2025 Overnight Camp & Outdoor School Summit

January 10-14 at NorthBay in North East, Maryland

The ANCA Overnight Camp & Outdoor School Summit brings together directors and management staff from overnight nature-based camps, outdoor schools, and residential environmental learning centers across North America.

These organizations share the unique challenges of housing and feeding program participants for multiple days, and the Summit fosters a space to solve problems and build connections in this particular field. ANCA holds the Overnight Camp & Outdoor School Summit in person every two years.

This Summit is relevant to any organization that offers overnight, multi-day programs that are based in environmental education, and we welcome all professionals in leadership or management positions at these organizations.

The Overnight Camp & Outdoor School Summit is the single most useful gathering of practitioners in the country for residential EE programs. Imagine all of the biggest challenges you have at your center, and in this one weekend gathering you will leave with ideas and ways to approach all of them ... from people who have been in the same place as you!

— John DiDiego, Education Director, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

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About NorthBay

Located on a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay, NorthBay’s campus will offer a scenic waterfront setting for Summit participants. Operating since 2005, NorthBay has an impressive array of facilities, including:

  • Lodging for 700, with a variety of cabins, bunk rooms, and hotel-style rooms
  • A dining hall with 600-person capacity
  • An adaptable high-tech theater
  • An expansive gymnasium, appropriate for multiple sports and activities
  • A variety of adventure elements such as a high ropes course, zipline, and both indoor and outdoor climbing walls

NorthBay is situated in Elk Neck State Park, which spans over 2,000 acres that include forests, marshlands, white clay cliffs, and sandy shorelines. The Park offers hiking trails and amenities such as the Turkey Point Lighthouse, which provides expansive views of the Chesapeake Bay.

NorthBay is ten minutes from North East, a charming town with local shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The nearest airports are the Philadelphia International Airport (an hour’s drive) and the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (an hour and fifteen minutes).


Site Tours

See behind the scenes at NorthBay and witness firsthand how the organization provides educational experiences for all types of guests. Here you can learn directly from your peers in a hands-on capacity, with the opportunity to ask questions while going beyond the theory, and into practice.

Open Space Sessions

The Overnight Camp & Outdoor School Summit uses an "Open Space" system to conduct conference sessions. On Saturday of the Summit, all participants come together to collectively suggest and select session topics. Summit organizers then create a session schedule for the following two days. Given this system, we invite you to bring management-level and program topics to the Summit to suggest as sessions.

All sessions have a discussion-based format so that everyone can contribute ideas and experiences. If you suggest a topic, you will be asked to facilitate the discussion by introducing the topic and creating a discussion among the participants.

The role of the facilitator is to create fair opportunities for sharing, keep the discussions on track, and make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate. These facilitated discussions are not presentations followed by questions and answers, nor the place where the facilitator is expected to answer all of the questions. Facilitated discussions are an advantage to the facilitator because the discussion requires less formal preparation, and the facilitator does not need to be perceived as the expert.

This system allows you to collaboratively create your Summit experience, and provides the opportunity for you to be an active participant rather than a passive listener. This is also an excellent way for you to get to know your peers and how similar organizations work.


Here's where you can build a network of professional relationships that will strengthen your work throughout the year — but don't worry, you won't be milling about in a stuffy environment. The culture of the Summit is engaging, welcoming, and fun, and those qualities shine in our evening networking activities.


Curious about the Overnight Camp & Outdoor School Summit? Here are some frequently asked questions about the event.