How Sessions Work At Consultants' Camp

About session formats, presenters and the schedule

Camp is a conference, but it differs from many conferences in one important respect. Among the people attending there are none designated as “speakers” or “presenters” or “keynote speakers.” This raises several questions: Who are the presenters? What are the conference sessions about? What is the conference program? This page answers these questions.

Who our presenters are

All of our presenters are Campers. Unlike many other conferences, there are no invited speakers and no paid speakers. Anyone who wants to offer a session can do so. Typically, a little more than half of our sessions are led by a single Camper, and the rest are collaborations of two to four Campers.

The selection process for sessions is organic. That is, at the opening session on Sunday evening, after the welcoming supper, we each propose whatever sessions we like, first in small groups, and then to Camp as a whole. Those with similar interests can thus learn about each other and collaborate if they choose to. At the end of the discussion, we post sessions in scheduled time slots, each session leader acting on his or her own behalf. It sounds chaotic, and it is, a bit. But the result is always wonderful.

A session about training businessesContent

Session content is eclectic. We’ve had sessions about marketing consulting services, book and article authoring, price structures and business models, intervention techniques, building a training business, agile development, presentation development, book discussions, decision making, communication, project management, bubble production, fireworks design, pizza development, and on and on.

What we study and learn is limited only by the imagination and energy of attendees. Whatever your own personal learning goals are, if you bring them to Camp, you can be certain that your fellow Campers will stretch your mind and provide more insight and ideas than you ever thought possible.

Some examples of sessions from past Camps:

  • “Principles of Learner-Controlled Training”—Judah Mogilensky
  • “Use of Self in Coaching”—Rick Brenner
  • “Decision Fatigue and the Tyranny of Choice”—Mona Adelgren
  • “Agile Boundaries”—III
  • “Negotiating Agile Contracts”—Mike Kelly and Alan Koch
  • “Life Balance: Keeping Engaged in Business and Still Having a Life”—Ron Thompson
  • “A New Mission Statement for My Company”—Alan Koch
  • “Safety: Creating it, maintaining it, and detecting the loss of it”—Mona Adelgren and Rick Brenner
  • “Creating Exercises for a Full-Day Workshop”—Hillel Glazer
  • “What’s My Value? How to identify, clarify and specify your value to the client when communicating with new or prospective clients”—Beth Schmitz
  • “Conjoint Coaching: How coaching teams and organizations differs fundamentally from coaching individuals”—George Dinwiddie
  • “Songwriting 101: Tips and techniques for customizing a song to a context”—Heather Oppenheimer
  • “What I Wish I Had Known About Individual Consulting Practice”—Eileen Forrester and Ron Thompson
  • “Is Agile Dead? Is it already adopted, or if not, what’s stopping it?”—Ken Pugh
  • “How to Generate Business with New Clients”—Ilene Bergelson
  • “Applied Systems Theory: Evolutionary models as organizational metaphors”—Jim Batterson
  • “Maps and Sculpts”—Judah Mogilensky
  • “Success Within Dysfunction: How often can you be wrong and still be effective?”—John Ryskowski and Erik Roberts
  • “Self Publishing”—Dale Emery
  • “ What went wrong?”—Ken Pugh
  • “Leading from the Middle: Building community without being obvious about it”—Corinna Martinez and Mona Adelgren

Session formats

PowerPoint is virtually absent from Camp, though there are usually a few sessions that use it profitably. Most sessions are lively discussions led by the presenter.

One unique feature of Camp is our active encouragement of the “reverse session,” in which the session leader sets the topic, and the attendees collaborate to produce the content of the session. Typically, the objective of the leader of a reverse session is learning about the topic, with the attendees acting in the roles of resource and guide.


Over the years, Campers have become familiar with a set of concepts and a language for talking about them, which might not be widely familiar to everyone. A “warm-up” session, held on Sunday, the first day of Camp, from 2 PM to 5 PM, is especially helpful to new Campers to introduce these terms and ideas.

Daily schedule

Three daily sessions

Most days, with a few exceptions, have three session slots:

  • 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM,
  • 10:30 AM to Noon, and
  • 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

In each slot, we usually have two or three alternatives. Attendance at all sessions is optional, of course.

Annual camp photo

  • Wednesday morning, at 8:15 AM, Camp will assemble for the annual Camp photo.

Part of the Schedule Wall

Dedicated sessions

One session slot, part of the schedule on Friday morning, is devoted to governance. Campers convene as Camp Leadership Council to attend to Camp business, and to confirm officers for the coming year. We make all decisions by open consensus.

A second session slot, the last slot, is devoted to a Closing Ceremony. It’s a morning of celebration, hopes and wishes for the future, and lots and lots of warm goodbyes.



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