The 2012 North American

Camp Maintenance Conference Presentations


1.     Evening Keynote The Sustainable Camp – A Cutting Edge Model – John Culpepper, Facilities and Sustainability Director

Camp Treetops/North Country School, Lake Placid, NY

Camp Treetops is a 200-acre property surrounded by mountain wilderness in the heart of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park. Since the 1930s, the farm and garden program has taught children about sustainable living. Camp Treetops has a working farm with barnyard animals, large organic gardens, and an emphasis on environmental stewardship and sustainable forestry. They are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and to utilizing increasing amounts of renewable energy sources, with two super-efficient biomass heating units that have reduced consumption of fossil fuels by 73 percent, and three sets of solar panels producing 17,500 watts of electricity that is tied to the local grid.

2.     Evening Keynote Camp Design – Master Planning Basics – Greg Copeland, Landscape Architect,
Domokur Architects, Akron, OH

Recognized as a national leader in design of camps and retreat centers, Greg has devoted his professional career to the creation of over 400 master plans throughout the United States. He will walk through the integral camp master planning process that guides camp owners and directors to a successful planning experience


3.     Building and Maintaining Roads and Parking LotsRick Stryker, Engineer, Camp Facilities Consulting
Getting from here to there at camp can be a challenge, but if your access is too “rustic”, are your campers safe?  In this workshop we’ll talk about the different materials, methods and amendments you can use to get roads built and repaired, as well as how to determine whether the work is best done “in house” or not.

4.     Power HiringThe Best Staff Selection Tool EverGary Forster, Camp Consultant
Ever hire the wrong staff member?  Can’t find enough good ones?  This not only works, it’s fun!  It was created with a $100,000 grant thanks to the AT&T Foundation, and they want it shared with every camp.  “Behavioral Interviewing” has been used by successful corporations for years, but most of us are just now hearing about it.  Comes with ready-to-use materials.

5.     Small Engine Trouble Shooting and RepairTom Ogle, Master Mechanic at Ace Hardware
A back to basics approach to understanding the principles of operation of small engines with an emphasis on diagnosis and repair of the most common problems.  We’ll be taking apart an engine and taking a look inside!


6.     Propane at Your CampKen Charron, Service Coordinator, and Chuck Bennet, Lead Technician for Suburban Propane
A presentation by the pros on:  propane tank installation, how to handle leaks, propane appliances, oil tank inspections and 28 ways to control your heating costs at camp.


7.     Bed Bug Plan of ActionBrian Allen, Former Camp Property Dir. and Program Manager, Leland Paper Company

Discuss what your housekeeping and maintenance staff need to know before it happens at your camp. Be proactive before and after bedbugs have been identified at camp. Useful information and answers from proper cleanup, laundering linens, camper arrangements, and pest control methods that work for your camper safety and your specific camp. What to do to contain an outbreak and how should the parents be informed?

8.     OSHA Basics – In a presentation by state consultation services you will hear some new and some tried and true ways to maintain a clean safety record for your camp’s maintenance program.

9.     Ask an EngineerRick Stryker, Engineer, Camp Facilities Consulting

If you have a problem with the facilities, and didn’t want to share it with the whole group, bring it to this highly interactive small group session where we’ll try to peel the problem apart and offer some ideas on how you might proceed. Maybe just listening to the other person’s problem will make yours seem smaller!


10.   This Old Camp: The Methods and Materials of Camp BuildingsGary Forster, Camp Consultant

What new camp property managers need to know about being great in our profession, and what ALL camp directors need to know to make good choices while being an empowering supervisor: regular camp facility maintenance, tricks of carpentry, wiring, plumbing and acoustics; working with architects, and getting the job done right by vendors and contractors.  Similar to the TV show, it includes images and stories of the crazy messes we almost always face, and how they’ve been handled by pros.


11.   Understanding Overhead Valve EnginesTom Ogle, Master Mechanic at Ace Hardware
The Flathead is dead! All new small engines are now made of the OHV design.  The reasons for this trend are twofold; more power per cubic centimeter of displacement and reduced emissions.  However, more parts are involved which means more things to break!

12.   Fiberglass RepairKeith Edwards, Boat Repair Specialist, YMCA Camp Chingachgook
Learn techniques for boat repair (or anything fiberglass), including resin, fiberglass, grinding, gel coat, primers, paints, tools, resources, ventilation, and more.
See our new Boat Repair Shop

13.   Free Planning Advice: Refreshingly Honest, Thoroughly ResearchedGary Forster, Camp Consultant

                   (Though some might say “brutal and opinionated”), here’s a chance to get free consulting on your own camp master site plan or facility designs.  Bring what you’ve got (blueprints or the back of a napkin), and you will get a perspective that has saved thousands of dollars for others, avoided pitfalls, and made camps more FUNctional.  Even if you don’t have a plan, you can learn (painlessly!) by watching and helping your peers.


14.   Open Shop TimeEngine Maintenance Shop, Boat Repair Shop, Woodworking shop

Bring your questions and make your plans. Open forums on engine diagnostics, woodworking, and boat repair. Take a look at a portable generator tune-up, log splitter, and tools and shop designs.


15.   Facility Tours – Your choice of a camp facilities tour or camp programming tour.

16.   Primer on PumpsRick Stryker, Licensed Professional Engineer, Camp Facilities Consulting
Choosing the right pump for every job.  Well pumps (submersible and vertical), grinders (raw sewage), solids handling, and positive displacement (chemical feed).

17.   Eight Hallmarks of Great CampsGary Forster, Camp Consultant

If you have never heard Gary’s most requested presentation (it’s been presented at all major camp conferences and for over 100 camp boards), this is your chance to learn the secrets of successful camps.  And they are secrets, as much of what you’ll learn from this research-based work is “contrary to public opinion.”  And since it’s Gary, you know it’s delivered with great stories and photos.


18.   Energy Efficient BuildingsEric Cordis, Licensed Professional Engineer and Facility Director, Word of Life Camps

A look at some of the relatively new techniques of building highly insulated and energy efficient buildings. This type of construction brings some new challenges that will affect some of the long held traditions (the last 30 years) about how things are done. Looking at some of the why’s behind the changes, and a look at some of the issues that must be addressed in order to have a successful project.


19.   Trailer Wiring and Maintenance Steve Doheny, ASE Certified Technician, Doheny Oil Corp.

Learn to install, repair, and maintain the trailer wiring system with today’s tools, products, and supplies.  Lighting, wiring, connectors, splicing and general trailer maintenance will be addressed in this hands-on presentation.


20.   Preventative Maintenance PlansGlen Chin, Landscape Architect, Property Consultant, Girl Scouts USA
Prioritizing maintenance lists, developing budgets, and establishing a preventative maintenance plan.

21.   Project PlanningRick Stryker, Licensed Professional Engineer, Camp Facilities Consulting
Most camp and conference center organizations don’t undertake capital projects enough to learn from their own experience and many projects go awry right from the beginning.  Come and hear about how to integrate the internal decision making process with regulatory approvals and the actual construction.

22.   Prioritizing Your Workload, or “Eating an Elephant One Bite at a Time”Gary Forster, Camp Consultant
If you ever tell yourself “someday I’ll get caught up” you haven’t been a camp leader very long!  Here are some of the most important (yet oh-so-common) facility and program concerns, and really clever ways that they’ve been solved by others.  Yes, there’s a lot of laughing at others (because we’ve done it ourselves!) But most important is a way to set priorities that match those of your customers.

23.   Fast Fixes and Time Saving Tips for Small EnginesTom Ogle, Master Mechanic at Ace Hardware
An assortment of techniques and ideas gathered from years of experience that will make small engine repairs easier.  Topics will range from quick diagnostics to fast repairs to shop shortcuts.

24.   The Ups and Downs of SafetyMichael Gurtler, Senior Consultant and Partner, Safe-Wise
On the job safety including preventing back injury, ladder safety, and preventing slips and falls.


25.   Site MappingRick Stryker, Licensed Professional Engineer, Camp Facilities Consulting

You can’t possibly know where you’re going unless you know where you are; let alone where you’ve been. Many organization leaders don’t understand the everyday benefits of having your site properly mapped. By exploring all the ways that a good site map can work for you, you’ll see how to overcome anxiety over the cost and time to get this tool in your tool box.


26.   Float Type Carburetor Overhaul and RepairTom Ogle, Master Mechanic at Ace Hardware
Fuel contamination from water or debris is the single most common problem seen in small engine repair shops.  This session will discuss the principles of operation and repair of the type of carburetor used on mowers, snow blowers, tillers, etc.

27.   The Changing Paint IndustryRich Marriner, Regional Manager, Passono Paints

Environmental concerns and changing raw materials have caused a large upheaval in the paint industry over the past 10 years. Time tested products have disappeared; new products have come on the scene. This program will give you an overview of the current state of the paint industry and what is coming down the road.


28.   Diaphragm Type Carburetor Overhaul and RepairTom Ogle, Master Mechanic at Ace Hardware
The same fuel problems that affect mowers also affect chainsaws, string trimmers and blowers.  The carburetors, however, are of a completely different design.  This session will discuss the principles of operation and repair of diaphragm type carburetors. 

29.   Water Treatment Done Right Tim Jansen, Mechanical Engineer, Wel-Dun, Inc.
We will discuss water disinfection methods, advantages and troubleshooting tips.


30.   Shop Talk w/ Tom Tom Ogle, Master Mechanic at Ace Hardware
Come with your questions about small engines and Tom will be ready with answers!


31.   Reopening a Closed CampNorm Button, Property Manager, YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea
In 2010 YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea reopened after having been closed for five seasons.  In this presentation Norm will walk you through the ins and outs of starting over with a site, or as Norm puts it, “how to take what you’re given and make it into what you need”!


32.   Wastewater Management - Eric Cordis, Licensed Professional Engineer and Facility Director, Word of Life Camps
Management of wastewater is a pressing issue for more and more camps as facility expansions and tighter standards bring about the need for upgrades.  Eric has years of experience dealing with wastewater management and is ready to share his knowledge with you.

33.   Green Automotive and Small Engine Products…Including Marine! – Glenn Johnson, AutoBeGreen
There are lots of ways to be “green” at Camp, but not many have thought about being green in the area of vehicle, marine and small engines.  Find out in this session about how you can take better care of your environment without giving up the mechanical tools we need to get the job done.


34.   Wi-Fi Networking and Phone Services – Chris Wentworth, Operations and Trip Coordinator, Wyonegonic Camps
Technology is great when it works!  Learn how to add open and secure Wi-Fi to your camp property with easy-to-use equipment. Also learn how to increase your cordless phone's range and add to existing phone wire. 


35.   Zero Sort Recycling – Springer Waste Management
With a broad region of service and a new recycling facility in Vermont, Springer Waste Management has the experience and the answers for your recycling questions.  Find out about changes in the recycling industry and how your camp can be ahead of the curve.