Camp Dogwood Staff

Camp Dogwood is devoted to enhancing knowledge about your dog, the bond between you and your dog, and the role of dogs in our community. Our staff members are experts in their field and each one helps to further the mission of Camp Dogwood, while emphasizing the use of positive reinforcement training methods, the relationship between dog and owner, and FUN!

We are fortunate to have many of the same core staff members since Camp Dogwood started in 2001!

Camp Dogwood carefully selects staff that are as passionate about dogs as we are. In addition to training, many of our staff members are very involved with rescue groups and community organizations that benefit animal welfare.

Camp Director & Founder

Alysa Slay, Psy.D.

Alysa Slay, Psy.D.

Camp Director / Founder

Alysa Slay, Psy.D, is quite familiar with terms like “behavior management,” “positive reinforcement,” and “shelters.” She has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and currently works as the Director of Psychological Services for a child welfare agency, as well as a consultant in the Clinical Division of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. With over 20 years of experience working in, and consulting to, many summer camps for children, Alysa is excited to bring the “joys of camp” to dogs and their human companions. Alysa’s prior camp experience and knowledge of behavior has served as a strong foundation in the development of Camp Dogwood. Over the years, she has discovered many parallels between children and dogs. Primarily, both groups thrive when given love, opportunities for play, positive attention, clear communication, and a consistent environment.

Alysa is a regular contributor on pet care to Scoop, the online magazine for Abe’s Market, she writes the monthly column, “Around the Water Bowl,” for the Highland Park Landmark newspaper, she has collaborated with a public relations firm on the incorporation of pet events into larger community events, and she created the therapy dog program, Field Dogs at the agency where she works. She derived unparalleled joy and inspiration from her long-time furry friend and forever camper, Forrest. Long may you run little man, long may you run. Her current dog “love” is Stella Blue, an Aussie mix who loves agility, K9 Nose Work, and cuddling.


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