A Great Health Care Resource to Add to your Camp Library

Posted on April 17, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

Camp Nursing – Circles of Care is an acclaimed book written by Mary Casey (BScN PHN). Mary is an experienced camp nurse and award-winning author. This handy, comprehensive, reference book includes an extensive chapter, Treatment Guidelines, which includes accepted procedures on illness and accidents.

Camp Nursing-Circles of Care is an overview of the multi-facetted job of the nurse at camp, and presents principles that are applicable to all health professionals and to camps with varying combinations of health care staff.

Order your camp’s copy from or contact Mary Casey at

Call for Nominations – CCA President

Posted on April 13, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

The Canadian Camping Association is seeking nominees to be considered for President of the CCA Board of Directors.

Please review the Call for Nomination for more details about this exciting leadership opportunity.

Nominations must be received no later than April 30, 2018.


Looking to add a new program to your camp?

Posted on March 28, 2018 by CCA Communications Committee

An image of the Bondar Summer Camp Challenge flyerIn 2017, twenty-three camps across the country and thousands of campers participated in the Summer Camp Bondar Challenge. With direction form trained camp staff (training material available online and in hardcopy), campers took their cameras outdoors to explore, observe, appreciate, and photograph nature. Include this great program at your camp this summer!

The deadline to apply is May 1, 2018.

Download this Bondar Challenge flyer.

Fore more information, or to sign up, please visit

Call To Action for Camps – Research 360

Posted on March 13, 2018 by Dr. Stephen Fine

Invitation to Canadian Camp Directors:

This is a significant opportunity for insights into the impact of summer camp on Canadian youth.

The American Camp Association is currently partnered with the University of Utah in the Research 360 Impact Study to discover if camp as a learning setting prepares youth & emerging adults for higher education, career, and success. The Study’s aims and methods align 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 broad context of youth development programs.

We are currently recruiting camp directors from across the country interested in participating in the Research 360 partnership between the Canadian Camping Association (CCA) and the American Camp Association. Thanks to generous funding from our camp associations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, the CCA is now able to go ahead with this significant opportunity to gather vital data on the camp industry in Canada. The survey will take place during the spring of 2018 and there is no cost for participation.

The study will be focused on new first time counselors that are hired for the 2018 summer season. These hires can include former campers, former members of your CIT/LIT programs, or others who have a past history at any camp.  Parental consent is not required for those under the age of 18 and the survey will be filled out online and submitted before camp begins. As such, the data collection process will not impinge on your camp’s programming or scheduling as staff will fill out the survey during the months of April and May. This is an industry wide study for Canadian camps.  Should you wish to have a report on data specific to your camp, additional cost would be involved.

To learn more about the findings from Phase One of the Research 360 Impact study go to:

This invitation is time sensitive. Please respond prior to March 30, 2018.

Should have any questions please contact me at:

Stephen Fine, PhD
Research Chair
Canadian Camping Association

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”.

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.