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:
We were invited to participate in two important initiatives:
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.
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,
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]
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.
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 (Linda.Ferens@sterlingts.com) or phone (1-866-999-6133).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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.
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:
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.
On September 30, 2017 the town of Sundridge, Ontario celebrated the opening of the Near North Enviro-Education Centre. The geothermal heated, solar powered, environmentally designed building is the vision of Jocelyn Palm, Director of Glen Bernard Camp where for years the campers have learned to “live lightly.”
The Near North Enviro-Education Centre, which took years to complete, is a testimony to Jocelyn’s vision, financial support and “persistence, perseverance and sheer determination.”
The participants at the ribbon-cutting event demonstrated Joc’s ability to build partnerships to get the job done. Lyle Hall, Mayor of Sundrige, Chris Ellis, Mayor of the Township of Strong, Norman Miller, MPP Muskoka Parry Sound, and Dr. Carolyn Bennett, MP Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs spoke about the three pillars for the project essential to the viability of our rural communities: environmental sustainability, rural economic sustainability and social diversity. Doug Dokis, representing the local indigenous peoples opened with a prayer of thanks in Ojibway and a song in Blackfoot to bless the building.
The mission of the NNEEC is “to help empower rural communities to become models for sustainable living by providing access to education, information and hands on learning opportunities focused on these pillars.”
To learn more, visit the Centre’s website at nneec.ca.
Sterling Talent Solutions has posted a blog article that may be of interest to Canadian camps.
Over the course of last summer, I visited several camps. At one as I walked down the camp road on arrival day, every staff person I passed smiled and greeted me with, “Good afternoon. Can I help?” I felt welcomed. On the contrary, at another, the first person who met me tersely asked in a confrontational tone, “What do you want?” No smile was evident. Granted my visit was unexpected and possibly the camp was concerned about strangers on their property, but I’m a grey-haired grandmother who doesn’t look that threatening! – Catherine Ross
Joanna Warren Smith offers some sound advice about training staff to communicate appropriately with clients:
Stop, Look and Listen! Please!
You’ve probably noticed that these days, people are generally not nice to each other. They are rude, curt and abrupt. Anger, sarcasm and caustic remarks have become the new normal.
In fact, just last week, two parents independently shared that they had been ‘turned off’ to highly recommended camps because they were treated in a perfunctory way. When I heard them complain that ‘She didn’t even ask for my child’s name!’ and ‘It felt like I was imposing and interrupting something more important that she was doing’, I got permission from a couple of clients to call their shops at various times. Sure enough, I encountered rushed dismissals and much encouragement to check out the websites.
Really? Would you prefer a potential client visit your website or start to develop a relationship with your camp?
Please don’t assume that your team is ‘doing it right’. Be intentional about your customer service to counter today’s personal interaction style. If you need to create scripts, teach and mentor folks to increase relationship building skills plus freshen up your communications, I guarantee the positive effects will be worth the effort.
Joanna invites CCA members to go to her website and register for free monthly HINTS newsletter at camp-consulting.com.