Author Archive

Plant Trees and Make a Difference

Posted on February 11, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

For the tenth year, CCA partners with Andrea Koehle Jones, Executive Director, ChariTree Foundation, to offer free seedlings to all Canadian camps. Planting a tree is a powerful way to teach campers that they can make a difference to their campsite and to the environment.

This program is open to all Canadian camps, including camps that planted trees in previous years. We urge all camps to participate and to benefit from this great program.


By April 10, 2018, contact your provincial representative (listed below) and place your order including the number of trees and the location where they will be planted. You may choose to plant between 40 and 800 trees. Andrea accesses the trees from nurseries in each province; therefore, the seedlings are suitable for growing conditions in your province. The trees are usually packed in packages of 20 in cardboard boxes.


You will be notified by your representative precisely when and where the trees are available for pick up in your province (the date will be within the last two weeks of June). Andrea’s commitment is to deliver the total order for each province to one location, which is chosen by the provincial representative. Your representative will notify each participating camp of this location prior to submitting your order to Andrea. Each camp is responsible for collecting their order from this location or pre-arranging to pay for delivery to their campsite. Andrea has found that Greyhound bus is the least expensive way to ship seedlings. If you do not receive your seedlings on the expected date, please notify your provincial representative.

The trees may be stored in a dark, cool place for a maximum of two weeks before planting.

The camp agrees to:

  • Go online promptly and acknowledge the receipt of their trees directly to Andrea. Andrea needs this information to satisfy her donors that their contribution is being used wisely and assists her in seeking future donations. To access the ChariTree Feedback form visit Camps that do not meet this obligation will forgo the opportunity to access trees in future years.
  • Plant their trees with their campers within two weeks.
  • Water the seedlings if the weather is dry.

For more information on Andrea Koehle Jones and the ChariTree Foundation see

Provincial Representatives

British Columbia: Andrea Koehle Jones (

Alberta: Ted Lockie (

Saskatchewan: Donna Wilkinson (

Manitoba: Kim Scherger (

Ontario: Jen Gilbert (

Quebec: Jacqui Raill (

New Brunswick: John Savage (

Nova Scotia/PEI: Derek Mitchell (

Congratulations to CCA Award Winners!

Posted on February 7, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

The Canadian Camping Association is please to announce six very worthy recipients of the 2017 CCA Awards!

The CCA national awards recognition program honours outstanding achievement and contribution by Canadian camp leaders, camps, associations and institutions.

Please join us in congratulating:

Skip Connett

Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

Skip is the Owner/Director of the camp he established in 1975, Canadian Adventure Camp in Temagami, ON. From the time Skip started his camp he has been an active member of Ontario Camps Association (OCA). He has on more than one occasion been a Board Member.

It was during these early times that Skip recognized that camping needed an increased visibility and he was able to secure for the Board and accredited camps community service ads that were responsible for an increased of awareness by the general population.

Skip has been an active volunteer at many OCA events and has shared his expertise at OCA Conferences over the years. He has been a mentor and an advisor for many camps. OCA recognized Skip’s service in the past few years as they made him an Honourary Life Member.

Significantly, Skip was catalyst for the establishment of an insurance program for Canadian camps. Until that time camps were at the mercy of the insurance companies. They could, at will, cancel policies with little or no explanation and with almost no notice. Skip recognized that there was a need to find a broker and then an insurer that was prepared to get involved with the camping community, offer reasonable rates to a low risk industry, and who would stand behind our camps. On behalf of the CCA, he established a committee to guide the process. Under Skip’s leadership, they surveyed camps to find out about the various policies that camps used and a history of their claims. The committee then found a company that agreed to meet the needs of camps. The policy, when compared by insurance consultants, was reasonably priced and comprehensive.

The committee recommended a broker who would represent the needs of camps and continues to provide the insurance package that is still in place and is constantly vetted and chosen by more than 300 camps in Canada.

For all these years, Skip has continued to chair the CCA Insurance Committee. Skip is responsible for creating an insurance program that insures that the interests of Canadian camps have been protected and has made it possible for accredited camps to benefit from the empirical data provided by our broker which proves our camps are safe.

Harry & Gail Edwards

Jack Pearse Award of Honour recipients

Harry has acted as the Executive Director of Stillwood Camp & Conference for over 20 years. During that time, Gail has been a constant support for Harry, and has enabled his effective leadership by offering her own relational care for fellow staff members and the community in general. Gail has also taken leadership in the Dining Room at Stillwood, using her gift of hospitality to make the camp one of the top outdoor-based conference centre destinations in British Columbia.

Through their time with Stillwood, Gail encouraged Harry’s volunteer involvement with a variety of causes related to camping. One of those was helping to found the Fellowship of Christian Camps, which helps to connect and support camping professionals from BC, Alberta, and Washington State. Harry is a long-standing Board member for this organization.

Harry also served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Camping Association, including taking the role of President from 2012-2013. He was instrumental in raising the stature of the CCA for BC camps.

Through his years of service, Harry has been instrumental in the growth of camping in BC and across Canada. His name is well recognized by those in the camping world. However, those in BC know that without Gail and her generous spirit, Harry would have not seen the success or impact he has.

Gabrielle Raill

Jack Pearse Award of Honour recipient

Gabrielle has been a camp professional for over 20 years, and over her career she has had a great impact on camping in Quebec, across Canada, and around the world. She believes that camp is a powerful mechanism to help children and youth grow, learn, and be empowered.

During her career at Camp Ouareau, Gabrielle has focussed on creating a positive community for girls and young women. Her impact is felt not only at Ouareau, but in many other settings.

Gabrielle has been involved in many projects and communities, including:

  • Creating, leading, and directing the CCA National Marketing Camping (Thanks To Camp and More Than Just Fun)
  • Serving as International Camping Fellowship Ambassador to Canada
  • Delivering keynotes and workshops on topics such as empowerment, training, and leading with impact at provincial camping association events across Canada
  • Representing Quebec and Canada as a presenter at the American Camp Association conference, ACA Tri-State conference, ACA Mid-State conference, and the International Camping Congress
  • Helping to create, and serving as a contributor, to Camp Code and Camp Hacker
  • Volunteering with the ACQ, OCA, and CCA on numerous projects and training
  • Gabrielle has also worked, supported, and mentored other camps and camp professionals with transitional and training needs

Shauna Joyce

Award of Excellence recipient

Shauna has been actively and continuously involved with Camp Amy Molson (CAM) for 23 years, beginning as a Counsellor-in-Training, joining the leadership team and, for the last 14 years, as Executive Director.

Her role as Executive Director includes the usual management, recruitment of staff and campers, governance, and fundraising responsibilities. Shauna is exceptional in carrying out these duties. Shauna’s involvement and commitment goes well beyond this. She attends all the camping sessions and oversees the effective delivery of camp programs and activities. Her level of engagement is because she relates so well to the children and believes so much in the positive effect of camping in their development. This level of participation goes much further than normally expected.

Shauna has been involved in camping beyond CAM. She has volunteered at Global Camps Africa (Camp Sizanani) and sat on the Association des camps du Quebec’s conference planning committee. Most recently, Shauna participated in the process organized by Centraide to evaluate the impact of camp on vulnerable youth. This process involved creating a model that comprised performance indicators, evaluation tools and collection and dissemination of data.

Shauna’s focus on helping youth is a consistent theme in her life. She is the Principal of an elementary school and has been a volunteer with Dans la Rue in Montreal for ten years, helping homeless youth. She also worked with vulnerable youth in various settings dealing with drug rehabilitation and youth protection in group homes.

Julia Wagg

Special Recognition Award recipient

A strong-willed force of nature in Ottawa’s LGBTQ community, Julia discovered a purpose in life helping children and families navigate a time she herself struggled with as a lesbian teenager coming of age in small-town northern Ontario.

With Holly Wagg — her wife of nearly 12 years, who had dreamed of starting a summer camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer families — Julia co-founded Camp Ten Oaks in 2005. It welcomed 22 campers that year. This summer, 100 are signed up and another 65 are on the waiting list.

You probably can’t wave a rainbow pride flag in Ottawa without touching someone who either knew Julia personally, was familiar with her work or was friends with someone who has benefitted from Camp Ten Oaks. It’s the single most important made-in-Ottawa contribution to LGBTQ children and families in Canada. Its work is that magical and transformative.

Julia herself had not been to summer camp as a child, which made her enthusiasm for its daily rhythms and rituals remarkable. “With her walkie-talkie buzzing constantly and a clipboard never far from reach, she still managed to bring a playfulness to the job of camp director, even on days when it required her to fish a toothbrush from the depths of an outhouse or comfort a homesick camper,” says Sonja Prakash, an early Ten Oaks board member and camp volunteer who became close friends with Julia.
Julia was a dynamic, natural leader, but she was also complex. She was fiercely committed to her values in a way that could be unflinching. She messed up sometimes, but would own up to and learn from her mistakes.

In the fall of 2015, she experienced frequent chest pains and bleeding gums but she soon realized something was up when a visit to the hospital in January 2016 landed her in a closed room with a horrified-looking medical resident. He took Julia’s hand and broke the news that she had leukemia, before breaking down himself. Relieved she finally had a diagnosis, even such a devastating one, Julia quickly switched into professional mode, offering the young man tips on how to deliver horrible news to people.

Her greatest legacy, says Holly, is not all the accolades and accomplishments Julia collected along the way. It was the people, her people, the ones she enabled to become better versions of themselves. “She could find a best in you that you didn’t even know you had.”

Julia unfortunately lost her life on Good Friday 2017.

Wow, Alberta! Thank you!

Posted on January 30, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

Thanks to the generosity of the Alberta Camping Association, the CCA now has the funds to participate as a Canadian Oversample in the American Camp Association’s Research 360.

This five year, longitudinal, impact study identifies the benefits gained at camp (e.g. relationship skills, teamwork) and tracks the influence through college and career. The results could prove extremely useful in educating and selling the value of camp to the public.

Camps willing to participate in the research please contact Dr. Stephen Fine, CCA Chair of Research at

Our sincere thanks to Alberta for their generous contribution to this important research project!

More information on Research 360.

U of T Researcher Seeks Participants

Posted on January 23, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

Margaret Schneider, PhD, C. Psych, of the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto, is interested in the lifelong impact of the camping experience.

She wishes to conduct one and a half hour interviews (in person or by phone) with adult camping alumni (over 35 years of age) from various types of camps.

If you are interested in being interviewed or receiving the results of her research, please contact Margaret Schneider at

Cash prize for EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH related to camp

Posted on January 15, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

Directors, please give the university students particularly graduate students on your staff and your alumni, the opportunity to enter and maybe win.

We welcome papers from any academic discipline with a topic that can be related to camping.

Detailed information is in the “Call For Papers 2018”.

Canadian Digital Proof of Identity change (DPOI)

Posted on November 29, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

Those camps utilizing Sterling Talent Solutions to complete background checks for staff and volunteers should be aware of recent changes.

Effective December 1, 2017, Canada Post will no longer accept the Canadian Citizenship Card as a primary form of identification. Due to changes to the Canadian Citizenship Card, it is no longer compliant with the requirements for accepted forms of primary identification.

Other forms of accepted primary ID are below.

  • Provincial Driver’s License
  • Foreign Driver’s License
  • Canadian or Foreign Passport
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • CNIB Card
  • Provincial ID Card
  • Canadian Permanent Resident Card
  • Firearms Possession and Acquisition License

Please note: The Canadian Citizenship Card will continue to be accepted as a secondary form of ID.

Questions can be directed to Linda Ferens by email ( or phone (1-866-999-6133).

Jennifer Straver’s “Returning Year After Year” wins 2017 Research Award of Excellence

Posted on November 27, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

Jennifer Straver, M.Ed., U. Windsor, ON, wrote the winning research paper: “Returning Year After Year: The Motivation and Retention of Coaches at Madawaska Volleyball Camp”.

This is a one week, end of season camp on the Camp Walden site. She explains why these dedicated staff keep returning for many more years than you would think possible.

Frustrated with Food Costs?

Posted on November 20, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

Foodbuy, a Partner of CCA, can save you money, send you rebates and assist you with other useful services like reducing costs on food and non-food services, assurance of supply, nutritional information and recipes.

You or your caterer can contact Heather Cormier today to discover how to reap the savings and benefits now enjoyed by many Canadian camps. There is no cost to join; you simply sign a few forms and Foodbuy does the rest.

Foodbuy works with many Distributors that may already be delivering to your camp. Not only will your camp save money, but by using Foodbuy, you will also be supporting the CCA, your provincial camping association and helping Foodbuy in their new exciting initiative of sending 40 kids to camp next summer!

For more information please contact Heather at 1-800-465-2203 ext. 7211 or

Important Message from BackCheck

Posted on November 14, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

Hello CCA Members,

As another camping season has come to a close, we’d like to sincerely thank you for your business. We value our relationship and look forward to assisting you in new ways in the coming year.
In addition to our criminal record check (myBackCheck), we also offer other services:

  • E-PIC: Enhanced Police Information Check. Easy on-line process, 24-hour turnaround time.
  • Credit Check with Identity Crosscheck
  • Education / Credentials / Professional Designation Verification
  • Employment Verifications
  • References
  • International Screening
  • Driver Screening: Driver Abstract and Driver License Verification
  • International Criminal Record Checks

Driver Screening

As transporting campers can be a responsibility for some of your employees, appropriate Driver Screening would be recommended for those individuals:

Sterling Talent Solutions’ Driver Abstract (DA) allows clients that hire drivers to determine if their candidate has a clean driving record or if he or she has been caught speeding, neglecting the Highway Act, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or otherwise has any convictions, suspensions, or prohibitions on his or her license. Sterling Talent Solutions’ DA service does not provide clients with information pertaining to accidents, correspondence, plate history, or vehicle history. Turnaround time: 1 – 10 business days depending upon province (Quebec has a longer TAT).

Sterling Talent Solutions’ Driver’s License Verification (DLV) allows clients to verify that their candidate holds a valid driver’s license. Although similar to Sterling Talent Solutions’ Driver Abstract service, the DLV is less detailed and has a turnaround time of 24 hours.

International Criminal Record Checks

For employees or volunteers that are new to Canada best practice would include a criminal record check in their country of origin. Sterling Talent Solutions offers criminal record checks in 196 different countries. The turnaround time and fee varies by country. Please contact your account manager for country specific details.

To set up a new account or request additional information please contact Linda Ferens:

  • Email:
  • Telephone: 1-866-999-6133 / 204-999-0912

Funds Available for Professional Development

Posted on November 6, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

The Society of Camp Directors urges Provincial Camping Associations to apply to the Bruno Morawetz Speakership Program, which funds fees, travel costs and related expenses up to $2000 for a keynote speaker or seminar leader for any provincial conference, seminar or special workshop.

If you know of someone who could contribute to your professional development as a camp leader, talk to your Association today!

Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2017.