Real Diversity Starts Now.

Inclusion Specialist Training

With Sylvia Van Meerten & Jack Schott


Inclusion SPECIALIST At Camp

Many camps are adding an inclusion specialist to their staff. This role is vital to helping campers who have a diagnosis (known or unknown), who come from challenging home situations, diverse backgrounds or other campers who struggle with the camp culture and routine. Read more details below.

You can add an Inclusion Specialist in 2019! 

Here is how:

  1. Select a member of your staff to be your Inclusion Specialist (they can have another role at camp as well.

  2. Sign them up for one of our workshops

  3. Join a 30 min call with us to hear how best to mobilize your Inclusion Specialist


Participants will leave with:

  • Specific skills to communicate with kids who seem to have a developmental diagnosis like autism or ODD or ADHD

  • Specific methods to support kids who seem to have a mental health situation like depression or anxiety

  • Specific strategies to support campers who are demographically different from your usual population (diversity activities for small and large groups and recommendations for staff training)

  • Specific ideas to communicate with cabin groups about diversity and inclusion

  • Specific formulas for collaboration between cabin counselors, the Diversity and Inclusion Assistant, parents, and Camp Directors

An Inclusion Speciallist will help campers who might:

  • Have a mental health or developmental diagnosis

  • Be from a culture you are unfamiliar with

  • Have a complicated home life 

  • Not fit in at camp for social reasons



Michigan - April 26-27
Camp Manitou-Lin - Middleville
All Inclusive - $249

Pennsylvania - May 17-18
YMCA Camp SpeErs - Poconos
All Inclusive - $249


Meetings April 2, 9, 16, 23 8pm EST
4 weeks, All online, $199


Begin the Inclusion Journey With Us


Group pricing available. Email Jack.



What is diversity and inclusion?


When we say Diversity and Inclusion, we are talking about helping kids who have a mental health or developmental diagnosis or who display behaviors that make you suspect that they may have a diagnosis. We are talking about helping kids who identify as LGBTQ or who are demographically different from your camp's typical population (race or class or gender).

We are talking about campers who identify in more than one of these categories, and possibly also have a tricky home life. We are talking about kids who speak your language as a second language or who don't speak your language at all.

We think we can teach you skills that will help you design accommodations at your camp to help more of these campers have a better experience. 

What We Can’t Do

We do NOT think we can teach you to make your camp accessible for any kid at all. We do NOT think we can make you an expert in race issues or gender identity or autism. We do think we can teach you some basic strategies that will help you feel more competent at including kids who are outside your comfort zone. 


Who is SylVIA?

Sylvia van Meerten has been a camp counselor, director, executive director and board member at camps around the country. She has helped to start successful new camps, and currently runs a small camp for kids with autism, peers, and siblings. Sylvia routinely delivers workshops about autism, diversity, leadership, compassion, and happiness for the camp community. She believes in love, loyalty, the Detroit Lions, and the power of great jokes between friends. Sylvia is well-known at her camps for organizing the chores and being a nerd-fan of difficult conversations. She earned her BA from the Evergreen State College in Olympia WA, and her Psychology MA from Vermont College. Sylvia lives with her wonderful husband and kids in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Some of Syl’s Projects
Founder/Director - Camp Tall Tree
FoundeR - Empower Autism
Principle - Van Meerten Consulting
Board Member - Stomping Ground



- 4 weeks
- Weekly 45-min meetings, projects, & resources
- All Online
- April 2019
- Tuesday 8pm EST
- $199/participant



- 1 night/2 Days
- Stay at camp
- All meals and accommodations included
- April 26-27 in MI or May 17-18 in PA
- Arrive 4pm Night Leave 4pm



1) The Hidden Curriculum
2) Neuro-Diversity & Goal Setting
3) Racial Diversity Panel
4) Where to Start for Summer 2019

- In-Summer materials
- A cohort of peers to brainstorm with
- Optional In-Summer coaching from our team 

Who is this course for?

An ideal Diversity and Inclusion Specialist is a staff person who is a  camp director or an experienced counselor who genuinely wants to include a wider variety of camper at their camp.

Diversity and inclusion take a fair amount of effort and practice by camp directors and staff before a new group feels truly welcome at camp. In order to get the full benefit of this experience, you should have some experience at your 2019 camp, and be able to make or propose some minor changes to the way camp has always run. 


Don’t Just Talk About It. Be About It.

Questions? Send Jack an Email