Dr. Christopher Thurber enjoys creating and sharing original content for business leaders, independent educators, and youth development professionals. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist, educator, author, and father. Chris earned his BA from Harvard University in 1991 and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA in 1997.

A dedicated teacher from a young age, Chris has more than 30 years of experience working with camps and independent schools. He has written numerous book chapters and scholarly articles on leadership, homesickness, and youth development. An award-winning contributor to Camping Magazine and Camp Business, Chris has also shared his opinions and expertise on national and international radio, television, print media, podcasts, and webinars, including The Today Show, Martha Stewart, and CNN.

In 1999, after a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Chris accepted a position as psychologist and instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy, a coeducational, independent school in seacoast New Hampshire. Combining his love of research, teaching, and clinical work, Chris’s work at Exeter has grown to include publications and presentations for The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) the British Boarding Schools Association (BSA) and the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA).

Chris has keynoted conferences for all three associations and has delivered guest lectures on the differences between Chinese and American public education, as well as the complementary nature of schools and camps at schools in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Wenzhou.

In 2000, Chris and his lifelong friend, Dr. Jon Malinowski, co-authored the critically acclaimed Summer Camp Handbook, hailed by psychologist and parent, Dr. John Weisz, as “a remarkable accomplishment…the best in its field…required reading for every camper’s family…the most comprehensive and scientifically sound coverage of the camp experience available.”

The Summer Camp Handbook has since sold tens of thousands of copies, won a Parenting Press Gold Award, and been translated into Chinese. As part of his lifelong effort to enhance the camp experience for young people, Chris has been a guest on The Today Show, Martha Stewart, CNN, Fox, CBS Morning News, and NPR.

Chris is the Founder and CEO of CampSpirit, LLC,  which provides consultation and training to professional educators and youth leaders around the world. As he traveled across five continents to present in-person staff training workshops, Chris realized that no directors of summer youth programs had enough time with their employees to provide all the necessary training prior to opening day. The increased complexity of health regulations and accreditation standards, as well as heightened awareness of child abuse and risk management, made training demands higher than ever, especially for seasonal employees and volunteers. But with a fixed period of time during which to conduct on-site training, an innovative educational solution was imperative.