Michael Jacobus

Michael Jacobus

  • Nationally recognized youth-development professional specializing in outdoor education and summer camp programming.
  • Member of the National Standards Commission for the American Camp Association
  • Recipient of the National Award for Excellence in Sustainability Education from the Boy Scouts of America

Orange County, CA

Keynote and Workshop Fees: Contact Forte Speakers

Michael Jacobus is a nationally recognized child-development professional and staff trainer. He has an extensive background in youth-serving nonprofits, staff training, operations, administration and outdoor education. Michael has worked with private, public and non-profit groups including; the American Camp Association (ACA), Disney, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), National Geographic, the Red Cross, Global Camps Africa, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Nature Partners, Green Camps Initiative and the National Science Teachers Association and is a frequent presenter at camp conferences and retreats.

Michael is an Eagle Scout who has drawn from a diverse background of experiences to become a dynamic industry leader. He has spent time as a ship captain on Lake Tahoe, a radio personality, pastor, magazine publisher, food broker & chemist. He’s owned a screen-print & embroidery shop, designed two frisbee golf courses and taught drama, Improv theatre and stagecraft at the elementary and university level. When he finds the time, he occasionally performs as an opera singer, (Tenor / Baritone), most recently singing at Christmastime as a member of the Disneyland Candlelight Choir. His new book just released is called CAMP STAFF. He has also this year been asked to serve on the Board of Directors for Camp To Belong International and is now an expert witness represented by The Forensic Group on Pasadena, CA.

Keynotes & Workshops


Staff handbooks and policies. Conflict resolution. Staff progression and pre-termination planning.


One of the most difficult tasks for an administrator or supervisor.


Who’s the customer? It’s not the student and not the camper. It’s the parent!


Navigating the challenges and benefits of volunteers, donors, board members and other, usually well-meaning benefactors.



There are three Cs in life; Choices, Chances & Changes.

You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.



It takes a lifetime to build and a moment to destroy. How to build, maintain protect and repair yours.


“As an experienced camp director, Mr. Jacobus has a thorough understanding of both child development and human nature. Intuitive and psychologically savvy, Mr. Jacobus weaves practical lessons through real life examples and case studies. He provides a framework for successfully resolving issues with parents, campers, counselors, and staff. However, Mr. Jacobus’s survival tips don’t just apply to camp directors, but to anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills and work more collaboratively with others.” Eleanor Munson, Ph.D. Educational Consultant (Dallas, TX)

“Michael provides an obvious optimistic theme throughout every session he leads, keynote he delivers and page he writes! He outlines potentially difficult situations and walks through ways to make those situations work. In most cases you end up feeling glad they happened! Although his book; The Camp Director’s Survival Guide:, is geared toward the camp environment, parents as well as individuals in educational milieus could also highly benefit from its wisdom. I have already begun to use his book in several of the classes I teach.” Heather Schwartz, MA, LMFT (Orange County, CA)

Michael brought many improvements to our facility including reorganizing and inspiring staff, introducing innovative programming and creating a positive work environment. He improved relationships with our nearby park district and other neighbors and vendors. He is a great motivator and has an amazing ability to think and act strategically. John Van Dreese, BSA National High Adventure Base (Ely, MN)

“As someone who has been in camping for more than 30 years, both in the for-profit and not-for-profit realms, Michael Jacobus is eminently qualified to offer the kind of practical wisdom camp professionals can truly use. Michael paints a rendition of the landscape we all call camp in a way that will put the smile of recognition on the face of every camp director, but more importantly, he offers a kind of useful insight every camp director needs not just to survive, but to thrive.” Bob Ditter, MED, LCSW (Boston, MA)