A summer camp in Italy

Thank you to everyone who entered the holiday book giveaways that I featured on my blog earlier this month. The winners have been picked, and the books have been shipped.

I’d love to hear what books you are reading currently or what books you plan to read at the beginning of 2019. I’m always looking for interesting books to read!

Summer Camp 2019 – Italy

Now that 2018 is coming to an end, I’m working on plans for 2019.

I’m going on an adventure next summer to Italy. I wanted to tell you about it because you can come, too!

A picture of where we will be staying during the Italy summer camp with Alexandra Kurland, Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and Mary Hunter

In July, Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Alexandra Kurland, and I will be hosting a five-day “Clicker Training and Behavior Science Summer Camp” just outside of Parma, Italy. Michaela Hempen is organizing the event, and we’ll spend the week on the gorgeous property where she keeps her horses. Then, on the last day we will take an excursion to Venice.

This is not going to be your “typical” conference where you come for a few days, listen to presentations, and take some notes. Instead, it’s going to be a summer camp.

As we’ve been working out the details for our “summer camp,” I’ve been thinking about what the words “summer camp” mean to me. While I was growing up, I spent several weeks every summer at a wonderful Girl Scout camp in north Texas, as well as attending other sleep-away camps. During college, I worked for four summers at two different camps. So, I’ve spent a lot of time at summer camp.

To me, summer camp means new experiences, interesting activities, and time to learn new things. It means catching up with old friends and meeting new people, some of whom become become lifelong friends. And, of course, summer camp means campfires.

We have all of this, and more planned for our Italian summer camp. The week will include some lectures from Jesús, Alexandra, and me. These lectures, however, will be part lecture and part discussion and conversation. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and really explore the concepts in depth.

In addition, we have other activities planned, including PORTL shaping games, some horse clicker training lessons, body awareness exercises, and guided Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons. Plus, we’ll be eating home-cooked Italian food all week.

We are limiting this summer camp experience to 16 participants. The small number of attendees means that everyone will get to actively participate in the discussions and other experiences. Registration opened last week, and 10 spots are already filled.

I hope you will consider joining us. This is really going to be an excellent event, and I am very much looking forward to it. You can learn more and register on the Summer Camp 2019 website.

Art and Science of Animal Training Conference – February 2019

If you’re looking for something a little closer, I hope you’ll consider attending the next Art and Science of Animal Training Conference, which will be held in February 2019 near Dallas.

This will be our 11th annual ASAT conference. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the entire year. We have a great line up of speakers and talks, and we also always have wonderful conversations during the breaks and in the evenings.

The program for our 2019 conference will focus on chaining and stimulus control. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Allison Reid is an expert on chaining and also helped Dr. John Pilley with some of the research with Chaser, the border collie. In addition to Dr. Reid, we’ll have presentations by Ken Ramirez, Steve White, Alexandra Kurland, Kay Laurence, Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Barbara Heidenreich, Emily Larlham, Dr. Joe Layng, and Hannah Branigan. It is sure to be a great weekend.

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