NE Business of Camp E-Series

Online (ACA, New England's Zoom)  
Thursday, January 06, 2022 - Thursday, April 07, 2022   Export to iCalendar Eastern Standard Time

The Business of Camp – A series of e-workshops

Facilitated by Bette Bussel, retired Executive Director, ACA, New England & Eric Arnold, Executive Director, Hale Education

Facilitators will be joined by monthly guest speakers and topic experts

This series has reached its capacity of 30 attendees, so registration is now closed. We don't anticipate any cancellations, but if you'd like to be added to a wait list, please email

Don’t think about your title, think about your role at camp. Are you looking to learn more about the landscape of what it takes to run a camp? Do you already face business decisions and challenges in your current role? Or, are you an emerging or mid-career professional who sees yourself moving into such a role within the next couple of years?

If so, this series of five monthly e-sessions is for you! This series is open to all - independent camps, non-profit camps, agency camps, and everyone in between! While some nuances may be different, many of the tools and strategies are applicable and can be scaled for any camp. 

While we can’t cover all the camp business-related topics in five sessions, we hope to build a learning community, provide you with resources to explore, and give you lots to think about as you gain skills to successfully navigate the business of your camp. In addition to hearing from field experts and experienced facilitators, participants will be encouraged to engage in dialogue with one another and share resources throughout the series.

Sessions will run 9:30 am - 11:30 am ET on the following Thursdays in 2022:

  • January 6: Values, Vision, Mission, and More

  • January 27: Asset Management, Part I (business models, budgeting, finance)

  • February 17: Asset Management, Part II (facilities, insurance, risk management)

  • March 17: Data, Dashboards, and Marketing

  • April 7: HR and the Staffing Cycle

Additional session details and partial list of speakers can be found below.

Format: Two live hours per session (9:30 am - 11:30 am ET) including both topic-related presentations and facilitated discussion. Participants will earn 10 CECs for full participation in the series.Additional topic-related resources (e.g. articles, book suggestions, handouts) will be provided to participants between sessions. Series is limited to 30 participants to ensure the group can engage in dialogue and build community. Registration is for one person to participate in the entire five-session series.

Session 1: Values, Vision, Mission, and More (January 6)

Knowing yourself and your camp is a critical part of being a leader. In this session, we will explore the importance of using ethics, values, vision, and mission as the foundation of your work. We will discuss what it means to build a learning community together and group norms. This session will also touch on some lenses with which we’ll encourage you to evaluate/examine all aspects of your work, including:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Your product/programming

  • Long-range/big picture/outside the box thinking

Guest speaker(s): Ann Sheets, retired President/CEO, Camp Fire First Texas, author of The Business of CampJen “Dusty” Clitheroe, co-founder, Strengths Perspective

Session 2:  Asset Management, Part I (January 27)

In this session, we will look at key budgeting and financial management resources, strategies, and tools as well as different business models.

Guest speaker(s): Scott Brody, owner & director, Camps Kenwood & Evergreen, Everwood Day Camp; John Carroll, finance director, Hale Education; additional speakers TBD

Session 3:     Asset Management, Part II (February 17)   

This month, we will dive deeper into facilities and land management, insurance (coverages, considerations), and other factors of risk management.

Guest speaker(s): Marie S.A. Sorensen, architect and masterplanner, Sorensen Partners | Architects + Planners, Inc; additional speaker TBD

Session 4:     Data, Dashboards, and Marketing (March 17)

What data are you collecting? How do you use that data, along with storytelling to sell your program(s)? Where and how much are you spending on marketing?

Guest speaker(s): TBD

Session 5:    HR and the Staffing Cycle (April 7)

Having the right team and managing them is key. And, many of our camps don’t have a designated HR professional. This session will focus on things to think about from advisors/counsel to policies to pay and benefits.

Guest speaker(s): TBD

Additional Information

About the Facilitators

Bette Bussel: Bette has been involved with camps since age 4, where she began as a day camper. She evolved to an overnight camper, Counselor-in-Training (CIT), Counselor, Program Director, Camp Director and served as Executive Director of ACA, New England for 30 years before retiring in 2020.As ACA, New England’s Executive Director Bette has been honored with the New England AIC Award (1994), National AIC Award (1996), ACA National Service Award (1999), and ACA Special Recognition Award (2004).Bette is a leader with professional competence, strong relationship-building skills, and deep commitment to the industry.

Bette received a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management from Ithaca College and a Master of Science in Recreation Management from the University of Maryland. Prior to coming to ACA New England, she served as the Program Director, Teen Director, Group Services Director and Day Camp Director for the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven.

Eric Arnold: As Hale’s fourth executive director—a position he’s held since 2001—Eric focuses on strategic leadership, fundraising, and partnership development to expand access to outdoor learning opportunities and close the nature and achievement gaps. His parents owned a camp in the early 1970s and he came to love the industry so much, he never left it! Earlier in his career, Eric taught at Beaver Country Day School and directed several camps in Maine, where he launched a small outdoor education center. Eric is a former president of both the Massachusetts Camping Association and the American Camp Association, New England and served on the American Camp Association national board of directors. He currently serves on the advisory board of Philanthropy Massachusetts’ Summer Fund and is a member of the Generation Success leadership team facilitated by the Boston Opportunity Agenda. In his spare time, you’ll find him on family adventures, mountain biking, skiing, trail running, and playing music. Eric earned a B.A. in Mass Communications and Geography from the University of Denver and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University.

Registrations are non-refundable, but may be transferred to another eligible individual prior to the start of the event.

This series has reached its capacity of 30 attendees, so registration is now closed. We don't anticipate any cancellations, but if you'd like to be added to a wait list, please email

Registration is for the full five-session series. Participants will receive 10 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for their full participation. If you’re unable to make a session or two live, we will record them and make them available for a limited time – so don’t let that prevent you from signing up!

Please note: We do not want cost to prohibit a camp professional from joining our event. Should the price of this e-seminar be a barrier, please reach out to Kerry Salvo, to discuss financial assistance options.

Contact Us

Questions? Reach out to Kerry Salvo, ACA, New England Director of Education and Professional Development, at or 781-541-6080 ext. 104

Online (ACA, New England's Zoom)  

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Registration: NE Business of Camp Series Registration

The meeting is full. If you proceed to register the Registrant will be placed on the Waitlist.