Schedule at a Glance - 2020 Southeastern Virtual Conference



Pre-Conference Opportunities

Date TBD

Conference Program Overview and Technology Orientation


Tuesday, September 29
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Opening Keynote with Jed Dearybury

The Power of Play For ALL Ages

Do you want your campers to connect with each other as a team? Do you want your learning space to encourage collaboration? Does your camp curriculum create learners who are risk-takers? Do you want your students to build up one another? If you answered yes to any of these questions, join me for this community development keynote where we will dive headfirst into the deep end of social-emotional learning that playful learning can provide. We will discuss tips and tricks, review resources, and practice our own bit of community building as we learn about the power of play for ALL ages.

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Staff Culture: Your Values in Action During Uncertain Times with Kim Aycock

The only thing certain about the world we live in is uncertainty. This was true before COVID and will always be part of the human experience. Not reassuring, but 100% accurate. When it is hard to determine what to do next, the one thing that can be controlled in challenging times is our response. We invite you to reflect on where you’ve been in order to develop a plan for where you are going (even though the future is unknown). We want to empower you to act with confidence for continuous growth amidst uncertainty and avoid panic leadership. Join us for ideas to prepare yourself to align your values to create the staff culture your camp needs.

Advertising for Summer 2021 with Kelley Freridge

Welcome to the new trendless era of advertising — impossible to forecast sentiment, plan for cultural shifts, or tap into consumer insights. When the house is always on fire, it’s hard to get anyone’s attention. So, let’s walk the line between outright promoting your program like it’s 2019 and being sensitive to the culture of COVID. Let’s forget the hype, lean into market position, connect with consumers digitally, and focus on share of voice.

The Kid's Club: Developing Intentional Programming through Clubs for Camps & After-School Programs with Katie Thurson

Both camps & after-school programs often struggle with designing engaging experiences while balancing the duties of the day. Clubs, formatted as interest & inquiry-based programs offer unique methods of increasing both camper & staff interest and engagement. This session brought to you by practitioners working in after-school, day camp & out of school time activities fields will demonstrate the potential for connection through clubs across programmatic structures both in-person and virtually.

Camp Budgeting and Financial Statement for Beginners with Russ Link

Are you responsible to submit a budget to a supervisor or Board of Directors? Do terms like accumulated depreciation, fixed assets, accounts payable, accrued basis, cash basis, liabilities, net assets, cash flow confuse you? They should if you were not an accounting major. This session will cover the basics you need to prepare your budgets and read your financial statements.

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Dining Hall Discussions
1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Beyond the Walk and Talks with Janice Kerber

Do you provide a nature walk that just isn't making your campers/participants really excited? Join us to explore ways to go beyond the walk and talk nature hikes. We will provide you with some techniques to turn those walks into engaging and learning experiences that children and adults will enjoy. Learn how to facilitate a nature hike that is hands-on, camper-oriented, and enhances a STEM approach to your camp curriculum.

Integrating Technology into Staff Training and Management with Jessica Polster

Create a virtual and interactive staff training that can be duplicated year after year. Rethink your staff training to create an atmosphere where learning and culture-building go hand and hand. Make your life easier and allow your staff to learn at their levels and utilize their learning styles.

Hot to Avoid Hiring Bias with Shawntel Hebert

Most employers set out to hire the best and brightest candidates to fill positions within their organization. Unfortunately, unconscious bias continues to plague the hiring process, disproportionately affecting women and minorities. Learning tips to recognize and avoid unconscious bias will save your company the hassle of bad hires and potential legal claims and set your organization on a path to a more diverse, inclusive, and productive work environment.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Conference Community Connection


Wednesday, September 30
9:00 am - 9:45 am

Using Interactive Strategies to Address Bullying with June Jenkins

Social learning theory says that people learn in social contexts and by doing. Based on that understanding, participants will learn how to build community, strengthen connections, promote teamwork, and encourage a climate that prevents and addresses bullying through active learning and effective debriefing techniques.

Recruiting In Our New Virtual Reality with Danny Herz

It's a new world for all of us when it comes to recruiting for 2021 and beyond! Recruiting for all camps will be different, that much is a given – and yet some things remain just as true as they were before the biggest disruption in the history of our business. As we turn our attention from summer 2020 to the future, spend some time with your colleagues who have been recruiting virtually with success prior to the pandemic.

Let’s Take a Walk “Arts” side/ Playful Learning: Anytime, Anywhere with Jed Dearybury

Art, creativity, innovation, and wonder are all key components of 21st Century learning. Thank goodness all of those things can be found with just a quick walk through nature. Have you ever stopped to look at all the learning opportunities that present themselves just by walking through the woods, by a pond, passing a meadow? Join presenter, Jed Dearybury for an interactive session like you’ve never done before. We will literally take a walk in the outdoors and see what learning experiences we can find together. This will be your favorite session for sure!

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Fruit That Remains - The Transformational Power of Adventure Ministry with Don Stock

Challenge Course/Adventure Programming is a powerful tool for growth and life change in almost any setting. However, they are uniquely suited for exploring issues of faith, particularly in a Christian context. This workshop will explore this context, explain why adventure programming is so effective there, and what components can be combined to utilize these tools to produce "fruit that remains." John 15:16

Authentic Fundraising and Crisis: A Lethal Combination! with David Phillips

During periods of significant cultural/civil unrest and crisis the last thing people are thinking about is philanthropy…..wrong!  During this session, we will learn how to take an authentic approach and capitalize on the donor's desire to engage and make a difference during these topsy-turvy times.  We will explore the fundamentals of fundraising art & science and how to prepare for a spectacular philanthropic 2021.  Fun, low key, and designed for you to walk away with practical guidance to increase donor dollars - join the session…no gift required!

A Summer Like No Other from the Staff Perspective with Kim Aycock and Deb Jordan

Summer 2020 is one for the books in more ways than we can count, but especially for our seasonal staff. Join a panel of directors and staff to unpack the recent camp season and how things played out with various scenarios of camp running in some form or not. We will look into lessons learned, the possible impact on future summers regarding staff retention, and thoughts on what to do moving forward to build next summer’s team. Bring your questions and together we will explore the answers!

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Dining Hall Discussions
1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Project Real Job Staff Engagement Hack-a-Thon with Kim Aycock & Daniel Shore

This pilot program provided university students who are connected to camps a chance to reimagine how we can better engage them between summers and, in turn, provide valuable insights to camp leaders. Through this program, seasonal staff from various camps spent up to 5 weeks (as part of their university coursework) brainstorming, refining, and finalizing innovative recommendations toward keeping staff connected and committed to camp over the coming months and in between future summers, too. Join us for the presentation of these ideas so that you can be inspired and bring them back to your own staff!

Use The Data You Have To Get The Marketing Answers You Need with Mike Peckham

How can I use the data I have in my camp management software to make the right decisions for recruiting, marketing, and program decisions? With COVID, what can I learn from my numbers this year? Is my return rate good? How many new campers should I be getting each year? How much should I spend on print ads, Facebook, listings, and other ads? Learn how to answer these questions with the Data you already have (and if you don’t have it, how to get it).

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

The difficult summer of 2020 has required a great deal of work, innovation, intentionality, and grit. For those camps who 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. This session will discuss decision-making criteria and nonpharmacologic interventions (NPIs) that helped camps provide a summer experience to youth across the US.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Conference Community Connection


Thursday, October 1
9:00 am - 9:45 am

Trauma-Informed Camping with Deborah Ausburn

A large number of the campers that we encounter have suffered from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), ranging from parental divorce to being victims of abuse. Trauma-informed practices in psychology and education offer camping programs helpful principles for helping our campers not only survive their experiences but thrive and succeed. We also must balance positive practices, such as mentoring, against the risk of harmful boundary issues, such as grooming for abuse.

DIY Virtual Escape Room with Curt Jackson

During these crazy times, you need crazy ideas. Curt and Chris, of Summer Camp Programming Podcast, are just the crazy guys you need! They have created a way to still have camp escape rooms, virtually. During this session, they will walk you through the process of making your very own. Bring your notebook and creative side and leave with a slew of great ideas and steps to bring back to your camp and start escaping!

On the Other Side of “Unprecedented”: Thoughts from University Students with Gwynn Powell

Join this candid discussion about how the summer went with current university students. We will hear their perspective on camp director communication and implementation of the unprecedented summer and their thoughts moving forward.

STEAM Rolling through Children’s Literature with Jed Dearybury

Using children's literature to integrate the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) learning mindset into your camp is a natural fit. During this session, we will learn some engaging ways to fill your camp experience with hands-on STEAM strategies that will develop creative, critical thinking students. Want students to leave camp "wowed" and excited about reading? Join me for this session!

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Translating the Camp World to the Greater World: Creating a Resume That Speaks to Both with Deb Jordan

Worked at or working at a camp (or related field)? Looking to translate your camp job skills into seemingly unrelated positions or make a move to a new camp or outdoor opportunity? Not everyone understands the skills and traits that are developed and practiced at camp, yet much of what we do easily meets job requirements for a broad range of positions. Even if folks on the hiring end speak the same or similar language, it can still be a challenge to accurately represent previous camp jobs or positions held. We’ll take a look at resumes and resume language and work to transmit our highly sought-after skill sets to speak to those both in and out of the camp world.

Budget-Friendly Outdoor Education For Camp – No Woods or Water Required! with Kathy Guindon

This session will provide viewers with low-cost activities to teach outdoor education lessons on fishing, boating, wildlife discovery, and shooting sports without a forest or water body nearby. Missing that nature-based standard for accreditation? Presented activities will go beyond arts and crafts. The Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network will share lessons, budgets, and procurement options for camps, school field trips, and weekend events. Come learn about our interactive, educational, and fun activities anyone can use.

Crisis Communication for Summer 2021 with Kelley Freridge

Every program planning to run in-person for summer 2021 may find their camp playing offense or defense with the media. This webinar will include an overview of what we learned from summer 2020, how we helped camps that reached out (without naming names), and key take-aways as ACA preps for next summer. Get up-to-date on anticipating crisis, identifying your spokesperson, determining your audiences, and establishing standards for monitoring and receiving notifications surrounding potential crises. Learn more about responding to media inquiries and how to determine if a situation will require professional help.

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Dining Hall Discussions
1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Virtual Events: It’s Easy to Underestimate the Importance of Over Planning with Kim Aycock

Virtual events (trainings/programming/meetings) generally require just as much, if not more, advance planning than if being held in-person. Without interaction from participants being in the same physical space and the ability to “read” the group as the facilitator, the smallest of details should be considered in advance. Regardless of venue or format, plan ahead for every minute to include beginning before the official start and ending after the event takes place (then go with the flow as much as possible!).

Virtual “Green” Camp Tour with Danny Sudman

Going Green’ is a vague and intimidating term. We all know we need to do more to live sustainably, but how? One of the best places to start is learning from the experiences of other camps and camp professionals. Join us for a virtual tour of a few of the sustainable practices at Camp Kanuga in Hendersonville, NC. Take a walk through their garden, see the steps involved in collecting, transporting, and managing their compost system, check out some of their energy and water efficiency initiatives, and how they incorporate their green practices to educate their guests. Between each video segment, we’ll field questions and comments around each initiative and share the excitement behind modeling sustainability at our camps.

From Thoughtful Planning to Reality:  How Master Planning Supports Implementation with Jackie Kaminsky

Domokur Architects in collaboration with Ridgecrest Summer Camps will describe the Master Planning process that has provided them with a long-range plan for both their Camps futures. Join us to learn how the process helped to shape their future operations. Explore projects that were already built per the Master Plan as well as future projects that are in store for years to come. Lessons learned from the overall process of both Master Planning and Implementation will also be shared.

STEM & Sustainability Together! with Kasey Bozeman

With STEM activities becoming more popular, it’s time for camps to think sustainably with programming. When acquiring supplies, planning activities, & implementing the fun, STEM and sustainability can come together in a cost-effective, practical manner. Through critical reflection and open dialogue, attendees will assess their current programs and discover ways to enhance their sustainability efforts. Don’t deny your campers the opportunity for fun & sustainable STEM programming!

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Conference Community Connection


Friday, October 2
9:00 am - 9:45 am

What do campers and parents really think? with Deb Jordan

All camps use some type of evaluation form to learn about the experiences of campers and perceptions of parents – is your form telling you what you really want to know? Are you getting results on which you can base changes? Good evaluation forms can be challenging to create; together, we’ll walk through how to write questions and create evaluation forms that get at what you intended. You’ll have a chance to practice writing questions to suit your own camp.

Self-Care: The Camp Leadership Way with Mary Kate Chapman

In order to be the best version of you, especially as a leader, you must take care of... YOU! Doing this work can be tricky and often super exhausting. There's just so much to do! Fortunately, there's hope! Join us for this interactive, hands-on workshop to gain resources and tools to best take care of yourself so that you're better able to take care of your staff and campers.

The Power of Choice with Mackenzie Wallace

Come and learn how to effectively incorporate a choice-based curriculum into your camp schedule. Whether you are wanting to have a little bit of choice activities, go full choice, or your camp is already a choice based camp, you will be able to take away ideas and strategies to boost your camp programming and camper engagement.

11:00 am - 11:45 am

Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence

Q&A Discussion panel with the documentary directors, producers, and scholars


Conference attendees get access to pre-watch Breaking the Silence — a documentary film of the life and impact of Lillian Smith (1887-1966). Lillian was a camp director whose life was filled with faith, passion, compassion, and social and racial justice.

Smith owned and directed Laurel Falls Camp in Clayton, GA from 1925 – 1948. She used her role as a camp director to speak to the girls at her summer camp about the injustices of a racially segregated society and the Jim Crow laws which permeated every aspect of her campers’ social lives.

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm Dining Hall Discussions
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Closing Keynote with Jed Dearybury

You All Get An F

Sometimes all of us who educate students need reminding why we do what we do. It is not just about grades, tests, homework. Some days it’s not even about learning. There’s so much more to being an educator beyond the busyness of paperwork and meetings, planning, training, conferences, etc. Real educators, who fully understand the depth of their work, get it. They know this and move mountains for their students. I know this because many of mine did for me. Hear the story of their love for me, their passion for their work, and their impact on my life as a student and educator. Finally, I got to grade them like they did me all those years. Listen carefully as I explain why they all got an F.



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