her husband Winston) are Directors of Sonlight Camp in Southwest Colorado. With over 35 years of camp leadership and camp nursing experience, Mary has spoken at several conferences, authored articles on camp healthcare, and been involved  in the leadership of Association of Camp Nurses for 30 years. Encouraging healthy camp communities is a personal priority and dedication. Sign up for Mary's upcoming webinar on Mental Wellness!

Mary Rogers is the Executive Director at Sherwood Forest Camp, a youth development organization serving children from economically disadvantaged families in St. Louis Missouri.  Mary has been a camp professional since 1979 as Camp Director and as Executive Director since 2001.  Mary is a long time member of the American Camp Association, where she has served in various volunteer roles at local, regional and national levels.  Mary is currently working on behalf of her high school’s Capital Fund Drive and serves on the board of Whole Kids Outreach.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University. View the CAQ courses Mary was a part of creating: CAQ-Entry Level Staff and Experienced Staff.

Mat Duerden received a Ph.D. in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Youth and Family Recreation from Brigham Young University. Before coming to BYU Mat served as an Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist at Texas A&M University.  Mat’s research focuses on youth development and experience management and evaluation with specific interests in within experience processes, structured experiences for youth, and nature based experiences. Mat’s publications have appeared in a variety of journals including Leisure Sciences, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Journal of Park and Recreation Administration and Journal of Adolescent Research. 

Melanie Berry has been a member of the Blue Camp team since 2001 and this is her fourth year directing the Social Skills Program. A UC Berkeley alumna, she is currently a doctoral candidate at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium where she's focusing on child psychology. Her doctoral dissertation concerns the inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorders in community recreation settings.   View Melanie's autism and aspergers course.

Michael Brandwein ( has presented in all fifty states and on six continents. He is the number one best-selling author in the camp field with five books on training and leading staff. A frequent national and regional keynoter and trainer for staffs of individual camps, Michael has presented three Emmy® award-winning TV programs on working with children. A former ACA national board and executive committee member, Michael has won two national awards from ACA. He chairs the 1st annual National Day Camp Conference at ACA Mid States in Chicago, April 10, 2014. He and his wife have two sons.  Learn more about Michael's webinar on improving day camp staff performance.

Michael Thompson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, family therapist and school and camp consultant. He is the author of nine books, including the New York Times bestseller Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys and the recently published Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow. He has consulted to or spoken at more than 700 schools in the U.S. and around the world.  Learn more about Michael's webinar on "Managing Parental Fears."

Nancy A. Shenker has consulted to camps and summer programs for more than ten years, as CEO and Founder of theONswitch marketing. She has extensive background in both conventional and digital media and knows how to create integrated marketing plans, programs, posts, and tweets that deliver awareness and bottom-line results. She also writes about practical technology, has contributed to Camping magazine and the Huffington Post, and leads workshops nationally, including speaking at ACA’s conferences. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she is also a former “camp mom.”

Nezette Rydell is the Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Boulder, Colorado.  She leads the office of 23 meteorologists and support staff serving northeast and north central Colorado as well as the Center Weather Service Unit at the FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center in Longmont.  Nezette holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Computer Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University.  Nezette is involved with education and mitigation efforts for weather hazards and works closely with state and county emergency planners and responders in the areas of weather threats, tropical cyclone impacts, fire weather support and multi-cultural messaging in warning and preparedness.

Nick Teich is the founder and president of Camp Aranu'tiq of Harbor Camps. Aranu’tiq is the world’s first camp exclusively for transgender and gender-variant youth, with locations in New Hampshire and California. Since childhood, Nick was a camper, CIT, counselor, and member of camp leadership at a private camp in Maine. Besides working year-round to prepare for and run camp programs, Nick is also a PhD candidate at Brandeis University. In 2012 he authored Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue  (Columbia University Press). He has a deep personal interest in helping transgender youth to be themselves. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Erika, and their two dogs. Learn More about Nick's webinar on "Transgender Staff at Camp."

Paul Bello has been a licensed pest management professional since 1976.  He owned and operated his own business for over ten years and has served as technical director for large and international pest control companies.  He is a former student of one of the industry’s premier and notable experts, Dr. Austin M. Frishman, and is the founder of the Austin M. Frishman Endowment Scholarship established at Purdue University.  He earned his Baccalaureate Degree in Entomology at the University of Georgia and an MBA in Accounting from Adelphi University.   Paul is the author of The Bed Bug Combat Manual published in October 2011 and is viewed as one of the industry’s leading bed bug experts. In April 2005 Paul launched his consulting practice PJB Pest Management Consulting, LLC and provides a variety of consultative services to various clients across the country. He travels the United States providing assistance to clients from many industries.  View Paul's recorded webinar on effective bed bug planning and response in camps.

 Paul A. Schlag, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration Department at Western Illinois University. He has a B.S. from Brigham Young University in Recreation Management/Youth Leadership, an M.P.A. from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, an M.Ed. with Distinction in Instructional Technology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Georgia. He began working at camp when he was 12 years old and has worked at various camps since 1991 (excluding two years). He has developed online training courses for multiple national organizations (including ACA), has contributed to assorted ACA publications, has presented at numerous regional and national conferences and has served as the multimedia director for several of ACA's National Conferences. The highlight of his career is teaching "Camp Administration" at Western Illinois University (students develop, fund and run Camp Rocky for the course) and coordinating WIU's Summer Camp Job Fair.  View Paul's course on teaching staff how to make the camp experience camper-focused.

Rob Burns has spent many years studying what it takes to lead, inspire and influence others. Rob completed a four-year degree in business and worked within the international marketing department of a French company before joining Lake of the Woods & Greenwoods Camps.  Having lived in Spain, Germany, Cyprus, and England, Rob decided that he wanted to find out what an American summer camp was all about!  Rob presents at national and local conferences on influence and leadership strategies.  Learn more about Rob's webinar on The Psychology of Influence.

Inspired by a childhood divided between an urban home and a working ranch, Rue Mapp founded Outdoor Afro, an online community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through outdoor activities. She now advises on a number of national initiatives that aim to connect more diverse participation in the outdoors; she was recently appointed to the National Parks Committee on Relevancy, and invited to the White House twice in 2010 for the launch of the Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, and to take part in a think-tank to inform the launch of the Let’s Move campaign. She currently serves as a Program Officer for the Foundation for Youth Investment to oversee its grantmaking to help programs connect underserved California youth to the outdoors. Rue earned her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and enjoys nature frequently with her three school-aged children.  View Rue's course on cultivating the relevancy of the camp experience.

Ryan Rosen is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in graphic design and has been involved with Camp Kinneret for 19 years dating back to his early days as a CILT & lifeguard. After 3 years as the Camp Kinneret Pool Director followed by 3 years as the lead assistant camp director, Ryan spent two summers as co-director of Sunny Skies Day Camp. He returned to Camp Kinneret as a director following the 2007 camp season. Ryan is active in professional camp directing circles, having served on the board of the Western Association of Independent Camps. Ryan currently serves on the Board of Directors for Heschel Day School and for Friends of Oak Park Schools. Follow Ryan @campk_ry

Sandra (Sam) Thompson, CPRP has been a recreation supervisor for the Crystal Lake Park District for over thirty years. She is an ACA Standards Instructor, Standards Visitor and a Medic First Aid Instructor. Her writing has appeared in the Illinois Park and Recreation Magazine and Camping Magazine. She has been on the Day Camp Pod, Podcast, spoken at national, state, and local conferences on a variety of camp and after school subjects.

Stephanie Compton is the Summer Camp Program Director at Green River Preserve in Cedar Mountain, NC. Her camp experience includes teaching experiential education at Nature’s Classroom Atop Lookout Mountain and working at YMCA Camp Widjwagan in Nashville, TN in a variety of positions in both day and overnight camp. Stephanie can be found leading workshops at conferences and online at Nature is the Best Teacher. Staff orientation is Stephanie’s favorite part of any season when she particularly enjoys sharing traditions, leading songs, solving problems, and teaching others. She believes camp is the most powerful professional development tool in the world.   

 Stephen Gray Wallace, M.S. Ed. has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent counselor. He serves as an associate research professor and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education at Susquehanna University, the director of counseling and counselor training at the Cape Cod Sea Camps, and as senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), an organization he served as national chairman and chief executive officer for more than fifteen years. He is the author of more than seventy articles and newspaper columns on youth development and decision-making and his book, Reality Gap, has been critically acclaimed youth advocacy and parenting organizations.  Stephen is the principal of Summit/CMC, a management company consisting of consulting units in prevention, media, marketing, and government relations.   Learn more about the leadership webinar Stephen will be leading in May 2012.

Steve Maguire is a veteran in the fields of education, summer camp and customer service. He has been teaching, coaching and working with camps for the past twenty years. Upon graduation from Plymouth State University in 1997, Steve began working as a middle school teacher and coach.  He has been a full time public school teacher, this year entering his 18th year teaching in the classroom. He has also served in various summer camp roles from general counselor to camp director.  Ten years ago, Steve began presenting professionally, and has since presented for such nationally recognized organizations as the American Camping Association, National Parks and Recreation Association, Independent School Health Association, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, as well as various other camps, schools and municipalities.   He has facilitated trainings and consultations at over 500 camps in the last 10 years! He is a member of the faculty for Expert Online Training, the premier online staff training resource in the world.   Steve is also a regular contributor to the ACA’s CAMPING magazine. He has been both a keynote and education session hit at any conference he’s presented. Steve is a remarkably dynamic speaker. His ability to engage the emotion and minds of his audience members is a powerful combination. His presentations are known for their clear organization, humor and pragmatic outcomes.  

Stuart Jones is Owner/Director of Outpost Summer Camps and has been continuously involved with ACA since 1994. After 10+ years with Tom Sawyer Camps in Altadena, CA, he moved to San Diego and in 2001 followed a life-long dream by founding Outpost Summer Camps, which served over 1000 campers last summer. Stuart is a frequent speaker and staff trainer at both local and national American Camp Association (ACA) conferences, and works closely with local school districts leading trainings for teachers and support staff on innovative teaching techniques for both classroom and playground environments. Stuart is a parent of four and has a master’s degree in developmental psychology. 

Stuart T. Weinberg, MD FAAP is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. He also currently serves as Vice Chair of the American Academy of Pediatric's Council on Clinical Information Technology (COCIT) and maintains the AAP's Electronic Medical Record Review site. Stuart has been involved with camping for over 45 years as a camper, staff, camp board member, volunteer, consultant, national speaker, and ACA Ohio Section board member. He has received a YMCA Camp Volunteer of the Year Award and an ACA Ohio Section Oak Leaf Appreciation Award. Stuart is a member of ACA's Healthy Camp Education and Monitoring Program Advisory Committee. Learn about Stuart's April webinar on exploring technology and camp healthcare.

Susan Fee, M.Ed. is a clinical counselor practicing in Cleveland, OH. She specializes in adolescents and speaks nationally on the topics of mental health, resiliency, conflict resolution, relational aggression, and effective communication. Susan is the author of several resources including Circle of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Facilitator Guide, 101 Strategies for Resolving Conflict and the college survival guide, My Roommate is Driving Me Crazy! She has presented several times for ACA national and conducts staff trainings across the country. Learn more by visiting  Learn more about Susan's recorded webinars on managing youth behavior, mental health issues in camp, and diffusing angry people.

Suzanne Gurton, Education Manager, Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP)After many years writing, producing and presenting planetariums shows and education programs in planetariums in Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, Boulder, New York City and Santa Fe, Suzy has spent the last 14 years at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific developing outreach materials and the networks of amateur astronomers, park rangers and museum educators to use them. Watch Suzanne’s webinar Integrating STEM into Your Camp Activities with NASA.

Tom Neppl is the principle of Neppl Landscape Architecture and Planning, LLC and a lecturer at  Iowa State University.  Tom's environmental design firm integrates scholarship and research into practice, serving clients with interests in the outdoors and the natural environment. He is an active member of ACA, Great Rivers, and when he’s not designing a camp master plan or conducting a standards visit, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and son (all of whom are former and current summer campers).  View Tom's recorded webinars on connecting children with nature through site and facility planning.

Tony Oyenarte is the Director of Camp Crystal Lake, a year-round outdoor education center that is owned and operated by the School Board of Alachua County. Tony and his staff at Camp Crystal Lake have the opportunity to work with over 6800 students annually from the Alachua County area.  The summer season is busy with a residential summer camp and adventure program.  Tony has spoken at several regional and national conferences on the value of year-round camping and the partnerships between schools and camps. Tony has been very involved with the American Camp Association including:  Past-President of the Southeast Section, Florida District Chair, and a current member of the National Transition Team. Prior to being the Director at Camp Crystal Lake, Tony was a high school Math and Science teacher at Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Florida.  View Tony's recorded webinar on developing year-round relationships between camps and schools.

Tracey C. Gaslin, PhD, CRNI, CPNP, FNP-BC is a professor and nurse practitioner specializing in camp nursing and infusion care.  Her doctoral degree is in educational and organizational leadership and she publishes the majority of her work in medical camp nursing, pediatric bleeding disorders, and pediatric development.  She is currently the Medical Director at The Center for Courageous Kids and serves as the President for the Association of Camp Nurses.  Dr. Gaslin also serves on ACA's Healthy Camp Education and Monitoring Program Advisory Committee.  View Tracey's recorded webinar on preventing traumatic head injuries in camps and other youth programs.