2024 ACA Tri-State Recommended Sessions

2024 ACA Tri-State Recommended Sessions

It's mid-March. Decisions are becoming more and more common in your day to day. They existed before but now camp is headed this way. Do you have decision fatigue? Have you decided you’re going to wear the same outfit every day so it's one less decision? Do you hate that I’m asking these questions? Let me help you make 11 decisions. Right here. Right now. 

To make your life easier, here is my go-to guide if you’re looking for someone to map out your Tri-State sessions!

First time at Tri-State? You're not alone.

Listen to this TSCS Podcast Mini-sode all about the hidden curriculum and what to expect at the upcoming conference. 




BLOCK A: 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

“Improvisation: It’s Not a Scary Word!” With Jesse Barfield 

WHAT A START TO THE DAY. I am excited to see what Jesse can share about improv and how it relates to camp. Doesn’t seem like a far-reach. I love attending sessions where I can learn games too and bring them back to camps. 

TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

  • “Back to Black: Benefits of Giving BIPOC Youth the Space to Empower Their Voices” with Jaqueline McDonough, Jordan Mason, Deja Ray, Jamel Edward, and Nelson Stickland
  • “Navigating Your Camp Career: Dream Big & Strategize Smart” with Jack Schott
  • "Operationalizing Your DEI Initiatives" with Simone Gamble


Dining Hall: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 

EPIC Meet-and-Eat (Moderated by Lisa Johnson)

My friend Allison says it's worthwhile to attend lunches if they’re something that interests you! (Listen to this podcast episode!) As someone who will have spent Monday afternoon with EPIC attendees, I would look forward to deepening those relationships with these emerging pros!

TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

  • “Mirror Mirror on the Wall: The Power of Reflection as a Leader (Moderated by Paige Moffett and Briana Mitchell)


BLOCK B: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

“Three Key Elements to Building an Effective, High-Functioning Team” with Max Grossman & Dave Malter

You’re telling me it’s just three things? I first met Max and Dave through a virtual conference in 2020. They made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my staffing and leadership struggles. I encourage you to visit one of their sessions to feel a little less alone and gain 3 keys to keep camp staff morale high amid the summer. 


BLOCK C: 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM

I would flip a coin between…

“Artificial Intelligence at Camp: A Frank Discussion About Child Safety and Privacy” with Helen O’Riley & Nabiha Syed

You say AI and I am HOOKED. Because AI is the new shiny toy, I want to make sure I am seeing all sides of it. Even though I love it when it writes emails for me, what are the cautions I’m not seeing? To use AI effectively, we should know the red flags and how we can train it. I look forward to learning more about it. 


“Cracking the Code: Using Data to Help Unlock Your Marketing Strategy” with Laurie Ehrlich and Noah Shapiro

Marketing is such a wide range. My heart raced a little faster when I thought about this week’s sales email. I’ll say it, even numbers can be scary. So I’m intrigued to hear what this duo has to say about possibly working smarter and not harder when it comes to what content to post. 

TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

“Aim for Excellence: Elevate the Quality of Your Overnight Camp Program and Operations” with Paige Moffett and Monia Johnson (Check out this Project Management podcast episode Paige did for a sneak peek!)

We're recording podcasts on Wednesday! 🎙️

Check out Room 416 for TSCS and CampHacker LIVE Podcast Recordings.



BLOCK D: 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

“Health and Safety Information that Promotes Positive Parent Partnerships” with Tracey Gaslin

Any time Tracey is in a room, I will try to be there. Across all camps, we are hearing more and more that families want to hear about what their young person is doing at camp with consistent communication. With this session, I hope to learn about how we can build connections early on that will sustain itself through the camp session. 


BLOCK E:  9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

If I could be in two places at once, I would be at these two:

“Adult Enough! Engaging Staff in Essential Dialogue About Maturity, Mindset & Leveling Up” with Jeffrey Leiken 

You know when you talk to your staff about this summer being a place to learn and grow as humans? How this will make them more well-rounded in all professional senses? I think we’re going to get those tools to make that a reality in this session. 


“Imposter Syndrome - Embracing Out Strengths and Delegating Our Weaknesses” with Stephanie Olson

The phrase “Imposter Syndrome” has been echoing through camps these last few years. What intrigues me about this session is the “delegating our weaknesses” part. Knowing that even if we’re not rock solid at it, we’re able to own that and pass it off. I am curious what the delegation skills will look like with this one!

TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

  • “Elective Based vs Group Based Programming: What Should I Implement?” with Dan Weir and Jack Schott


Dining Hall, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

“The Next 10 Years: Biggest Risks and Opportunities” Moderated by Erec Hill and Jack Schott

I am excited to pull up a chair and hear what Erec and Jack have to say! They interviewed several seasoned camp pros for this and I’m eager to know what others are thinking. 


BLOCK F:  2:00 PM - 3:00 PM 

“From First Contact to The Last Camp Day: How to Keep Staff Feeling Satisfied and Enaged” with Justin Pritikin

Justin joined Jack on a podcast episode, “Selling Fun” early in the first season and I have wanted to hear Justin present ever since! With so much talk about generations and the next wave of professionals, I am eager to learn about valuing staff without reaching for the once trusty gift card. 


TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

  • “Unlock the Secrets of Sorority and Fraternity Recruitment to Supercharge Your Camp Staff Hiring” with Sami Eron

OkKAAYYY, even if Sami wasn’t TSCS, this would grab my attention. Each year one-third of university and college students are recruited into a Greek house. How does that happen?? Sami is sure to tell us. 


BLOCK G: 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM 

“Hope is not a strategy: Why and How to Create Intentional Health Education at Camp” with Deborah Gilboa

What do you do when a kid shares some false fact about the body? On one hand, not my place to get involved in the conversation. On the other hand, is it my place to correct them? I find Dr. G’s sessions are a great mix of tangible takeaways and great storytelling. I think this will be a great mid-conference session. 

TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

  • “Digital Media Magic: Creating Engaging Content for Summer Camps” with Nelson Strickland and my-CSG Co Quarius Lucas



It's the place to be. Doors open at 8:00 PM for this free party sponsored by IENA. 

The connection you’ve been looking for…coming to a conference near you.




BLOCK H: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM 

“Unlock your Resurgence: Build Your Burnout Prevention and Recovery Plan” with Kyrah Altman

Beanbag chairs are nice and all, but what if we had a plan for burnout prevention? What’s that Joyce Sunada saying? “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you’ll have to make time for your illness”. Let’s make that happen this summer with the guidance of Kyrah Altman.


TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

  • “Aquatic Justice: Confronting Anti-Blackness in Water-Based Recreation” with Jessica Tingle and Simone Gamble


BLOCK I: 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

“Drop An Egg On Your Head” and Other Retro Camp Games with Stef Gillman, Jamie Diamond, and Jordan Chaney

Purely curious about this one after Allison told us all about Critter Races. You know how we LOVE a “back when I was a counselor” story but then you realize it doesn’t age well (Just me? Okay.). I am excited to learn some new old games that have the potential to be trendy this summer, just like those capri pants. 


TSCS Team Presenting at this Time:

  • ”Level Up: Harnessing the Power of Esports for Youth Development” with Nelson Strickland 

Okay take a deep breath. This is my consistent plug to make sure you do what is best for you at the conference. TSCS Member Ella gave me this tip, “Schedule in breaks- don’t try to go to a session during every single block of time, it’s EXHAUSTING.” I encourage you to make the most of the conference. This includes personal time, small connections with attendees, checking out the Vendor Hall ooorr hanging out with me as we record some podcasts!

Members will be at ACA Tri-State...

Meet fellow camp professionals in the community when you join membership. Maybe you'll meet them in person during conference season!


EmJ Formal

EmJ Juszczyk
TSCS Podcast Producer and Content Lead

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