Speakers will posted as confirmed.


Christopher Thurber, PhD
Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Christopher Thurber is devoted to educating leaders using innovative content that stirs thinking and compels action. A graduate of Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles, Chris has served as a psychologist and instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy since 1999.

An entrepreneur from a young age, Chris is the co-founder of ExpertOnlineTraining.com, the Internet’s most popular library of educational videos for youth leaders. He has been invited to deliver keynotes, contribute articles, and lead workshops at schools and camps on five continents. His award-winning preparatory resource for families, The Summer Camp Handbook, was recently translated into Mandarin to help launch the youth camp movement in China.

A proud father of two boys (Danilo, born 2002, and Sava, born 2004) Chris and his wife Simonida (a chemist and musician who grew up in Belgrade, Serbia) live in New Hampshire, in the northeast United States. You can learn more about Chris and access all of his articles, book chapters, videos, and podcasts on DrChrisThurber.com.


The two Keynotes to be delivered by Dr. Thurber are:

Kids Do Dumb Stuff

When I was 4, I stuck a toy car in an electrical socket. That was just the beginning of a developmentally normal trajectory of doing dumb stuff that peaked (I hope) in adolescence. Of course, we must distinguish between normal student shenanigans, behaviors that indicate trouble, and the mistakes that make us better people. The goal of this keynote is help educators and students make this distinction, embrace mistakes, and respond wisely. Faculty, staff, and students can all cultivate patience while they promote learning. Jaw-dropping stories are the prelude to healthy best practices.

XXX-Posed: Youth Development in the 21st Century

The world is no more or less violent or sexualized than it ever was, but young people’s exposure to this content is certainly greater than it ever was. Rape, racism, and murder are not a war away, they are a click away. The result is a cohort of campers who look sophisticated but feel vulnerable. Caring adults can and do set limits, such as drinking ages, ratings systems for movies and games, and even Internet filters. But ultimately, we need to be with children and teens as they emerge into adulthood. Learn how faculty and staff can guide development by providing wise context to students who don’t dare to admit they’re confused.