Schedule at a Glance - WAIC: Western Association of Independent Camps
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Presented by AMSkier Insurance

Below, you will find the conference schedule for the 2020 WAIC virtual conference.

November 9

8:30am  New Conference Attendee Orientation


9am  Conference Welcome


9:30-10:30am  Section Meetings for Members, Guest Affiliates, & Prospective Members


10:30-10:45am  Break


10:45am-12pm  Keynote Workshop: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Your Camp’s Journey

Presented by: Heather Vilhauer, CSU East Bay & Dr. Brandon T. Taylor, CSU Fresno


12:10-1:10pm  Lunch with Facilitated Round Table Discussions

  • Domestic Staff Hiring Round Table with Ariella Rogge, Sanborn Western Camps
  • Camp Owner Round Table with Ryan Rosen, Camp Kinneret & Jeff Cheley, Cheley Colorado Camps
  • Silver Linings Roundtable: How the pandemic refocuses programming and spending at camp with Liz Kimmelman & Brooks McCall, Tumbleweed Day Camp


1:15-2pm  Education Sessions*

  • Preparing for Summer 2021: Camp Champions & Camp Winnebago Reflection Panel: Steve Baskin, Camp Champions, Andy Lilienthal, Camp Winnebago & Dr. Laura Blaisdell, Medical Director Camp Winnebago *PLEASE NOTE THIS SESSION TIME IS 1:00-2:15PM
  • 12 Ways Racism, Colonialism, and Anti-Blackness Can Be Present at Camp: Simone Gamble, Founder of O.A.A.A.R.S.
  • Planning for the Unknown: Legal Considerations in the Time of COVID: Julie Strom, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore (LCW) Law


2-2:15pm  Break


2:15-3pm  Commerce Sessions

  • How to Rebound Digital Marketing After Covid-19: Peter Ross, 829 Studios
  • Insurance Marketplace (Pathway to Coverage): Darrow Milgrim & Trip Thomas , Gallagher Risk Management & Insurance
  • Sell Shirts…(without losing your own!): Matt Vahlberg, Fun Fangle
  • Keys to a Successful Website Design: Renee Kilpatrick, The Campany & Jonathon Prandi, JP Webs, Inc.


4-5pm  Trivia Social Happy Hour Sponsored by Challenge Works

November 10

8-8:45am  Coffee Chat Sponsored by CampBrain


9-10:15am  General Session: Tips and Tricks for Successful Virtual Icebreakers and Staff Training Activities, Presented by Michelle Cummings   Sponsored by CampMinder


10:15-10:30am  Break


10:30am-12:00pm  WAIC Annual Meeting (For WAIC Members, Guest Affiliates, and Honorary Members Only)


10:30am-12:00pm  Virtual Scavenger Hunt with Michelle Cummings (For attendees not attending the WAIC Annual Meeting)


12pm  Vendor Showcase


1:15-2pm  Education Sessions

  • Identity and Privilege: Sarah Woodard, Equitable Partnership Liaison
  • Care for the Caregiver: Prioritizing Mental Health in Times of Crisis: Lauren Black
  • Strategic Online Marketing Practices Your Business Can Do – Post COVID-19: Peter Ross, 829 Studios


2-2:15pm  Break


2:15-3pm  Closing Campfire: Distanced but Always Together

CLICK HERE FOR CONFERENCE ZOOM LINKS (password in attendee email)
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Heather Vilhauer is a practitioner and educator in the field of recreation management. Her areas of focus include recreation programming (youth development and camp administration); leadership and organizational behavior; disaster preparedness; and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. After spending 20+ years in the field of recreation, she made the move to education and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism at Cal State East Bay in the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism.


Brandon T. Taylor,, Assistant Professor, Fresno State Department of Recreation Administration Dr. Taylor completed his doctoral degree in organizational management and leadership after spending more than 14 years working in the community recreation setting within the Central Valley of California. His professional experience includes municipal recreation programming and planning for youth and adults, community special-events, and outcome-driven out-of-school-time programming.  Dr. Taylor currently serves as the Coordinator of Community Recreation and Youth Services emphasis.


Michelle Cummings M.S. is the Big Wheel and founder of Training Wheels, a known leader in the Team Development industry.  She is an accomplished author and is a sought-after speaker and consultant on leadership, teambuilding, and experiential learning. Michelle has created a wide variety of facilitation, debriefing and teambuilding activities that have collectively changed the way trainers and educators work.

Michelle has delivered innovative staff training and team building programs for hundreds of camps and non-profit organizations. Michelle has a plethora of experience with camps:  she went to 15 different camps as a child, has worked full-time for several camps, is now a service provider to the camping industry, and is a parent of two campers who attend multiple camps.


Peter Ross has defined the vision, strategy, and culture of 829 Studios since its founding in 2007. It is his mission to help clients transform their data into strategy and provide an integrated approach that blends creativity with technological sophistication. He is constantly searching for new opportunities clients can leverage to achieve differentiation, develop competitive advantages, and better communicate their brand story. Peter received his Executive MBA from Imperial College London and primarily focuses his time on business consulting, marketing strategy, site architecture, frontend/backend development, SEO/SEM, and interactive media.


Simone Gamble is a community organizer who resides with roots in the South Bronx. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Hunter College at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College with a focus on Secondary Education and History and later Social Work and Community Organizing. She has worked at various youth organizations throughout NYC focusing on various social justice issues including immigration justice, police accountability, and education justice.  

Simone is also an independent consultant who has led workshops with a myriad of nonprofits, schools, camps, and after school programs centered in youth work around the issue of safer spaces for people of color with an intersectional, anti-oppressive lens. She has spoken at conferences and privately consulted with organizations around radical curriculum and workshop facilitation.

Simone is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Since 2017, Simone has stepped into the role as the Founder of OAAARS (Organizer. Activist.Artist.Advocate.Referral.System). She looks to help businesses, institutions, and nonprofits find talented consultants of color to provide radical professional development training in the fields of social justice, equity, arts, wellness, and education. She dreams of a world where folks dedicated to social good can live sustainably while transforming workspaces and ultimately their communities and the world at large.


Lauren Black’s introduction to the camp world came from working at Tumbleweed Day Camp in Los Angeles, CA where she worked in a variety of capacities from counselor to enrollment manager. Lauren currently works as a School Psychologist in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She recently completed her Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and is working towards her Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. Lauren is also the Director of Operations for the Social Justice Sewing Academy a non-profit organization based in Northern California. In this position she has contacted families that have lost loved ones to officer-involved shootings and race-based violence to receive free, custom-made quilts; directed the creation of an anti-racist guidebook written by volunteers of the organization; and co-created the Business Incubator program which will educate emerging entrepreneurs between the ages of 15-25 on the skills necessary to launch a successful business. Finally, Lauren is the co-creator of an Instagram page (@psychactivists) aimed at providing resources and information to educators and parents particularly when supporting youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and those with multiply marginalized identities.


Sarah Woodard grew up in Portland, OR where she had the chance to explore the outdoors and learn alongside Sprinavasa Brown, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Camp ELSO.  After attending college in St. Louis, Sarah spent two years in Chicago working as a client consultant and data analyst.  A passion for education led her to the classroom where she taught first, third, and fourth grades.  After recognizing how capable all students are, and how much teachers need high-quality curriculum resources, Sarah joined the education non-profit Great Minds as a member of the Humanities team where she shares knowledge-rich curriculum with schools across the country. Sarah lives in Los Angeles, CA and is glad to be back on the West Coast, learning alongside those who seek to be better allies for environmental and racial justice.


Julie L. Strom provides representation and legal counsel to Liebert Cassidy Whitmore clients out of our Los Angeles office in matters pertaining to education, employment and labor law. Julie works extensively with LCW’s private school clients on a wide range of matters, including enrollment agreements, employment contracts, Board and governance matters, investigations, tuition disputes, employee and student/parent handbooks, disciplinary issues, mandated reporting, terminations and severance agreements. Julie also trains on subjects such as mandatory reporting, harassment, employee evaluations, personal boundaries, family conflicts, and international travel.