The Canadian Camping Association is proud to recognize camping leaders from across the country who have made exceptional contributions to our industry within their own province and nationally.
2016 Recipient – Joe Kronick
Joe Kronick has been a very active member of the CCA Insurance Committee for well-over 20 years and has made an immense contribution to the great policies that we are now so proud to offer to our CCA and Provincial camp members.
Joe was one of the prime members of an original group of camp professionals who saw that camps needed their own specially written insurance policies to fit their needs quite distinctly from any then available general commercial/business insurance policies.
When CCA made the decision to develop and offer proper insurance coverage to accredited camp members, we were able to benefit from a great deal of the work that Joe and his group had already done. We were extremely pleased when Joe accepted our invitation to join the CCA Insurance Committee and work with us to further develop and hone the policies.
As a committee member, Joe is a tireless worker and took on projects at virtually every meeting. He is the first to complete his tasks and is a huge storehouse of information and sage advice.
2016 Recipient – Mark Diamond
As Chair of the CCA Government Relations Committee, for the past several years, Mark has devoted countless hours communicating with government officials and meeting with lobbying organizations as he and his committee worked on behalf of all camps affected by new government regulations. He has tackled boating and foreign worker regulations and the Child Care and Early Years Act. In addition, Mark is a member of the OCA Board and in 2016 spear-headed an initiative for Ontario camps to invite new Canadians to attend camp at no cost.
2016 Recipient – Howard Martin
For over 55 years, Howard has worked with children and youth in education and social services. Some of this work has taken him overseas to a South Africa Educational Management Project, an Educational Leadership Project in Trinidad and Tobago and closer to home, the Special Education Pilot Project with the First Nations Educational Council in Quebec. In 2005, he provided support and guidance to the Directors of Youth Protection in Nunavik for four years.
For the past 35 years, Howard’s passion has been Camp Weredale, in the Laurentians, a summer camp for children and youth at risk from foster homes and residential services of the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres in Montreal as well as other referring social agencies. Established in 1934, Camp Weredale is a summer camp for boys and girls, aged five to seventeen, who are receiving youth protection social services.
In the 1980s it became a special needs camp for both boys and girls from the Youth Horizons Reception Centre.
In the 1990s (respite) programs of support to foster children and families were added to accommodate this growing category of children.
2016 Recipient – Rob Tiessen
Rob has been a constant example and inspiring leader and mentor for camping in BC for many years. As a counsellor, program staff and now an Executive Director, Rob continues to promote inclusive and traditional camping for all children while also creating space for diversity and progressive change. Rob has continued to push Camp Squeah to be a friend and ally to local Indigenous children, youth and families. Rob has been a long-time volunteer with FCC and BCCA including a number of years helping plan the annual BC Camping Conference.
2016 Recipient – Nick Kitchen
Nick has helped run the, New Brunswick provincial canoe course for the past 15 years. This program has trained countless counsellors, thereby helping camps reach and exceed accreditation standards. Nick has also become the NB representative for Paddle Canada and the advocate for camping on that board. He now works permanently for Camp Centennial, encouraging the growth and success of camping in the province.
2016 Recipient – Kathy Koehler
Kathy and her husband Gary have provided leadership to the United Church’s Camp Kasota West for over 20 years. Kathy has served on many camping boards including the Canadian Camping Association Board of Directors. Currently Kathy sits on the Alberta Camping Association Board as Vice-President.
Kathy is a strong, calm and quiet leader that many in the camping industry in Alberta and across Canada can look to for wisdom, guidance and support.
In 2013 I was 20 years old, I had moved away from my home town of Millmerran (a small western Queensland country town of only 1500 people) and was dying for an adventure overseas. With very little convincing, I booked a one way ticket to Canada where I have spent the better half of the last four years. Summer Camp has changed my life. There are hundreds of reasons why I want to thank Summer Camp, but here are my top 5.
I have loved every minute of my travels and I am proud to say I don’t regret anything I have done in my life, basically because I rarely say no to an adventure. The motto ‘just do it’ is what I have learnt to live by since my first summer at camp. When an opportunity comes my way, I just do it. I believe that if I am happy, working hard and growing as a person then everything will work out just as it is meant to! I have summer camp to thank for teaching me to have an optimistic outlook on life and giving me the courage and spontaneity to go wherever the world takes me.
I want to thank summer camp for giving me the opportunity to become that person I am today. In 2013 I spent my first summer working at Canadian Adventure Camp. It was truly a life changing eleven weeks. From the first day I arrived I was surrounded by incredibly friendly, happy and outgoing people who quickly became lifelong friends. For the first time in my life I was able to be myself without judgement or criticism from a single person around me. I lived and worked in a world where differences were encouraged and speaking your mind was praised. Children were able to be children without the fear of being bullied because of the way they looked, their beliefs, religion, sexual orientation etc. There was no pressure from the technological world, because there was no technology; just good friends, mesmerising campfires, infectious laughs and beautiful Lake Temagami.
Thank you summer camp for teaching me so many life lessons and skills that have changed the way I act, how I interact with people and the way I strive to influence children’s lives. Being able to take a step back from a situation and see it from another’s perspective is one of the best lessons I was taught at camp. By not judging someone on the way they look, the amount of money they earn, where they are from or bad decisions they have made in the past can allow you to see people in a whole new way. Everyone deserves to be treated and respected equally; one of the core values of any summer camp. By Looking at all aspects of life in a positive way is a truly refreshing way to think. When everyone around you is thinking positively too… well, that is just a great place to live and work!
Thank you summer camp for my camp family. My camp family are the co-workers and bosses that I have had the pleasure of working with during my four summers at Canadian Adventure Camp. These are people that I have known for just a few weeks every summer but with the power of summer camp, have positively influenced my life in so many ways. Every day they push me to get out of my comfort zone, do things I never thought possible and allow me to make mistakes and learn from them. I have these people to thank for me becoming the person I am today.
Thank you summer camp for helping me change children’s lives. Summer camp is a truly magical place that is hard to explain to someone who has never experienced such a place. Of course camp is full of chances for self growth but the most amazing part about camp is seeing the change you can make in a child’s life. It is a feeling that you can only get once you have witnessed a child be part of a community where they feel like they belong, where their voice really matters and where they can make friends that last a lifetime. I have seen children in just two short weeks go from being shy, insecure and timid to being confident, outgoing and courageous. I witnessed one of my 9 year old campers arrive at camp on the first day without the self confidence to say hello to the person next to them and then just ten days later singing by herself in front of two hundred people at the talent show. It is such an unbelievably rewarding feeling to know that child’s life has now changed because of the love, care and kindness you have shared with them.
Thank you summer camp!
David Graham, Executive Director of Brigadoon Children’s Camp in Nova Scotia, shares a powerful story that could only happen at camp:
As the parents’ cars drove away on arrival day, a small group of boys started an impromptu game of soccer on the playing field. As more boys arrived, it became apparent that they needed to get organized. “Let’s divide into teams. Shirts and Skins.” Half the boys immediately pulled off their T-shirts, tossed them to the sidelines and play continued. As Dave explained it, this would never happen at school or at the neighbourhood park − because every camper’s chest revealed a long scar from cardiac surgery.
Brigadoon Village is a year round facility that offers camp programming to children and youth with a chronic illness, chronic condition or special needs. Similarly, at camps for children with diabetes, no one stares or questions when a camper steps aside in the middle of an activity and self-administers insulin. At camps for children with exceptionalities, where campers are no different from their cabin mates, they can be themselves and gain the strength and confidence to live happily in the real world where they are perceived as different.
Such is the power of camp.