Celebrating 10 Years!

"Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley

And all it takes is you - whoever you are. You don't need to have had one million experiences, but rather made meaning of one that you are ready to share with us around the proverbial campfire.

Celebrating 10 Years of ActivatEE!

Now seeking submissions through July 5 

ActivatEE is sharing platform designed by the Association for Experiential Education for its members and conference attendees during the International Conference. The 50th Annual International Conference will be held from November 10-13, 2022 in Black Mountain, NC.

ActivatEE is a developmental process, both for the speaker and the audience, where we share ideas, test assumptions, and are asked to view a perspective through a different lens.

ActivatEE is designed to facilitate the process of creating one’s story, inspiring the use of one’s voice, and launching an idea - all on stage during a conference keynote. Each year at our International Conference, a small handful of individuals take the stage and share their stories. ActivatEE has quickly become one of the most highly anticipated and attended traditions at AEE Conferences.

We Want to Hear YOUR Story


Listen to dozens of stories told in the past on our AEE YouTube Channel!


Drafting your keynote:

  • This platform invites you, the speaker, to share a story or idea through the use of voice, during a 7-9 minute mini-keynote to the global audience of the International Conference.
  • Think of an instant in time where you had an experience that became a profound teaching moment for you, which truly influenced or altered your way of thinking or being. Are you able and willing to share that message with others?
  • Now visualize how you would want to share that story in terms of keynote address. What did you hear, see, notice, and experience at that moment that had an immediate impact or had influence years down the road? Is there a method in your delivery that helps convey your message?
  • Answer the three questions:
    • Whatwhat is your story? what happened?
    • So what? Why is it important or developmental to you? What meaning did you take from it?
    • Now what? How have you moved forward or how do you plan to use this going forward? What is the transformation? How are you changed?


Your initial submission will likely not be your exact final presentation. This is just the first step in a number of iterations that you and your presentation will go through before delivering the final presentation. 

Please note that these presentations are to be an experience relevant to your perspective. You can certainly use bits of research to support your message, but this is not to be a research paper or a business promotion. We will really push all presenters to constantly evaluate their message, knowing we want to channel a lesson learned to activate the minds of those in the audience.   

People love visuals! While it is certainly not a requirement, we strongly encourage you to accompany your presentation with some sort of visual representation whether it be a slide show, video, or whatever other creative ideas you have!

The Process:

  • Draft your ActivatEE presentation and submit it by the deadline.
  • A team will review the submissions and send out acceptance notices.
  • You will be asked to set up at least two phone calls/or Skype sessions in September with a committee member to discuss your presentation. These sessions are designed to provide feedback and suggestions regarding the delivery of the presentations.

Benni Salinas

Benjamin Salinas or Benni, as most people call her, is a physical therapist from Austin, Texas. She currently works in both inpatient and outpatient rehab hospitals focusing on helping people get back to what they love. She graduated from Texas State University in 2019 and has been preparing to embark on a journey as a traveling physical therapist with her husband and 2 dogs. In their free time Benni and her husband like to spend time outdoors camping, hiking, backpacking, or simply being outside with their dogs. 

Naada Nag

Indian. 37 years old. Married. Graduated as a Telecommunication engineer. Worked as a Software engineer for over 10 years with companies such as Accenture and IBM. Moved to the outdoors in early 2017. Worked as a Trek leader with Indiahikes for a year hiking in the Himalayas and currently working as a lead instructor at Outward Bound Vietnam for the last 2.8 years and also pursuing a distance Master’s program in Experiential Learning and Development with Plymouth State University.

Diamon Clark

Diamon Clark is a Baltimore city native, Maryland Master Naturalist, and has a B.S. in Environmental Science. She is also the founder of Black by Nature, a non-profit organization whose mission is to elevate Black joy and environmental literacy through naturalist training and science storytelling. Diamon has worked as an independent researcher, environmental educator, freelance writer, facilitator, and is an avid explorer. Most importantly, she is an advocate for diversity in outdoor recreation and environmental leadership. She believes that nature is a boundless classroom, a well of wonder, and a salve for souls that is inherently for everyone.

Rachel Hailey

Rachel is the Owner/Transformationalist at Rachel Hailey & Associates Consulting, a firm which deals directly with the outdoor industry to foster DEI in organizations. Her main objective is to transform the outdoors into a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible space. Rachel is committed to creating an industry where anyone can experience, thrive, and lead in the out of doors. and has a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities. She has served and inspired over 100 organizations in the creation of actionable systems aligned with creating diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor spaces. She is a speaker, published author, and frequent contributor for industry publications like Adventure Park Insider and Ski Area Magazine. Outside of her endeavor to bridge the gap between racial and ethnic diversity in the outdoors and social justice, Rachel can be found magical creatures in the woods with her daughter and German Shepherd.

Lorilei Dreibelbis

Lorilei Dreibelbis = >35 years Girl Scouting + >16 years parenting autism and dyslexia + >1200 hours challenge course facilitating + 12 years classroom instructing + 11 years homeschooling + 10 years aquatics instructing + 8 years leading day camps = thorough experience teaching all kinds of learners at all kinds of ages in all kinds of environments +bringing experiential education to life in all kinds of ways.

Dan Creely

A member of A.E.E. since 1985, Professor at Northeastern Illinois University for 35 years taught Adventure Ed, & Phy. Ed. Coordinated our T.E.A.M. Conferences for 20 years. and co-chaired the 1995 A.E.E Conference at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Resources for Speakers

In this videoActivatEE Coaches and previous speakers share what you can expect as a 2021 Speaker. You'll learn about the origins of this tradition, get an overview of the storytelling process, learn about some of the logistics involved in being a speaker, hear what you might experience in your speaker growth process, and get a glimpse into what speakers can expect from the coaching process. Plus: hear what the experience was like for one of our first-ever virtual ActivatEE Speakers in 2020!