Request for Services – International Camping Fellowship

Posted on April 9, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The International Camping Fellowship is seeking self-employed individuals or third-party companies that can provide services to the organization.

Formally established in 1988, the ICF has been governed and managed by volunteers from around the world. As the work of the association becomes more diverse the demands on volunteer time has led to the realization that in order to allow the volunteers to “dream” and expand the mandate of the association it is necessary to have a paid service provider undertake certain functions so that we can release the pressure of being a volunteer.

Please review the Request for Services for more information.

Newcomers Love Camp!

Posted on April 3, 2019 by Catherine Ross

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting a Syrian family of seven that arrived in Toronto in March 2017 after time spent in Iraq. In two short years, the father has secured full time work in his field as a cook. The mother attends English classes five days a week where her youngest daughter also attends daycare.  She has learned to drive and has recently passed her license.  The other four children attend school.  As well as learning English (which at present they are speaking very well), they are also studying French, thereby adding two new languages to their current fluency in Arabic and Kurdish. I was impressed!

The four older children, ranging in age from five to fourteen, are anxious for winter to end.  They are looking ahead excitedly to returning to day camp for a week at the end of August.  They are not fond of the cold weather; Nihad told me that he liked camp because “every day there was sun.”

For the past two years the children have experienced camp thanks to the generosity of Seneca: King Day Camp one of the eighty day and overnight Ontario Accredited Camps that are making the experience available to newcomers to Canada at no cost. 

The children eagerly talked about their summer experience.  For Shahid, canoeing was the best thing. She also described the excitement of rock climbing.  “Going up was fun; I made it almost to the top, but I didn’t like going down.” Shahid is excited about the possibility of going to an overnight camp for a week with her school class next year.

 Appreciative that the counsellor was responsible for putting the worm on the hook, the three older children went fishing.  While the others were unsuccessful, Mohamednour mentioned that he caught three fish.  However, he was not particularly excited because he doesn’t like to eat fish!  Not a problem  ̶  they were all released and thrown back into the lake.

Without a doubt, the best thing about camp for Nihad was soccer.  He is an ardent Real Madrid fan.  When I told him that my grandson’s favourite team was Arsenal, he grinned and replied, “They are a weak team.”  

 The first summer, their camp was on a college campus with mostly indoor activities.  Last summer they were in an outdoor setting with a lake and woods, which they liked much better. They loved being outdoors swimming in the lake almost every day.  Camp has become an important part of a new life in Canada for these children contributing to their feeling of welcome and safety as well as introducing them to exciting new activities.

Youth Impact Study

Posted on March 22, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

In the Fall of 2018 findings from the American Camp Association/Canadian Camping Association Youth Impact Study were presented at the National Leadership Forum Moncton, NB.

The project’s aims and methods aligned with the National Research Council’s work on college and career readiness, which means that reports on the results of this project will help position camp within the broader context of youth development programs.

Funding for the Canadian version of the project was generously provided by the following: Alberta Camping Association – $15,000.00, Saskatchewan Camping Association – $6000.00, Ontario Camps Association – $5000.00, and The Society of Camp Directors – $1335.00 (1st of 3 installments).

The final report is available for download.

Congratulations to the 2018 CCA Award Winners!

Posted on March 18, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The Canadian Camping Association is pleased to announce three recipients of the 2018 CCA Awards: Catherine Ross (Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award), Neita Avery (Award of Excellence), and Valery Kostin (Special Recognition Award – Honorary CCA Membership).


Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2018)

Catherine has a long history as a leader in Canadian camping, and she has left a legacy of meaningful work that has impacted campers, staff, and camp professionals across the country in profound ways.

Significantly, Catherine was the first Communications Officer of the CCA, and volunteered in that role for nine years. As Communications Officer, Catherine pioneered the correspondence with camps across the country once the internet, email, websites, and social media became methods of communicating. As a CCA Board member Catherine also spearheaded the successful tree planting program, which has seen over 100,000 trees planted since its inception by hundreds of campers at dozens of camps across Canada.

Catherine is a founding Board member of Kids In Camp charity, and continues to sit on the KIC Board as Campership Chair. Catherine is a renowned author, having written books that highlight the history of several private camps in Ontario, and she also published the popular staff training resource “How to be a Camp Counsellor…the best job in the world!”.

Catherine was a member of the 1994 International Camping Congress Program Committee that welcomed camping professionals from 32 countries to Canada. She is an Honourary Life Member of the Ontario Camps Association, is a past OCA Board member, was a long-time OCA standards committee member and visitor, and volunteered on the OCA Archives Committee. Catherine is a past Chair of the OCA Conference Committee, and she has been, and continues to be, an active committee member. Catherine is also a former President and Board member of the Society of Camp Directors.

As anyone who has sat on a Board or committee with Catherine can attest, she tirelessly volunteers to take minutes of any meeting, any time. Catherine was a camper and long-time staff member at Camp Tanamakoon in Algonquin Park in Ontario.

She and her husband George purchased Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da near Parry Sound, Ontario in 1979, where Catherine was Camp Director for 20 years.


Award of Excellence (2018)

Neita served Rock Lake United Church Camp (RLUCC) in Manitoba for over 20 years as secretary / treasurer, board chair, and board member. There is nobody more dedicated to the success of RLUCC than Neita. She has been the face of the camp for as long as many people can remember.

Neita is willing to do anything it takes to make camp a success. As she soon approaches her 90th birthday, she can still be found walking through the crawlspace to turn on the walk-in cooler or collecting water to send for testing. She mows lawns, bakes cookies, arranges camperships, and recruits counsellors. The list of what she has done and will do for the camp is endless.

Neita is constantly thinking about the camp and what more she can do to promote it. She is never seen without a handful of RLUCC brochures in her purse, and she is always talking to people about the camp. She has arranged for fundraisers, new equipment, grants, and so much more. She has done it all with a smile on her face, and if you try to give her credit where it is definitely due, she brushes it off.

This year, Neita has been pretty firm in her decision to leave the role she has served so faithfully for so many years. There is no better way to conclude her time at RLUCC than to honour her with this award, and it couldn’t go to a sweeter, more dedicated woman.


Special Recognition Award – Honorary CCA Membership (2018)

Since his first appearance on the North American camping scene in 1990 , Valery Kostin has been a friend to Canada. As a camp director of Diamond Camp in the huge Soviet camping complex known as Artek, and as a product of the camping system there himself, Valery brought to North America his communication skills, his enthusiasm and his knowledge to enrich us all about a wider world of camping. The special friendship between the camp communities in Canada and Russia is due, in large part, to his role as permanent, goodwill ambassador.

Since that time, Valery has brought delegations of campers, staff and directors to Canadian camps and conferences for sharing and knowledge. In 1994, as a member of the International Camping Fellowship (and again in 2008) , Valery led the largest delegation from outside North America to the International Camping Congresses in Toronto and Quebec. Later, in Russia, in both 1997 and 2017, Valery was the driving force behind as well as the charming face in front of the International Congresses in St Petersburg and Sochi.

Valery has spoken at several provincial conferences in Canada and brought along additional Russian camping leaders and delegations to do the same. In recent summers, he has also assisted numerous camps to secure excellent international staff into their camps.  For any camping professional travelling to Russia, Valery manages to somehow clear his schedule and provide first class, personal attention and assistance in trip details and goes the extra mile to provide additional enhancements.

“From Russia with Love” is often a byline quoted by Valery. It is more than just a phrase – – –  Valery provides the very best demonstration of the fact that one person can make a difference. He has done so for camping in Canada and his love of peace, friendship and international understanding is evident in everything he does. Canada and Russia share more than a love of winter, a love of camping and a love of children. We also share Valery – – – a Russian with love.

CCA-ChariTREE: 10 TREE-mendous years together

Posted on March 15, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The ChariTREE Foundation just completed their 10th TREE-mendous year planting trees with Canadian Camping Association!

“Thanks to all CCA campers, staff and volunteers and of course the remarkable Catherine Ross, my mentor from Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da ~ who all worked together to plant thousands of trees across Canada over the last ten summers,” said Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder, The ChariTree Foundation.

She says she plans to take a break from this project to dig into a few new national and international kids climate action, food and water development projects by partnering with a new bigger charity she will help launch in 2019.

In the past ten years, more than 100,000 children (closer to 119,000) had the opportunity to plant a tree at a summer camp across Canada, participating in a ground-breaking national children’s environmental education project.

“Thank you again for this great initiative. Wonderful idea, and a hit with our campers,” said Miles Villneff, Assistant Director, Onondaga Camp, Toronto.

This hands-on project was a fun way to get kids outside, teach them to plant trees and care about something beyond themselves. “I’m so happy kids had the opportunity to learn more about trees and their contribution in the world,” Koehle Jones said. “I love projects that educate and empower kids to know that they can help make the world a better place. I am thankful for CCA’s support and all camp staff that helped out ~ and I’m especially proud of every child that planted a tree.”

“It is amazing to see seedlings that we had planted two years ago thriving and growing all over our property,” said- Meg Doherty, Camp Ekon, Rosseau.

Next Steps

Instead of offering trees to camps in 2019,  The ChariTree Foundation is expanding its environmental education reach by will  be helping to send kids to camps and schools with environmental education programs.

ChariTree is already helping to send inner city classes to Camp Kawartha’s outdoor learning programs and sending campers who can’t afford camp to other Canadian environmental education camps. 

Contact The ChariTREE Foundation if your camp or school offers outdoor learning, tree planting, or environmental education programs and is a REGISTERED CANADIAN CHARITY. ChariTree can only donate to other registered Canadian charities.

Remembering Joe Kronick

Posted on March 11, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

It is with sadness that we share the news of Joe Kronick’s passing.

Joe was the founder and long time Director of Camp White Pine in Haliburton, Ontario. Joe was a recipient of the Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, in recognition of his significant contributions to CCA and camps in Canada. He was an active member of the CCA Insurance Committee, and was a driving force behind the insurance policies that are now available to camps across the country.

In remembering Joe, his family wrote:

Today we lost the heart and soul of White Pine. Since 1956, Joe Kronick lived and breathed camp. He filled it with love and life, creating the most magical place for thousands of people to call home. For a man who was larger than life he created a legacy that spans generations.

We will always remember Joe for the impact he’s had on so many, but even more so we will remember him for the kind, loving and funny grandfather he was to us.

Joe, even though you are no longer with us, White Pine will forever hold the love that you had for it. You will always be the heart of White Pine and every time we walk past a Buffalo, we promise we will pick it up.

Jesse, Sammy, Gabby, Eugene and Taylor

Empatico: a FREE program for your camp!

Posted on March 5, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

Connect your campers with other campers from around the world this summer!

The Canadian Camping Association is pleased to introduce Empatico for Camps, a free online tool that provides Canadian camps with opportunities to be matched with camps in the United States and Mexico.

The goal of Empatico is for campers to see how their peers around the world live, and to share and celebrate their lives and communities.It’s FREE to sign up, and easy to bring to your camp! All you need is an internet connection and a device with a camera.

Learn more about Empatico

Check Out These Great Camp Conferences Across Canada

Posted on December 17, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

A number of terrific conferences, workshops, and other development opportunities are hosted by provincial camping associations across Canada each year.

If you are looking for your next great learning opportunity, look no further than these upcoming conferences:

BC Camping Conference 2019: Expanding the Possibilities

At this year’s conference, we are going to ask the question how can we expand the possibilities of summer camp to reach new horizons and ultimately,impact more people.

BCCA keynote speakers include Beth Allison, Gabrielle Raill, and Dr. Hartley Banack.

The conference is co-sponsored and organized by the BC Camps Association (BCCA)and the Fellowship of Christian Camps in BC (FCC).

When: January 21 – 24, 2019

Where: Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre, Chilliwack, BC

More Info

Register Here  

OCA Connects : The 87th Annual Conference of the Ontario Camps Association

The OCA’s annual conference brings together over 400 camp professionals from around the world to learn, network, and plan for the upcoming camp season.

Keynotes include Drum Café, best-selling author Unstoppable Tracy, and international singing sensation Choir! Choir! Choir!.

With over 50 knowledgeable speakers, Canada’s Largest Camping Trade Show, new program initiatives including OCA’s Equity and Diversity Ambassador Training Program and The Innovation Program, this conference is an event you won’t want to miss!

When: January 23 – 25, 2019

Where: Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites, Markham, ON

More info

Register here

Alberta Camping Association Annual Conference

Join the Alberta Camping Association at our Annual Conference at Camp Kindle, nestled in the foothills near Water Valley, Alberta. This conference is a great opportunity to meet and connect with other camp professionals, share and find new ideas, learn new things, build community and help advance the camping industry in Alberta. 

This year’s theme is “Problem Solving”. Details are coming soon and registration will be open in the new year.

When: March 18 – 20, 2019

Where: Camp Kindle, Water Valley, AB

More info

Bruno Morawetz Speaker Sponsorship Applications due December 1

Posted on October 24, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

The Society of Camp Directors invites provincial camping associations to submit applications for the Bruno Morawetz Speaker Sponsorship.

The Sponsorship Program is made available to cover fees, travel costs and other related expenses of a keynote speaker or seminar leader at any major professional development event (conference, seminar or special workshop for directors and senior staff) organized by a provincial camping association Federated Member of the CCA.

Please review the criteria for the sponsorship and information on the application process.

The deadline for applications is December 1.

CCA Awards – Nominate Someone Today!

Posted on October 11, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

The CCA is proud to have a national awards recognition program that honours outstanding achievement and contribution by Canadian camp leaders, camps, associations and institutions.

The CCA Awards Program recognizes individuals, camps, agencies or corporations. Written online nominations, from any member of the CCA (including individuals) must be submitted by October 31, 2018 for consideration.

Once approved by the Committee/Board, the awards will be presented by a member of the CCA Board/PCA at a Provincial Camping Association’s annual meeting or other suitable gathering.

Just a reminder, nominations for a camp or an organization must come from an external source.

Please check out the website to submit a nomination or to look up the criteria for the different awards that are presented