Texoma Winter Conference Program Highlights

Camp Staff Appreciation: A Step-By-Step Plan
Sarah Kurtz McKinnon, Kurtz McKinnon Creative
Campers should leave at the end of the summer thinking that they had the best summer of their lives...and so should the staff! This session will describe a framework for staff appreciation techniques so that camp leaders can prevent burnout, inspire their staff members and show gratitude for everything they do. This in turn will enhance the camp experience for everyone involved!
 
Kids Who Own You
Dorcas Tomasek, Consultant
Children, who begin to run out of, or have never learned safe and rational ways of coping as their behavior escalates, need our best when they are giving us their worst.   Come ready to participate in this learning workshop as we share tools and techniques that can assist in providing a safe and consistent approach before kids own us.
 
Mind Games & Magic: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service
Sarah Wallace, Camp For All
We have all heard the customer supporting phrase “the customer is always right” and you know what? That’s so totally not true, but flawless customer service skills can make any customer feel appreciated and supported. In this session Sarah will cover all aspects of positive customer service interactions, how to effortlessly achieve them with even the most difficult of customers, and most importantly, how to regain contrail when “always right” seems to mean “never satisfied”.
 
NASA: Traveling to Mars!
Christine Shupla and Sha’Rell Webb, Lunar and Planetary Institute
Design a Mars rover, compete to send your rover to a mystery destination, and plan a journey to Mars! Use the Red Planet this summer to engage your campers in space science! In July 2020, Mars will be in the news as countries around the world launch robotic missions. Come hear about Mars exploration, and conduct simple NASA Mars-themed hands-on activities that can develop campers’ teamwork, communication, and critical thinking skills.
 
Feedback Frenzy
Alice Haefeli and Ian McKenzie, Camp For All
Finally! Five Tested (and Four Untested) Formulas for Fostering a Feedback-Friendly Family! We will go through nine different methods of creating a culture based in feedback and have audience sharing happening so everyone walks away with new ideas on how to make feedback work better for them at their camp.
 
Silence Broken: A Camper Comes Forward 10 Years Later
Dorcas Tomasek, Consultant
It is the middle of summer and your phone rings. On the other end, it is an individual sharing that they were sexually abused at your camp 10 years ago. Your mind spins as you begin to imagine your next steps: What’s my next move? Who do I call? How will this affect my camp community? Are there legal obligations? This session will use real case studies to focus on these questions and more as we dig into the legal implications, state requirements, and next steps on the path towards healing.
 
Get out of the Office!
Sarah Kurtz McKinnon, Kurtz McKinnon Creative
Time management can be tough for camp professionals. Between responding to emails and preparing for your accreditation visit, hours and even days can pass where you find yourself “stuck in the office”. This session will help participants analyze where the hours go during the summer at camp. We will then work on developing tools to get you out of the office and on the ground—interacting with staff and kids, seeing first-­hand the good and the bad of your program/site, and becoming a proactive instead of reactive leader.
 
Crafting that Counts 
Mary Jo Boney, YMCA Dallas – Collin County Adventure Camp
Craft time can be a great opportunity to teach campers life skills in an engaging way.  Creating crafts that teens want to participate in and show off can be a challenge.  Come discuss successful projects and take time to practice your skills.
 
Growing your Toolbox: Proactive Behavior Management at Camp
Abigail Wright, Camp For All
Approximate 1 out of 8 children experience maltreatment before turning 18 years old. Given this statistic, it’s clear that these kids are among us at camp. With that knowledge, how can we tailor our camps to be more aware of the different challenges these children may bring to camp, and how can we proactively work on preventing behavioral issues in the camping world? This session will talk about proactive ways to set up a camp that provides the tools needed in order for staff to create a camping environment that promotes growth and development with all campers in mind. 
 
NASA: Hands-On Science for Camps
Christine Shupla and Sha’Rell Webb, Lunar and Planetary Institute
Whether you're looking for simple fun engagement, or inquiry activities to build critical thinking skills, come play with us, and hear about the different resources NASA has to offer! Join us to experiment with Moon phases using Oreos, explore a “Strange New Planet,” and design a lander to safely land astronauts on the Moon.
 
Dancing With Festive Campers
Dorcas Tomasek, Consultant
Campers who are High Energy, have difficulty with impulse control, let's call them festive campers can sometimes be challenging to play with at camp.  Come learn how to "dance" with festive campers and learn a creative new way to teach your staff specific techniques that work well in helping kids of all ages be successful in your program.
 
Raise Your Voice: How to use the principles of vocal performance at Camp
Alice Haefeli, Camp For All
Do you fantasize about working an entire summer without losing your voice? We are going to learn the proper way to sing without straining your voice. Good vocal technique helps more than just singing, it also improves the way you speak and project your voice, something we do a lot as camp professionals. Walk away with some pretty cool tips and techniques.
 
Camps in Crisis--Trends & Lessons Learned from Another Year with the ACA Camp Crisis Hotline
Gay Bruner, Tim Huchton, Betsy Thamert, and Amanda Zoellner, American Camp Association
For more than 30 years, ACA has provided real-time support to camps nationwide through our Camp Crisis Hotline. In this session, we will review the trends and lessons learned from the previous year with the Hotline.
 
Play Matters
Tim Huchton, American Camp Association
Playing is one of the most important aspects of our work. Come join an active session filled with some old favorites and new games alike. This will be an active session filled with fun!
 
Make the Most of your Teen Leadership/ CIT/LIT Program
Tim Huchton, American Camp Association
Do you struggle with making your CIT/LIT program as rewarding as it could be? DO you wish they did more than wash dishes and get in the way? While I was directing a camp, I was always looking for ways to make our program better. Come listen and learn steps we took to fundamentally change our program and increase our teen enrollment.
 
Finding Mr. and Mrs. Right. The Hunt for “THE” One--2020 Vision for Staff Recruitment
Jeb Lapeyrolerie, Parks and Recreation Department of East Baton Rouge Parish
Speak with any year-round camp person about the challenges they face and one of the first things that comes up is staffing. This session will give you some tools, resources, and insights to aid in finding quality staff.