The Spring Leadership Conference Breakdown

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SLC is just 5 days away. Conference jitters and excitement are beginning to fill the air. Not sure where to go? Not sure what to expect? Not to worry. We’ll highlight all those important details here so you can feel prepared for the best week of your life before the summer comes.

Student Camp Leadership Academy (SCLA)

The Student Camp Leadership Academy will be taking place March 30th-April 1st before SLC begins. Here, young camp leaders who are interested in making a profession within of the camping industry are able to see what it’s all about. This two day retreat is up the hill from the Spring Leadership Conference, so why not take advantage of both? Take a look HERE if you are looking for more in depth information.

ACA Pre Conference Seminar


The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health will be hosting a pre conference seminar on Monday, April 1st from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. This seminar will offer a great deal of valuable information in regards to legal paperwork required for organized camps and illness outbreak prevention. It will be held at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel in Room Chino B

New Director Orientation

New to this whole camp professionals thing? Don’t be. The Spring Leadership Conference will be hosting an orientation for new camp directors and leadership staff, giving them a leg up on networking, expanding and understanding their roles, and giving them a chance to ask any question they have. This orientation takes place from Monday, March 31st, 2:00p.m.-8:00p.m. and continued on April 1st, 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

2014 Spring Leadership Conference


The moment we’ve all been waiting for. SLC takes place from April 1st-4th at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. Registration information, room maps, session schedules, and much more is located in the Program BookGet to know the book, eat with the book, sleep with the book. It will become your best friend in a week.

Keynote Speakers

2014 made way for an exciting and diverse set of keynote speakers who will share their own experiences, trends, and personal philosophies pertaining to camp and children. A schedule of the keynote speakers can be found in the Program Book and short bios on each speaker can be found HERE

SLC Socials

SLC offers extensive education, proactive networking, and engaging keynote speeches. But what’s work without a little play? This year, KEY LOG ROLLING is hosting a Log Rolling demo where you can test your agility and balance on one of their signature logs during the Poolside Reception on Tuesday, April 1, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Bring your suit! For more info on their demo, program session, and post conference teacher training clinic, click HERE Watch the video below to see what the demo has in store:

The conference is also hosting a tacky 70’s theme’s prom, a restaurant crawl, and more! Dust off those old platform shoes and take a look HERE for information on the SLC Socials.

Room Host Volunteers

To make this conference the best it can be year after year, we appreciate and take great interest in your feedback during the education sessions. In order to do this, we ask volunteers to attend their favorite sessions while also handing out evaluation sheets and collecting them at the end of the session. If you are interested in volunteering your time while listening to an anticipated session, sign up HERE

Social Media

Conference conversations don’t have to end in-person. Follow SLC on Twitter @Zisforme using #ACASLC. You can also follow SLC on Facebook HERE to stay up to date with everything camp!


For any specific questions of concerns, visit our Contact Page to talk to one of our committee members.

Brainstorming Sessions at SLC

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The Spring Leadership Conference is right around the corner (13 days!). Our headquarters are hunkering down, reviewing all the details in order to make  this conference one to be remembered for years to come. As in years past, the brainstorm sessions are the epicenters of the best networking, idea swapping, and activity collection. The sessions give patrons a chance to speak freely about their own camp leadership experiences, knowledge, and to ask questions in order to gain more tools and tips to use during their summers at camp.

This time around, we are asking attendees of these sessions to come with specific material to share with others, resulting in more resources and less note taking!

This Brainstorm Sessions are as follows:

1373465869_Night-OwlEvening Program and Special Events Brainstorm Session: The evening program brainstorm will focus on sharing experiences with your evening programs at summer camp. Have a great special event to host at camp? Need more ideas to diversify your nights? Are you a night owl finding yourself wandering around the woods only to stumble upon an awesome campground? Bring a 1 page description which describes and summarizes your night or special event program(s) (for about 20-30 attendees) 


Game Swap Brainstorm Session: Make sure you stretch your glutes before stepping into this session. If your camp has a game, sport, or fun activity that cannot be kept secret any longer, this session is for you. Bring a 1 page description of your favorite game, supplies needed, and any specific directions (for about 20-30 attendees). AND YES, you will be paying your game with all of us! Don’t forget to bring any and all materials needed to play. This session will be hosted in a large conference room, so remember those gaga balls for a swift game of bombardment.

griditOther Duties as Assigned Brainstorm Session: Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the responsibilities a camp professional has during the on and off season? Make your life easier and attend this session. Hosted by our very own conference chair, this session will guide you to use apps, tools, and strategies to streamline your workflow, manage your time, and be more efficient! Bring along  any resources that make your life easier, tools, tips, apps, and websites for organization and efficiency (for about 20-30 attendees)

Still haven’t registered for SLC? CLICK HERE

SLC Socials

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Apart from the conference’s great keynote speakers and engaging sessions, attendees always look forward to the SLC Socials. Who doesn’t enjoy getting a little wacky and wild with those whose job it is to get wacky and wild?

Tuesday Night: Our friends at Key Log Rolling will be hosting a demo of their log roller in the pool during the opening pool reception. Make sure to bring your bathing suit and test your balance, stamina, and skill! Sponsored by CardFlex, The pool reception will also have music, snacks, and Family Feud Trivia.

Wednesday Night: Your dreams are about to become reality. Yes, the wildly popular tacky prom is back! The Official SLC Tacky Prom will be hosted Wednesday night and will be 70’s theme. Bring your afros, bell bottoms, and questionable vests to the cocktail hour for a great chance to socialize and network before settling down to Chris Thurber’s keynote.

The prom will take place after dinner, giving you plenty of time to find that special someone to cut a shag rug with. Concluding the night will be a first ever 70’s restaurant crawl. Venture around town in your 70’s attire from restaurant to restaurant getting your groove on.



Thursday Night: The Palm Springs Village Festival will be taking place just down the street from the Renaissance Hotel. With over 200 booths offering art, local food, and great music, the festival is a cultural representation of what the desert is all about!

Glance at our Official SLC Socials Poster here


SLC Webinar Series

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The Spring Leadership Conference is back with it’s third and last installment of the webinar series. SLC would like to give a big thanks to Bob Ditter and Chris Thurber for speaking with us during the first two webinars. The last webinar on March 10th will certainly be one you will not want to pass up.

Scott Brody is the Owner and Director of Camps Kenwood & Evergreen. His extensive experience and knowledge of summer camps has made him an individual worth seeking guidance and wisdom from. His webinar will focus on preparing the right mindset in order to grow and fulfill ones true potential.

001013Scott Brody Webinar: Building Growth Mindset at Camp

“Mindset” is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference. People with a “fixed” mindset believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

People with a “growth” mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. The amazing advantage of having a “growth” mindset is supported by the latest neuroscience research, which has upended our understanding of IQ, and how much of learning stems from non-cognitive competencies.

Without really knowing it, Camps have been teaching “Growth” mindset to generations of campers. This webinar will familiarize you with the emerging research about the power of mindset, and the ways in which it can influence lifelong performance. It will also explore a set of practices that Camps can use to strengthen the development of growth mindsets in our campers and our staff, building their capacity to achieve and find fulfillment in their lives.


REMEMBER: Only those who are registered for SLC by March 8th will be bale to partake in the webinar. Make sure you register here before then!

SLC Program Sneak Peak!

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The Spring Leadership Conference is just a month away! Things are really gearing up to what appears to be one of the best conferences yet. The closer we get to SLC, the more secrets we will be sharing with you all…

Secrets?! That’s right. Beyond the barbed wire, through the alligator infested pond, and after a proper belly rub for the guard dogs, we have managed to steal a glimpse into what the 2014 Program is shaping up to look like. The following are sessions you will not want to miss this year, according to sources…

Putting the “Camp” in Boot Camp by Jami Foster, FitQuest Fitness

Come for a workout and walk away with ideas of how to incorporate a creative twist on boot camp style fitness for kids. Prepare to get sweaty and inspired!

De-Coding the Boy Code by Marah Lyvers, BILD: Boys Institute for Learning and Development

Boys have a code- as camp professionals, we work with boys and girls, and often don’t understand why they do what they do. I will be unpacking the “Boy Code” and exploring why boys do what they do, what motivates them and how we can help them be their best selves. I approach the subject as an outsider, who has spent years watching, asking questions and learning what makes them tick. I do not profess to be an expert on “BOYS” yet I do know what I have learned over the past 20 years can help leaders and staff in a camp setting.

Composting 101 by Danny Sudman, Green Camps Initiative

Learn how to implement a compost system into your camp program or find solutions to improve your current compost system. We will discuss concerns expressed by other camp professionals including collection, capacity, winter composting, compost receptacles, wildlife, management, and effective compost systems. We will also highlight engaging educational curriculum to accompany a compost program.

Speaker Spotlight

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SLC seems to have the ability to draw a crowd based on the guest speakers alone. Alongside it’s cutting edge program sessions and advantageous networking opportunities (bar none), the conference has hosted community activist, social scientists, and educational gurus to all speak on behalf of the influence we have in children’s lives. 2014 will be no exception.



Kicking off the conference this year will be Dr. Jim Cain, author of 10 team building novels and a modern day Magellan whose visited over 23 countries and 47 states spreading his knowledge and wisdom on the subject. The use of his four advanced degreed has allowed him to create a sense of community, unity, and teamwork wherever he speaks. This will be an opening keynote you won’t want to miss!


Bobpic2Did I hear someone say Bob Ditter? I hear he’s the bees knees in camp! That’s because he is half bee, half camp expert. Just kidding, he is all camp expert. Bob Ditter is a well regarded child and family therapist not only in Boston, but throughout the camping industry. His visitation of over 600 camps and his 14 DVD’s on training can only build up hype when reading his column “In the Trenches” in Camping Magazine. As a frequent visitor of SLC, Bob Ditter always has something new and exciting worth sharing.


thumb_thurberChris Thurber does more than just inspire me to wear a bow-tie. His involvement in camps for over 30 years combined with his co-authored the best-selling Summer Camp Handbook has landed this clinical psychologist on the forefront of youth development. In 2007 Chirs co-launched, which quickly became the internet’s most popular and respected educational resource for youth development professionals. This returning member of SLC never shies away from his witty humor and captivating knowledge.


frankshankwitzLast but certainly not least, SLC will be hosting Frank Shankwitz as the closing keynote speaker for this year’s conference. Frank is the founder of the Make a Wish Foundation whose mission is to grant children who are diagnosed with life threatening illnesses their life long wishes. His unique and inspiring story is one that should neither be spoiled nor missed, so make sure to finish the conference off right. Check out our recent post about Frank Shankwitz right here!

Keynote Speaker: Frank Shankwitz

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frankshankwitzSLC is pleased and proud to announce the closing keynote speaker for this year’s conference. Frank Shankwitz is the founder of the inspirational Make-A-Wish foundation, a organization set on granting the wishes and dreams of children who are diagnosed with life threatening illnesses in the United States.  The closing keynote has historically been synonymous with heart-warming lessons, moving stories, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Frank Shankwitz tells an amazing and inspirational story about how one 7-year old boy changed his life and the lives of over a million people around the world. Frank was one of the primary officers from the Arizona Highway Patrol who was responsible for granting the “wish” of a 7-year old boy with leukemia named Chris, who wanted to be a Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer like his heroes, Ponch and John from the television show, “CHIPS”. Chris was made the first and only Honorary Arizona Highway Patrol Officer in the history of the Arizona Highway Patrol, complete with a custom made uniform, badge, and Motor Officer Wings. Chris was the inspiration for Frank’s idea to start a non-profit foundation that would let children “make a wish” and have it come true. This along with Frank’s countless contributions to the lives and dreams of children has certainly made him a figure worth aspiring to.

Reminder: SLC will be hosted from April 1st-4th at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. Register here and for more details on the conference visit our About Page