Archive for December, 2017

National Leadership Forum, November 2017

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Catherine Ross

In late November 2107, twenty-three Canadian camping leaders met for two days at Camp Elphinstone on the Sunshine Coast of beautiful British Columbia. The group included five recently-elected provincial Presidents and two newly-appointed Administrative Staff, all keen to learn and to share.

President Stephane Richard led us through a packed agenda, which included items of importance to every camp in Canada.

We celebrated our successes:

  • Working with Tactix, a lobbying firm, camps are now exempt from the Labour Market Assessment requirement and may hire temporary foreign counsellor staff.
  • Biannually, Tactix provides a federal and provincial audit of all anticipated legislation that could affect camps. This enables our industry to be proactive rather than reactive.
  • Stephane Richard and Donna Wilkinson ran a successful International Camp Directors Course for a maximum twenty-six participants at Elphinstone in November.
  • We now have five qualified Lead ICDC trainers, two of whom are bilingual, which will allow us to offer a bilingual course in 2018.
  • Gabrielle Raill, creator of the National Marketing Campaign, Thanks to Camp, reported that we have exceeded our goal for the number of camps participating in the first year while urging the camps that are not yet involved to get on board NOW! When the campaign was presented at the International Congress in Sochi in October 2017, it attracted international interest, opening up the possibility of revenue generation. The second phase of the campaign, More Than Just Fun, is on track to be launched in February, 2018.

We were invited to participate in two important initiatives:

  1. Dr. Laurie Browne, American Camp Association Director of Research, described ACA’s current groundbreaking Five -Year Impact Study, Research 360 and invited CCA’s participation as an oversample. The purpose of the study is to explore if and how camp experiences prepare youth for college, career and adult lives outside of camp. A decision to participate must be made by December 2017.
  2. Eric Shendelman, OCA President, attended a meeting of the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition and offered to share their October 2017 report with the NLF. To assist them in their task, Co-chairs, Lisa Hanson Ouellette and Dr. Steve Beerman are asking the CCA to provide data on their camps, campers and water based programs. Eric will circulate an online survey to the provinces to achieve this purpose.

We accepted a challenge:

A newly formed committee will seek alternate resources to enable us to continue to finance our programs and initiatives that benefit all camps. Marketing, research and lobbying have been identified as important national programs. With additional funding, we could accept the offer of the Quebec Camping Association to translate their newly created Emergency Procedures and Inclusion documents.

Michael’s Story

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Catherine Ross

Do you need a reminder of the tremendous importance of what you do as a camp director? Whether your answer is yes or no, I encourage you to read Michael’s story.

At thirteen, Michael, an indigenous teen from Parry Sound, Ontario, attended camp for his second summer with assistance from the Kids in Camp charity. Here, in his own words, is Michael’s story.

Dear Kids in Camp,

Michael Camp Wapun

Michael on a canoe trip at camp.

Hi, I am Michael. I am 13 turning 14 in September. I live in Parry Sound, Ontario and I am in grade nine. I used to live on Bear Island that is one island away from the summer camp I got funding for. Bear Island is a small community that was fun to live on. Going to camp this year was like going home. My camp is a canoe trip camp and you learn how to make campfires, chop wood, and cook on a fire. There are other things you can learn as you get old enough to do it, being a stern in a canoe, and doing higher levels of rapids. I made so many friends this year, like people from America (mostly from Ohio) and I saw my friends.

On my group’s first seven-day trip, we went to the second highest point in Ontario, Maple Mountain. My second trip was down the Temagami River, and my last trip was for 21 days, which was up to New Liskeard and then down to Wanapitei Lake – that’s near Sudbury. Then on our way back to camp we went cliff jumping- that’s when you jump off cliffs into the water- and my staff jumped off a waterfall and it was awesome. This summer I learned a lot about how to carry a canoe, and also to stern the canoe. That made me lose a lot of weight and gain muscle. I have never been in better shape, ever.

Camp is important to me because over the last two years I have been in a bad place with my friends. I think I would have gotten into a lot of trouble this summer if you guys didn’t give me the money to go to camp this year. At camp I am with kids that don’t get into trouble because we don’t have time to get into trouble. My summer was so fun and I thank you for making this happen for me.

Chi-Miigwetch [thank you very much]
Michael