2016 Featured Presentations

Presentation Abstracts

Breakout Session #1--11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

1. Caching In On Geocaching

Lisa Alderfer

Education Programmer

Stark County Park District

Canton, Ohio

This session will explore a partnership between Stark Parks and Visit Canton, the Stark County CVB in creating the Strolling Stark GeoTour. We will discuss the benefits of utilizing the popular activity geocaching as an example of how parks and recreation resources that provide quality of life for residents are also valuable assets to generate economic impact for a community through tourism.

2. Building A Leadership Program For Teens That Helps Others

Todd Brinkman

Vice President of Camping and Youth Development

YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh has partnered with NPH USA to offer a teen leadership program. This program allows future leaders to practice basic principles of leadership, in real-world situations. This program allows participants to help sponsor an orphaned child, learn about other cultures, and bring those skills back to camp and life. Simultaneously we are filling our staffing needs from Honduras, Haiti, and Dominican Republic. Find out what these kids have to say about the program and how it has helped them grow.

3. Watersports Today: Trends, Equipment & How To Start A Watersports Program

Ashley Mowen

4-H Extension Educator

OSU Extension

This session will focus on Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). We will start with hands-on activities you can use when teaching beginners how to Kayak or SUP. Specific equipment needed to start your own watersports program and multiple different resources will be included in handouts. Information will be provided on ODNR boating grants, American Canoe Association Instructor and beginner trainings, and a Q&A for any questions.

4. Real Solutions To Make Your Site And Facilities Accessible

Jessica Gaone

Registered Architect

Domokur Architects

No matter the size of your project, join us as we share solutions that focus on real-life camp and park projects that solve accessibility issues. Addressing accessibility requirements can be challenging, but the solution does not have to break the bank! Come find out how to incorporate accessibility at your site and facility, while considering creative solutions that do not look like an afterthought. Our design team will focus on renovation projects, as well as site design elements. 

Co-presenter: Stephanie Smith, of Domokur Architects

5. Play And The Benefits For Summer Camps

Chris Clyde

Associate Director

Camp Nuhop

A PlayNote is designed to foster unity and enthusiasm in your team, but with one critical difference--Nuhop’s Playnote emphasize active and, most importantly, playful audience interaction. Rather than have the audience sit in their seats as passive entertainees, a Nuhop Playnote ignites the playful and energetic capacities of the audience by using them as active members of the address and creates intentional learning opportunities and connection points through purposeful play. This dynamic approach can provide activities and insight for all camp staff!

6. Robotic LEGOs And Animation Design: STEM Programming At Its Best

Jason Lang

Director of Recreation

East Goshen Township

West Chester, Penn.

Want to invest in a STEM-base recreation program but don't know where to start? This session will articulate how to start a STEM program and highlight various computer-based classes/clinics/camps an agency could offer. The session will conclude with participants getting to play with real "kid-tested, kid-built" projects!

7. Why Does My Staff Act Like First Graders? 

Erin Fischer


The Leadership and Training Studio

If you have seen unruly, unrealistic or unimaginable behavior from some of your staff members, you are not alone. There are countless stories of college students who do unexpected things during camp, but how do you prevent these staff from slowing down your summer with simple and practical advice? During this course, learn how to be a phenomenal leader by learning the inside information. Learn about the four brains of a college student, how to change behavior by using Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, and learn what you can do to stop staff from slacking by understanding how tug-of-war really works. This course will give you new tricks, tips and techniques with simple changes to what you are already doing. 

Breakout Session #2--1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

8. Tips For Successful Event Planning

Peggy Behm

Events Manager

Blue Ash, Ohio

Special-event planning is a "happy" industry that creates fun and wonderful memories for many people. But event planning can turn even the most capable person into a ball of nerves, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. Our helpful tips will make the process go more smoothly and successfully as well as aid you in the planning, promoting, and delivery of a special event.

9. Essential Elements Of A Successful Camp Counselor Training Program

Lisa McCutcheon

Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension

Whether you are in the beginning stages of constructing a training program, or you're experienced and looking for new ideas, this session will offer you lots of ideas to strengthen your camp counselor training program. Take a peek into one successful program then pick and choose the components that might be of assistance to you! Your teen staff members will be better prepared and more successful in the year to come with this one small investment of time.

10. Marketing--From Nothing To Something

Shelly Strasser

Director Of Recreation And Community Services

West Allis-West Milwaukee School District

This session will demonstrate how organizations can select and utilize the best marketing and social media strategies to promote their services and boost participation. The West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department will describe how they went from using no marketing strategies to employing several different strategies that have impacted program and revenue growth. From developing a logo and adopted mascot to implementing social media strategies, through time, commitment and teamwork, it can be done.

11. Get On The Road With An Environmental Outreach Program

Michelle Maust

Environmental Education Outreach Coordinator

Genesee County Parks and Recreation

Burton, MI

For-Mar On The Road is a highly successful and unique environmental education program through Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission that takes nature and gardening into communities and schools throughout the county. The success of this program is due largely to partnerships with community organizations and a “think-outside-the-box” mentality. Learn the key components to developing an outreach program for your community and how to make it successful. 

12. Fun And Easy STEM Activities For Camp

Kathy Blackford

Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension, Ashland County

Looking for easy activities to do with your campers without spending a lot of money or time?  Want to increase your campers’ STEM knowledge and have fun at the same time? At this session, you will learn many simple, inexpensive and fun science-related activities. They can be easily used by teen counselors working with small groups. Every participant will go home with a packet of materials that can be put to use immediately.

13. The Science and Economics of Managing Drought

Kevin Lewis

Midwest Technical Sales Manager

Ecologel Solutions LLC.

Grounds managers face several challenges, including those brought on by weather and climactic conditions. Oftentimes, managing turf and flowering/ornamental plants during dry periods becomes labor-intensive and resource draining. Other times, the ability to irrigate is not present, so risking the survival of maintained areas becomes a roll of the dice. In times of prolonged drought, loss of plants or turf becomes prevalent and replacement weighs heavily on the budget. Additionally, drought-stressed plants will require increased pesticide applications in order to help them deal with pest pressure. This presentation will cover aspects, techniques, and strategies to help plants survive dry or drought conditions while reducing irrigation requirements and promoting healthy, vigorous stress-resistant plants. 

14. Set Your Programming Apart: It's All About KIDS (Keep It Distinct And Specialized)

Colonel Joseph Land


Extreme Military Challenge!

This fast-paced discussion focuses on the value of developing specialized niche programming for your camp. Joe and his team offer the five-week “Extreme Military Challenge!”--an intense and very realistic military career exploration program for teens (good kids, not delinquents)--in Battleground, Ala. Started in 2014, this highly specialized camp has achieved over 200 percent growth in each subsequent year, with young people worldwide attending. Learn the benefits and challenges of offering “one-and-only” national programming.

Breakout Session #3--3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

15. In-House Construction Of Athletic Facilities

Ryan Shaffer

Recreation Director

White Township, Penn.

This presentation will consist of the step-by-step process used to design and construct a multi-purpose baseball/softball diamond at Kennedy-King Park in Indiana, Penn., from 2014 to 2016 using primarily in-house staff. By completing all or segments of a project with in-house staff, recreation professionals have the ability to drastically reduce the budget, build pride within the workforce and promote community involvement.

16. How To Make Your Camp Marketing Campaign Contagious 

Erin Fischer


The Leadership and Training Studio

Every once in a while there are things that grab our undivided attention; these ideas, dreams and concepts power past the norm and drive our interest and intrigue. How does the Shake Shack in NYC get people to stand in line for over an hour for burgers and flat-top dogs? How does one person inspire millions of people to pour ice over their bodies in the name of ALS? And, how does a dancing Grandma catch the eye of one billion YouTube watchers? What does this all have to do with camp? Whether you want to drive more attention to your camp’s website, drive more attendance to your summer programs or conference season, or learn how to sell your big ideas to your team or board, this course is for you. We will teach you nine visual and fascinating ways to get people invested with your work, and you will be surprised how easy it is.  

17. No More Gathering Dust

Jody Oates

Principal Consultant

Kaleidoscope, Inc.

A vision and plan for future development of program and facilities must be based in the realities of the organizational capacity of the operation.  Successful, achievable planning is created with strong data, market assessment, program throughput, and various other factors. Learn how to define an achievable vision for your program growth and site and facility development. Examples of organizations that build strength to strength will be shared. No longer have a plan only gathering dust!

18. Hop Into Grant Writing 101

Mary Beth Sills


Steubenville Parks and Recreation Department

Steubenville, Ohio

Parks and recreation agencies face a constant battle with shrinking budgets and increasing needs. Hop Into Grant Writing will provide tips, tricks, and techniques to getting grant funding and ensuring your application stays on top of the "to-be-funded" stack. Information on grant resources, tips to avoid, and more will be addressed.

19. Building A High-Performing Team

Travis West

Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension

Today’s environment requires us to work as a team in a variety of settings. Making your staff a cohesive team is necessary for success, but first we need to explore the roles present on every team. Cohesive teams can be created with a few low-budget teambuilding activities, which are easily adapted for youth and adult audiences. This session will provide customizable resources for teambuilding success.

20. Executive Decision Making

Joseph Wynns


Indiana University Executive Development Program for Park and Recreation Professionals

In the parks and recreation field, a variety of issues come into play as decisions impact future work, personnel performance, program and facility outcomes, the natural environment and most importantly--the future of the community. This session will focus on the strategic process a leader must use to evaluate potential action and create successful resolutions.