Featured Speakers

Sarah Kurtz McKinnon

Sarah Kurtz McKinnon graduated cum laude from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2008, earning her degree in political science and journalism.  Although she had a passion for writing, she had another passion, and that was changing lives through the power of summer camp.  In 2009, she earned the opportunity to become one of the youngest YMCA camp executives in the country, taking the helm of Ann Arbor YMCA Camp Al-Gon-Quian at the age of 23.  Sarah served as the director of Camp AGQ for nearly six years.  During that time the camp saw incredible growth with a 40 percent increase in positive annual net for the program and nearly $1 million in capital construction improvements.  Her dynamic and creative leadership approach took an already great camp to another level of excellence, receiving recognition at the national level for the camp’s success.

Sarah left Camp AGQ in 2015 to start Kurtz McKinnon Creative with the goal of helping other camps and camp professionals reach their full potential.  She is a partner at GoCamp.Pro, a faculty member with Expert Online Training and is a sought-after facilitator, presenting in more than fifteen different states (and Canada!) for audiences as large as 500 people.  She recently co-authored a book for camp professionals with Steve Maguire, entitled Not the Way You Have Always Done It and, with Jack Schott, founded The Summer Camp Society, a collaborative, community-based education program for emerging camp professionals.  Sarah is pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where she is a fellow in the +LAB at the Center for Positive Organizations.

Sarah lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Robert (a licensed builder and carpenter), and their Brittany Spaniels, Ranger and Marley.  Robert worked at Camp AGQ in the years before Sarah arrived, and they met via mutual camp friends.  In her spare time, Sarah enjoys tennis, reading and art.  Sarah is also a volunteer board member for the Washtenaw Camp Placement Association (a local non-profit that sends kids to camp who otherwise would never have the opportunity), Recycle Ann Arbor, and serves as the director of the Siblings Program at Camp Tall Tree.

 

Roz and Jed Buck

Roz and Jed worked side by side as the Owners/Directors of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp in Long Valley, NJ from 2004-2016.  Their work in Camp dates back to High School when they met as teenagers working at Jeff Lake Camp.  After retiring from full-time Camp ownership, Roz and Jed launched Roz and Jed Training and Consulting to help other Camps make a difference.  Their speaking experience includes many different American Camp Association (ACA) conferences as well as YMCA, JCCA, and Park & Recreation conferences.  In 2016, they were honored as joint recipients of the prestigious ACA Thelma Hurwitz Leadership Award and both serve as Mentors for the Touro University Masters in Camping Program.  They have lived in Millburn, NJ for over 25 years, which is where they raised their 2 children, Melanie and Marc.

ROZ

Roz is an accomplished leader in the Camp Industry and a proven expert in Camp Culture, Staff Training, Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, Program Design & Execution, Coaching, Debriefing, Mindfulness, and Writing & Editing.  Roz is known as a sensitive, approachable, hands-on leader.  In addition to her over 30 years of Day Camp experience, she has been a member of the teaching staff of the West Orange Jewish Community Center in their Early Childhood Department and has held many volunteer leadership positions in her community.  She is also a certified leader of intenSati, a cardio workout that inspires mindfulness and intention.

Roz is an active volunteer with the ACA and is on the Board of Directors of SCOPE, a not-for-profit organization that helps send children from underserved communities to not-for-profit resident Camps. She is a past SCOPE Dinner Chair and is a co-founder of the NY/NJ American Camp Association’s Women in Camp affinity group.  She is a published author on a variety of parenting topics.  Roz is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

JED

Jed had a successful 20-year career in business prior to leaving to work full-time in the Camp industry.  His vast and diverse experience includes Brand Management at Procter & Gamble, Sales & Marketing positions at the ABC Radio Networks, and various positions during 11 years with NY City based MediaAmerica, a Network Radio and Internet pioneer where he rose to President.

Jed chaired the Tri-State Camp Conference from 2014-2016 and the Morry Stein Management Conference in 2011.  He currently serves on the NY/NJ ACA Board and on the ACA National Standards Commission.  He is also an ACA Standards Instructor and Visitor.  In 2015, Jed received a National Service award from ACA National and was also the recipient of the 2012 ACA NY/NJ Howard Patton Award for Outstanding Service.  He is a founding Board Member of NJ-GAP.

He is a proud Syracuse University Alumnus and Orange Fan.  He is a member of his local SU Alumni Board, a Charter Inductee of the S.I. Newhouse School Alumni Gallery and has taught at his Alma Mater as a Visiting Professor.  Jed is committed to making every Camp the best it can possibly be and loves sharing his extensive experience and love for Camp with others.