EPIC (Emerging Professionals in Camping)

Emerging Professionals in Camping is a network of young people who seek to engage with peers in the camp industry. EPIC is dedicated to providing a forum for networking and career development through conferences, workshops and social events.

EPIC Pre-Conference Workshop

Date: Monday, March 11th, 2019 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost: $75 per person (workshop includes lunch). Register through our Members Portal

Just as camps choose core values that best highlight their programs and missions, EPIC has values that serve engaged professionals in camping: tradition, spirit, safety & wellness, empowerment and community. Our 2019 Pre-Conference is built to consider how we emulate our EPIC values to elevate not only ourselves but also the camps we proudly represent.

We are thrilled to welcome Sarah Kurtz McKinnon to keynote our day and eager to meet and connect with all camping professionals - from first year summer staff to a full time veteran! Come join us for a day of engaging discussions and networking, created to provide clear takeaways for our EPICs!

Workshop Schedule:

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM Welcome / Icebreaker (Room 404)

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM Keynote (Room 404)

Presented by: Sarah Kurtz McKinnon, The Summer Camp Society

Young professionals are some of the most powerful people in camping. These are the individuals who set the tone for staff and camper culture on a day-to-day basis, but they’re also the individuals who have the power to steer the vision and values for camp into the future. In this keynote, Sarah Kurtz McKinnon will show this critical group of emerging leaders how the practice of positive deviance will help them get even more kids to even better camps.

12:20 PM - 1:05 PM Breakout 1 (Rooms 418 & 419)

1:05 PM - 1:50 PM Lunch (Room 404)

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM Breakout 2 (Rooms 418 & 419)

2:45 PM - 2:55 PM Brain Break

2:55 PM - 3:35 PM Breakout 3 (Room 404)

3:35 PM - 4:00 PM Closing

Breakout 1 Options:

Tradition - How do we lead with what has been set before us and how can we help be the voice to edit traditions when it’s time?

Breakout Speaker: Adam Baranker, Jeff Lake Camp

Spirit: How do we use camp’s inherent spirit to recruit, promote, and retain the right campers and staff?

Breakout Speaker: Ashleigh and Matt Jackowitz, Camp Walt Whitman

Breakout 2 Options:

Safety & Wellness: How do we know what to focus on and who to listen to when there are so many resources for mental and physical well-being?

Breakout Speaker: Robbie Gothelf, Timber Lake Camp and Scott Leonard, Pocono Springs

Community: How do we promote inclusion and camaraderie before, during, and after camp through home visits, team building, and beyond?

Breakout Speaker: Akienyalay Bruce, Project Morry

Breakout 3 for All Attendees:

Empowerment: How do we use our EPIC network and beyond, to elevate our education in the off-season, to help enhance our summer roles?

Breakout Speaker: Sarah Kurtz McKinnon, The Summer Camp Society

Sarah Kurtz McKinnon will be facilitating small group work to bookend the day. Participants will join affinity cohorts, gathering with their equivalents from other camps to gain advice and perspective. It is in the spirit of collaboration that we will come back together at the end of our time, empowering one another for this week and for the summer ahead!

EPIC Evening Activities!

EPIC Presents: Woodstock at the Hard Rock!

Come join EPIC for a fun filled night at the NEW Hard Rock Hotel and Casino with no entry fee, great drinks, and lots of dancing and fun! Support EPIC Cares4SCOPE – we will be collecting donations to help send children from Atlantic City to camp! Don’t forget to come in your best tie-dyed, groovy, rock ‘n roll gear!
This event is the official kick off for EPIC Cares4SCOPE, a conference-wide initiative whose goal is to send 6 children from low-income families in the Atlantic City area to summer camp through SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education).

Where: The Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel Casino

1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

When: Monday, March 11th from 8:00pm - 11:00pm


Join us for a special EPIC Cares4SCOPE evening of music with Beber Camp and Perlman Camp's very own, Wet Hot American Meatballs! The jam band will be rocking out as we end our first night at Tri-State with a bang, while fundraising to send Atlantic City children to camp!

Where: Chickie's and Pete's, Tropicana (Lower Level)

When: Tuesday, March 12th from  9pm - Midnight

Check out the band here!


EPIC presents EPIC Cares4SCOPE, a conference-wide initiative whose goal is to send at least 6 children from low-income families in the Atlantic City area to summer camp through SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education).

Last year’s efforts sent 6 children to a SCOPE partner camp – let’s work together to send them back to camp! 

EPIC & SCOPE Booths: Tues - Thurs, 3/12 - 3/14 @ Exhibit Hall, near entrance 

Gordon's Action Products (Booth 453): Visit the Aeroball game to make a donation and it will be matched up to $1,000!

5K Fun Run: Wed, 3/13 @ Atlantic City Boardwalk - 7:15am *$10
Complimentary hats (courtesy of Pacific Yurts), refreshments and light snacks provided. Log into your Members Portal or stop by registration to sign up!

Can't attend an event? Want to help us get a fundraising headstart? 

Feel free to DONATE HERE!

**ACA, NY & NJ will match all donations up to $3,500!**

EPIC Meet 'n' Eat

WEDNESDAY, March 13th 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Room 401

This Meet ‘N’ Eat session will cover an array of topics to best prepare our EPICs for the summer of 2019! We will also be discussing and sharing takeaways learned from the conference so far.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will discuss hot topics to best prepare for summer 2019.
  • Participants will discuss and share takeaways learned from other sessions, including the EPIC pre-conference.
  • Participants will network, connect and socialize with other EPIC’s and find out how to get more involved in future EPIC events for 2019-2020.

Speakers: Max Grossman, Camp Watitoh

                  Matt LeMoine, Camp Echo Lake