2019 Wisconsin Fall Conference Program in Progress

Tuesday, November 5

Check-in for those spending the night at Wisconsin Lions Camp. Dinner on your own.

Wednesday, November 6

  • 8:00 a.m. — Breakfast
  • 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. — Registration/Check-In for Mental Health First Aid Course, Accreditation Process Workshop, and Managing Camp Health Services Workshop
  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. — Accreditation Process Workshop
  • 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. — Managing Camp Health Services Workshop
  • 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. — Youth Mental Health First Aid Course
  • 12:30 p.m. — Lunch
  • 1:45-5:00 p.m. — Tours to Area Camps-YMCA Camp Glacier Hollow Tour and Central Wisconsin Environmental Station
  • 6:00 p.m. — Dinner
  • 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. — Emerging Professionals in Camping (EPIC) and Networking Gathering for all Attendees                   

Thursday, November 7

  • 8:00 a.m. — Breakfast
  • 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. — Registration and Social Time
    This is a wonderful time to connect with friends old and new.  Arrive in time to enjoy a cup of coffee and converse about your summer.
  • 9:00 - 10:15 a.m. — Opening Keynote

Navigating the Mental, Emotional & Social Health Needs of Staff (while keeping them focused on doing their job)
Linda Erceg, RN, MS, PHN

We are attuned to addressing the MESH – mental, emotional and social health – needs of our campers. Yet the MESH needs of staff are often more challenging.  We need them to do their job; they are, after all, employees.  But some staff need coaching to accomplish that.  As camp professionals, we’d like to be supportive so how might we address this tension – the balancing act between on-the-job demands and personal MESH needs – whether the staff member has a diagnosed MESH concern or is simply an emerging adult learning how to cope with on-the-job stressors?  Linda’s keynote tackles this and provides take-away MESH-ages to support our work.


  • 10:15-10:30 a.m. —  Break
  • 10:30-11:45 a.m. — Breakout Session #1

Camp’s Sweet Spot: From Trauma-Informed to Healing-Centered Engagement
Linda Erceg, RN, MS, PHN

Designed for camp professionals interested in their program’s MESH-sensitivity (mental, emotional, social health), this session goes beyond the characteristics of “trauma-informed” to camp’s potential for healing-centered engagement.  It provides a tool to audit your camp program & practices for supportive MESH strategies, strategies that support campers & staff while, more importantly, build their sense of resiliency and repertoire of coping skills.  Discover how and why your camp can be more effective for today’s youth!

Exit Through the Gift Shop: How to Get the Most Out of Your Camp Store
Jason Brown, Wisconsin Lions Camp

Camp stores have the potential to be one of the greatest marketing tools available to your organization but can easily get pushed to the back burner as directors get ready for the summer.  Join Jason Brown as he shares what he’s learned when it comes to running and maintaining a successful camp store.  Discussion topics will include: what to look for when selecting both retail and point-of-sale vendors, how to use retail psychology to make your customers want to buy more, and how to select, mix, and price the items to sell in your store.

This session will conclude with a trip to the Wisconsin Lions Camp’s Trading Post to see how Jason has put these tips into practice.

Roundtable Discussions

*Successful and creative staff training sessions - come share yours, learn others                 
*Modeling professional behavior for staff - Let's chat about staff attitudes, drinking, and more and how we can teach our staff these lessons now that will pay forward in the future


  • 11:45 a.m.-Noon — Break
  • Noon- 12:45 p.m. — Lunch and Pie Auction                                                                                            
  • 12:45-1:35 p.m. — ACA Updates and Awards                                                                                    
  • 1:35-1:45 p.m. — Break 
  • 1:45-3:00 p.m. — Breakout Session #2 Evaluations

Gen Z- Who Are They and Why They Need Camp Now More Than Ever
Tracy Watson, Camp Manito-Wish YMCA
Kris Henker, Peerspective LLC, MS in Neuroscience of Leadership

This research-based presentation will give you insight into this newest generation of campers, staff and their parents. Learn about what makes this generation so unique, their “snowplow parents” and how this parenting style affects the brain development of youth today. We will discuss how Camps help our staff and campers take healthy risks, engage in person with others and build confidence and resilience, all which their brains desperately need. This session will be relatable to all roles at Camp from office administration to seasonal supervisors to camp owners and directors.

Mobilizing Staff and Volunteers in the Aftermath of Property Devastation
Max Clark and Jordan Baxter, YMCA Camp U-Nah-Li-Ya
A storm on July 19th damaged or destroyed 72% of the facilities at YMCA Camp U-Nah-Li-Ya.  The damage was extensive enough to close the camp for the last 4 weeks of summer.  Despite these challenges the camp was able to reopen in 6 weeks and by the end of October was completely repaired except the high ropes course.  Additionally the camp was able to fundraise over $125,000 in additional support for the cleanup effort.  The workshop will present Disaster Management Best Practices, Communication Plans and Navigating Insurance Claims and FEMA grants by the camp executive and operations director.   

Roundtable Discussions

*Advanced staff training topics - camper behavior management 201, advanced ages and stages, and more
*Staff hiring ideas
  • 3:15 p.m. — Evaluations-Please take a few moments to share feedback about the day
  • 3:15 p.m. — Optional Tour of Wisconsin Lions Camp / Departure