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Nominate your camp for Markel's Safety 1st designation.

2017 safety 1st webinar series

See below for information about the presenters and description of this year's webinars. Stay tuned for the announcement of speakers and webinars for the 2018 series!

Upcoming webinars - see below for registration details!

Webinar 8 - Wednesday, November 1 by Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Ph.D. and Rhonda Mickelson, M.Ed.
Beyond your comfort zone

When a crisis or something “outside the comfort zone” occurs, how will your staff respond?  This webinar will share “lessons learned” from an analysis of the American Camp Association Hotline reports and provide suggested steps and resources to assist in crisis management, staff training, and preparation for the unexpected. Through discussions of case studies, this session will share valuable information about health/medical issues, personnel issues, allegations of abuse, camper behavior issues, parent behavior, death, and special situations. Ideas of how to share this information with your staff will be incorporated throughout the webinar.
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Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Ph.D. is Senior Researcher for the American Camp Association and a Professor Emeritus from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Deb’s research interests include youth development, the value of outdoor experiences, systems for evidence-based evaluation, program improvement, and staff training. She believes research is only as good as the practice it supports and that practice is only as good as the research that guides it.  She contributes to her community through varied volunteer opportunities, loves the outdoors, and values her time with friends, including four-legged furry ones.

Rhonda Mickelson, M.Ed.  is the Director of Accreditation for the American Camp Association  and has worked in the camping profession over 30 years starting as a summer camp counselor, as a Program Director and onto being a Camp Director.  Her experience includes the private and non-profit sector as well as day and resident camp.  Rhonda has also worked with short term, volunteer organized camps.  She served as an American Camp Association volunteer at both the local and national level prior to accepting the position as the Director of Accreditation with the American Camp Association in May 2007.

 


2017 past webinars

Webinar 7 - Wednesday, October 4 by Bob Ditter
Evaluating staff performance – considerations for rehiring
The best camp programs are only as good as the staff members who execute them. Whether your staff is paid or volunteer, you have an obligation to choose them carefully. Not only is your program’s reputation at stake, so is the safety and well-being of the children entrusted to your care. Bob Ditter will guide you through a set of specific considerations for evaluating your staff and provide several steps to take before rehiring staff for 2018. This timely presentation is designed to help you as you plan your staff requirements for next year.

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Photo of Bob DitterBob Ditter is a well-regarded child, adolescent, and family therapist from Boston, Massachusetts. He is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant for organizations that work with young people. He has been called “camping’s most articulate spokesman” because of his work with children’s summer camps since 1982. He has visited over 600 summer camps in the United States, has authored four books for camp professionals, and has developed 14 brand new training DVDs. To learn more about Bob Ditter, visit his website: bobditter.com.


Webinar 6 - Tuesday, May 2 by Michael Swain, ARM, SCLA, Sr. Loss Control Specialist for Markel Specialty Commercial
Preparing for Risks of Summer Camp
Being prepared for risks a camp may face during the summer is an important component of a good risk management strategy. Understanding historical trends and emerging issues can help with the preparation process. This workshop will analyze some of the historical loss activity that has occurred in a camp setting, exam some of the emerging risk management concerns camps will face during the summer, and offer a risk manager’s insights on steps camps can take to control these issues to help support a positive camper experience.

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Download webinar materials

Photo of Michael Swain, SeniorLoss Control Specialist at MarkelMichael A. Swain is a Sr. Loss Control Specialist for Markel responsible for creating and implementing risk management programs in support of camp, non-profit organizations, and various other youth recreation programs. With 30 years-experience, he has a broad background in risk management. Michael, a 1984 graduate of Va. Tech, holds certifications as an Associate in Risk Management, a Senior Claim Law Associate and various other youth program related risk management and safety certifications.



Webinar 5 - Tuesday, April 18 by Bob Ditter
Supervision and Staff Oversight -- The Key to Safety at Camp. Creating a Culture of Warm and Cool Feedback.
Giving your camp staff feedback is a central method for improving their growth and performance. Yet, most people cringe at the thought of either giving or getting feedback because of a blow to our pride. This skill packed webinar will give you lots of skills and ideas to help you make a culture of feedback and reflection at you camp a happy reality.

Bob DitterBob Ditter is a well-regarded child, adolescent, and family therapist from Boston, Massachusetts. He is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant for organizations that work with young people. He has been called “camping’s most articulate spokesman” because of his work with children’s summer camps since 1982. He has visited over 600 summer camps in the United States, has authored four books for camp professionals, and has developed 14 brand new training DVDs. To learn more about Bob Ditter, visit his website.


Webinar 4 - Friday, March 24 by Dr. Deborah Gilboa
Bullying is Normal, What Matters is What We Do Next

How we handle those involved, the situation and the parents is key to any bullying situation in any environment. What happens NEXT will influence whether this is a learning or defining moment in kids development. Most children will find themselves at different points in the role of bullied, bullying, and bystander. This workshop will give adults the perspective to understand why bullying occurs, the tools to limit this bad behavior, and important strategies for helping each of the children involved to have positive social interactions and respect for one another.

Photo of Dr. Deborah Gilboa

Respected parenting and youth development expert, Deborah Gilboa, MD, is the founder of AskDoctorG.com. Popularly known as Dr. G, her passion for raising kids with character makes her a favorite family physician, media personality, author, speaker and social influencer. A mom of four boys, she inspires audiences with relatable stories and easy tools to develop crucial life skills in children ages 2-22.

She is a regular parenting contributor on The Today Show, and is featured in many broadcast, digital and print media outlets.

Dr. G is a board certified family physician at Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill Health Center, caring for diverse patients from 100+ countries, speaking 47 different languages.

Dr. G is the author of multiple books including Get the Behavior You Want, Without Being the Parent You Hate! (Demos Publishing) and activity books on building the 3R’s of Parenting: Respect, Responsibility and Resilience.


Webinar 3 - Wednesday, February 15 by Michael Brandwein
Leading the Leaders: How to Motivate and Develop Leadership Team Members to Boost Excellence and Responsibility
Michael presents another energizing, skill-packed seminar with terrific techniques to support, motivate, retain, and grow your key leaders. Our leadership team members are the heart of camp. A gigantic secret to having the safest, most successful, most mission-driven camp is to invest time in the development of the leaders (administrators, area directors, head staff, supervisors, middle-managers, program directors, and others) who lead our personnel to their best work. This unique session identifies exactly what to provide leadership team members to help them grow, stay motivated, continue and deepen their commitment, and increase their quality of performance. Learn great strategies and methods to get them ready for bigger challenges and responsibilities in new and different roles. Prevent burnout, improve retention and job satisfaction, and increase trust and communication.

M. BrandweinMichael Brandwein (michaelbrandwein.com) has made presentations in all fifty U.S. states and on six of the seven continents. He is the number one best-selling author in the camp field, with five consecutive bestsellers on training and leading staff who work with young people: Training Terrific Staff Volumes One and Two, Skill of the Day: What Great Leaders of Young People Do & Say, Super Staff SuperVision, and Learning Leadership: How to Develop Outstanding Teen Leadership Programs at Camp. Michael is an internationally recognized expert in youth development in education, camps, and recreation. He wrote and presented three EMMY award-winning television programs on communicating with children. He has served on the national board of directors of ACA and has received two national honors from ACA for his training of directors and staff throughout the world. He does staff training for individual camps and is a frequent national and state keynoter at conferences for youth development organizations and educators. His Juris Doctor degree is from the University of Chicago. Michael lives in the Chicago area with his wife Donna and their two sons.


Webinar 2 - Thursday, February 2 by Dr. Chris Thurber
Are your staff Thinking or Drinking? How to Encourage Wise Use of Time off

All camp directors face the anxious dilemma of knowing their staff deserve time off, but not feeling confident they will spend that time wisely. When binge drinking is the default time-off activity, risks such as drunk driving and sexual assault multiply. Plus, if staff return exhausted, perhaps even hungover, they transfer that risk to campers. This honest and energetic webinar will give directors: (1) A snapshot of current time-off policies and practices; (2) Essential guidelines to design a realistic substance use policy; and (3) Practical ideas for guiding staff to make wise choices during the summer.

Chris Thurber headshotDr. Christopher Thurber is a board-certified clinical psychologist, author, consultant and father. A graduate of Harvard University and UCLA, Dr. Thurber is a favorite keynoter and workshop leader at conferences on education, mental health, and summer camp. He has been involved in camps for 40 years. He attended three different day camps between the ages of 4 and 11. In 1980, he spent his first session at YMCA Camp Belknap. This summer will be his 34th at Belknap, where he now serves as waterfront director and senior staff member. Dr. Thurber currently serves on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy and is co-founder of Expert Online Training, the leading provider of e-learning for camp staff. To learn more about Dr. Thurber, visit his website.


Webinar 1 - Tuesday, January 17 by Bob Ditter
The growth mindset of camps --
Developing a culture where curiosity and learning enhance performance in Campers and Staff alike.
Kids have a theory about learning that is fairly universal and that affects the way they try new things at camp. This is part of what Carol Dweck calls “the growth mindset,” which is the degree to which we are open to new ways of thinking about and learning new things. This fun webinar will give you the concepts and the tools to work more effectively with your staff, who in turn can then work more effectively with your campers!

Bob Ditter Bob Ditter is a well-regarded child, adolescent, and family therapist from Boston, Massachusetts. He is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant for organizations that work with young people. He has been called “camping’s most articulate spokesman” because of his work with children’s summer camps since 1982. He has visited over 600 summer camps in the United States, has authored four books for camp professionals, and has developed 14 brand new training DVDs. To learn more about Bob Ditter, visit his website. 

Past webinars
  • Are these on your radar? Hot legal and risk management issues for camps. - Catherine Hansen-Stamp
  • Improved techniques for managing challenging camper behavior. - Bob Ditter
  • Powerful, simple things to do right now to prepare your camp for a superb 2016. - Michael Brandwein
  • Real techniques, leadership and coaching strategies for effecting change with campers and staff. - Dr. Chris Thurber
  • Cracking kids' secret code - Dr. Chris Thurber
  • Camp crises - Dealing with the "Big Four" - waterfront, vehicles, sexual misconduct, and foodborne illnesses - Firestorm
  • Managing challenging camper behavior - Bob Ditter
  • What makes a good camp counselor? It's not what you think!- Scott Arizala
  • Motivation: What works and what doesn’t with campers and staff - Bob Ditter
  • Designing your camp’s electronics technology policy - Dr. Chris Thurber
  • Waterfront safety design: Top ten tips in action - Dr. Chris Thurber
  • Lights out!...Don’t stay in the dark about abuse risks at your camp - Praesidium
  • Critical elements of leadership and communication - Bob Ditter
  • Evaluating staff performance: Considerations for rehiring - Bob Ditter
  • Sound practice—What we’ve learned from years of good practice - Bob Ditter
  • Responding to challenging camper behavior in ways that are proactive and creative - Bob Ditter
  • Critical elements for staff training - Bob Ditter
  • Snips and snails and puppy dog tails: The ‘boy code’ and bullying at camp - Bob Ditter
  • Sugar and spice, not always so nice: Why girls are mean to other girls and what to do about it - Bob Ditter
  • Camper-counselor contact—Part 2: Challenges of technology and contact out of camp - Bob Ditter
  • Camper-counselor contact—Part 1: Basics of child protection at camp - Bob Ditter