2018 safety 1st webinar series

See below for information about the presenters and description of this year's 2018 webinars.

Webinar 1 - Tuesday, January 23 by Bob Ditter
Managing staff anxiety: Techniques and practices for coping with the stress staff bring to the job and the stress staff experience on the job!

It is clear that the anxiety level among staff has increased dramatically in the past few years. In an ACA survey conducted by the Healthy Camps Committee during the summer of 2015, staff anxiety and depression was the number one concern from camp professionals. In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) have each reported record high incidences of anxiety in young adults in the US.

Bob’s presentation will present the most up-to-date information on anxiety in young adults and some useful practices that camp professionals can bring to camp not only for the relief and maintenance of their staff, but also for themselves!

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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 2 - Tuesday, February 27 by Dr. Chris Thurber
Engaging millennials: 10 essential strategies for camp directors
Branded as slackers and hipsters, the current generation of young employees may be less self-centered and fragile than you think. What are the implications for hiring and training this season? Join psychologist Dr. Chris Thurber to discuss his revealing investigation into the unique characteristics of staff born between about 1980 and 2000. Learn 10 essential strategies for tapping millennials’ strengths in ways that will immediately benefit your camp and improve your interactions with young parents. A must-see webinar for anyone who wants to improve staff recruitment, appointment, and instruction.

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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: drchristhurber.com.


Webinar 3 - Wednesday, March 28 by Michael Brandwein
It’s a real job! Developing more professionalism in staff and handling undesired staff behavior
Michael brings his trademark “use it immediately” approach to another exciting session of practical, highly effective techniques and creative materials we can use to maximize staff performance. Michael explains the number one, “biggest boo-boo” in supervising staff and how to repair this right away. You’ll get specific methods to train your leadership team on precisely what to say and do when they see staff who are not meeting expectations, and how to coach staff to replace this with better choices. This includes the hot topic of “supervising peers.” As we know, many of our staff have not learned how to act in a real employment (or even a volunteer) situation. So, Michael provides and demonstrates specific and engaging training activities you can plug into your staff training that help staff understand and apply what professionals do and say on the job. This helps make our expectations clearer and guides staff to higher levels of responsibility.

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M. Brandwein

Michael 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 4 - Tuesday, April 24 by Dr. Deborah Gilboa
Managing anxiety in campers, staff, and parents

Anxiety is an increasing struggle for parents, campers, and staff. Whether the incidence or just the recognition is actually on the rise, counselors and camp administration are looking for the information and strategies that will keep anxiety from interfering with the experience of each member of their community. Family physician and youth development expert Deborah Gilboa, M.D., will help participants better understand what’s happening in the brain of an anxious person, what exacerbates and calms those pathways, and how to translate that knowledge into a better camp experience.

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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. To learn more about  Dr. Thurber, visit his website: Deborah Gilboa, MD, visit her website: askdoctorg.com.


Past webinars

  • Beyond your comfort zone - Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Ph. D and Rhonda Mickelson, M.Ed.
  • Evaluating staff performance --considerations for rehiring - Bob Ditter
  • Preparing for risks of summer camp - Michael Swain, ARM, SCLA, Sr. Loss Control Specialist for Markel Specialty Commercial
  • Supervision and staff oversight --The key to safety at camp. Creating a culture of warm and cool feedback. - Bob Ditter
  • Bullying is normal, what matters is what we do next - Dr. Deborah Gilboa
  • Leading the leaders: How to motivate and develop leadership team members to boost excellence and responsibility - Michael Brandwein
  • Are your staff thinking or drinking? How to encourage wise use of time off - Dr. Chris Thurber
  • The growth mindset of camps --Developing a culture where curiosity and learning enhance performance in campers and staff alike - Bob Ditter
  • 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