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Incorporating Tourette Syndrome and Mental Health Challenges at Residential Camps: Lessons Learned

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024
  • 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
  • Online


Registration is closed

Explore insights gained over 31 years of operating a camp as our panel delves into strategies for inclusive success in residential camp settings. Focusing on individuals with Tourette Syndrome and/or Mental Health Challenges, our all-volunteer staff shares lessons from inception, growth, crises, and triumphs. Gain practical knowledge applicable to other special-needs camp environments. Join us for a panel discussion on fostering success in recreational programming.

Meet the Panelists

Scott Loeff
Founder and President, Tourette Syndrome Camp USA
With 33 years in Human Resources, Scott Loeff founded Tourette Syndrome Camp USA in 1994. Now retired, he brings a wealth of experience to the panel, having learned the ropes of camp management through on-the-job trial and error.

Ryan Thomas and Brian Ackler

Co-Camp Directors, Tourette Syndrome Camp USA

Ryan Thomas (left) and Brian Ackler (right), both living with Tourette Syndrome since 2004, transitioned from campers to friends, then counselors, and eventually became Co-Camp Directors. Their journey, from campers to board members and assistant directors, offers valuable insights into inclusive camp programming.

Sarah Matchen
Director of Camper Success, Tourette Syndrome Camp USA
Sarah Matchen, MSW, LCSW, is the Co-Director of Camper Success at Tourette Syndrome Camp USA. With over 15 years of experience as a therapist, she started as a volunteer counselor in 2001, eventually joining the board. Sarah's expertise in working with mental health challenges enriches the panel discussion.

Courtney Thompson
Director of Camper Success, Tourette Syndrome Camp USA
Courtney Thompson, MSW, LSW, and PsyD candidate, serves as Co-Director of Camper Success. Specializing in therapy for adolescents and adults, she began volunteering at Tourette Camp in 2005. Courtney's journey from counselor to board member brings valuable perspectives to the discussion on fostering success in special-needs camp settings.

Peter Tarnoff
Senior Boys Head Counselor, Camp Canadensis
Pete Tarnoff, a seasoned camp veteran with 27 summers at Camp Canadensis, started as a reluctant camper and now leads as Senior Boys Head Counselor. In addition to his camp roles, Pete teaches middle school math at the Benchmark School, emphasizing his commitment to fostering positive camp experiences and applying insights to educational settings.

Location/Style of Event

This event is a live, virtual event and will utilize the Zoom Meeting platform. ACA Illinois will not record this event.

The Fine Print

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How to Register

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Mailing Address:

American Camp Association, Illinois   I   PO Box 5412, Evanston, IL 60204

Mailing Address:

American Camp Association, Illinois

5 S Wabash Ave

Suite 1406

Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 312-332-0833



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