How to Save a Life: Using Ladder-Up Risk Assessment

Participants will learn the steps of the ladder-up risk assessment, used by Crisis Text Line, to help dialogue with campers and staff experiencing harmful thoughts or behaviors.

Participants will gain insight into some of the most common precipitating we see in young people and how to address them in an effective way. We will discuss using good contact techniques that show that one is listening to the person in crisis and doing their best to put oneself in their shoes.


Beth Gaertner

Lasting Connections: Building Community at Camp

When you walk into a camp environment you feel a sense of togetherness and inclusivity. The way campers interact with their counselors, a parent’s connection with the camp director, the relationship between counselors and camp leadership are all testaments to a camp’s culture. Each of these people plays a key role in creating that wholesome environment that camp brings. What are some strategies to highlight the differentiating factor at your camp and how to capitalize on it? Participants will be lead through activities that showcase ways to build community and create lasting connections at camp.


Robert Hunter

Mindfulness Activities-Tools to Use in a Camp Setting

Mindfulness skills help campers develop a sense of one-mindedness and an ability to focus their attention back to their “wise mind”. Mindfulness skills will allow the camper to be fully immersed in the moment, rather than thinking of a couple of things at one time. This presentation will focus on teaching staff when and how to use several mindfulness activities in a camp setting.


Nikki Downey

Open Your Eye To See Better Behavior

Open your eyes to see the behavior you want, and then get more of it without asking.

It is easy to see camper behaviors that are unacceptable, name-calling, hitting, rude interrupting, excluding others, bullying and more….but we often forget to notice the behaviors we want to see, like taking turns, sharing, being friendly, polite conversation. Because often negative attention prevails when managing behaviors, the unwanted behaviors prevail.

This session teaches strategies to see wanted behaviors, recognize them and promote a camp culture of positive attention for wanted behavior. Laura will share her camp’s practice of child-centered rules, community accountability, daily awards, and praising the positive that has reduced and nearly eliminated unwanted behaviors in her campers.


Laura Johnson