CCA Awards Program-Nominate Someone Today!!

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Pam Chater

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, 2017 for consideration. Once approved by the Board, the awards will be presented by a member of the CCA Board 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 Awards page to submit a nomination or to look up the criteria for the different awards that are presented.

Campers Celebrate Canada’s 150 by Planting Trees

Posted on September 18, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

The enthusiastic reports and contented faces on tree planters attest to the success of the 2017 CCA Tree Planting Program.  Plan on joining this program in 2018 and reap the many benefits for your camp and campers.

“Awesome program that we love being part of. Our campers and staff are proud every year to plant trees around our site.”  Terry Konyi, Camp Yowochas, Alberta

“We incorporated the tree planting activity as part of our Canada 150 theme day. Campers loved the idea that they would be creating something that would become a permanent feature of camp for future campers to enjoy.”  Ilana Stoch, Camp Kodiak, Ontario

“Plenty of kids planted their trees and created a heart of rocks around it. Some even made tiny log houses beside.  It really motivated them to take ownership and show love to ensure their tree is successful.”  Clayton Freeborn, Sparrow Lake Camp, Ontario


CCA Past President Harry Edwards Retires from Camping

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Catherine Ross

On July 4, 2017, John H. Redekop, Chair Stillwood Leadership Board, announced the retirement of Harry Edwards after twenty years of exemplary service:

Harry Edward (left) and his wife Gail.

The Stillwood Camp and Conference Leadership Board announces that after slightly more than 20 years of successful leadership, Harry Edwards, our Executive Director, has decided to retire from full-time leadership of Stillwood, a 100-acre ministry centre located near Cultus Lake in Southwestern British Columbia. Harry has provided strong leadership, always assisted by the extraordinary contribution of his wife Gail. Both Harry and Gail have obviously played major roles in enabling Stillwood to become the award-winning Christian ministry it is today.

Stillwood now ministers to approximately 3,000 campers during the summer season and many hundreds of guest groups from early September to mid-June. Under Harry’s leadership Stillwood now also offers a variety of specialized weekend retreats and conferences.

Harry Edwards has played a major role in bringing Stillwood to a whole new level of excellence and ministry effectiveness. Thousands have benefited from his leadership and hard work. Just as many will long remember the outstanding leadership Gail has provided in food service. The Edwards’ legacy is an impressive one and will be gratefully remembered by many for a very long time.

We wish Harry and his wife Gail safe and happy travels as they check off the places on their long bucket list that they wish to visit.

10 Commandments of Camp Marketing

Posted on August 14, 2017 by Travis Allison

Fellow camp professional, I think you’ll understand …

Even after 15 years of being a Camp Director, I would often fall into bed saying “Just one thing, please give me one thing that I can control!”

I’m Travis Allison. You might know me from Summer Camp Professionals on Facebook, Camp Code & CampHacker podcasts. My colleague Joanna Warren Smith (Camp Consulting Services) and I have created our 10 Commandments of Camp Marketing. (sign up here)

This article is yours for free and when you download it, you’ll also receive our monthly ‘Marketing Mondays’ Tips, each of which includes two items to help you get control of your camp marketing madness.

Download your free 10 Commandments of Camp Marketing now!

Think Tank on Camp Research Strategies and Strategic Directions

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Catherine Ross

On May 7, 2017 in Toronto, Dr. Stephen Fine, Chair of the CCA Research Committee, chaired a meeting of CCA Executive Members, John Jorgenson (President of the International Camping Fellowship), and several academics representing various disciplines: education, nursing, architecture, sociology and anthropology, and recreation and leisure studies.  The focus of the Think Tank was to share experience and resources to further research in the phenomena of camp.

Academic participants at the Think Tank on Camp Research included: Dr. Troy Glover, Professor, University of Waterloo; Dr. Karla Henderson, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina; Dr. Deb Bialeschki , Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Catherine Laing, Assistant Professor University of Calgary; Dr. Thomas McIlwraith, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph and Dr. Trevor Norris, Associate Professor, Brock University; Peter Gilbert, Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University; and John Blakey, Nature Based Learning Teacher and Educational Researcher, Montcrest School.

The group confirmed that the ultimate goal of research in camping is to assist camp professionals in maximizing the experience for campers. Research results have to be understood by camp directors and seen to have practical applications. Currently research is a strong component at International Camping Congresses.  Local camping conferences can also be suitable venues for researchers to share their work. The Waterloo research project, which proved the benefits of camp, is being used in the upcoming national campaign to promote camp. Research has a role to play in educating the public, informing camp professionals and validating and improving the camp experience.

In the Fall of 2017, the CCA will be contacting member camps across the country as to their interest towards participating in an American/Canadian research project. The project’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.  Interested parties should contact: Stephen Fine by email at

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by participating in Historica Canada’s ‘Here’s My Canada project’

Posted on June 5, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

Here’s My Canada is a multilingual, nation-wide contest inviting Canadians to express what Canada means to them in a 30-second video.

Here’s My Canada is a Canada 150 Signature project and is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Bank of Montreal.

Please visit for more information on how your camp can participate.

“Small-steps revolution” – Globe & Mail, May 16 2017

Posted on May 19, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

From the Globe & Mail: “In her new book Camp Food Matters, Margot Perlmutter recounts her quest to improve the nutritional quality of food at Camp Tamakwa in Algonquin Park, Ont.”

Read the Globe’s interview with Margot Perlmutter on their website.


Teaching Tolerance at Camp

Posted on May 13, 2017 by Gary Pryzner

My way of dealing with most issues in life is not to create sides, but to listen to both. This works whether it is a fight between two campers, or whether it is a misunderstanding with regard to a First Nations or LGBQT issue. That being said, there is no methodology in place at all by which to categorize any dispute. Nor should there be!

Categorization is the worst enemy of disputes. This is well worth repeating. Nobody wants to be labeled. In fact, most disagreements become issues because someone feels undervalued, and sharply so.

Through years of experience, I have learned several factors to be true in all disputes. Bearing these in mind during the time of an altercation can often serve as a way to bring it to closure well before expected and with better results. Additionally, if I consistently approach others with actions that support these factors, it is much less likely that the issue will occur.

There is intrinsic value in every person. Everyone matters, and everyone has something good to offer a family, community, nation or world. I agree that not everything offered is good. I also agree that some things that are believed are not true. But the right to have beliefs and the right to choose – these are the freedoms that we all should be able to possess. They are of greater importance than any disagreement that can arise between me and another person.

No two people agree on everything. This only means that it is actually possible to further create argument and divide until community is extinguished and self is all that is left. Tragic!

If I listen, I will learn. So listen to their story, to their reasons for believing and valuing what they do. While I may not choose to adapt their belief structure into my own, at the very least I should learn something of what matters to them. Perhaps they want to lobby for a cause that completely misses what I have usually thought. Perhaps their reason is loyalty, or fairness, or something that I also value. If I shut them down because I disagree with the campaign in general, then they are hearing that I disagree with loyalty or fairness.

We are amazing people. We are capable of going to the moon and back, of building space stations, and of inventing cures for diseases that used to obliterate whole communities. Why is it so difficult to believe that we all have something of value for which to give honour?

Always ask questions before offering a defense. “Are we really in disagreement in this matter?” Even a question like that can create enough doubt that the other person will calm a bit. Follow it up with, “Could I please ask you to share your main concern again? And then, “Could you tell me what underlying values you hold onto that cause you to support this concern? Never consider your own response at all while listening. Listening is for learning, hearing and understanding.

Always create space for accepting a different view, while maintaining the value for the person. The way we talk must also model that this space is available. Bears attack when their escape is cut off. If people have the right to choose, then let them choose.

What you feel defines your concerns, not theirs. Sharp feelings such as jealousy, rage, fear or hatred are signs that we have unresolved issues in ourselves. So the next time that feeling arises, it should be another opportunity – not to set someone else straight – but to resolve what we haven’t in ourselves. If it came out of someone’s criticism, or exaggerated disparagement, then quietly ask yourself what part is true, and begin to change that part.

Defense strengthens offense. Karate teaches me that when the opponent senses that I am resisting, they will tighten their grip. But if the opponent senses that I have relaxed, they can’t help but do the same. So in every situation no matter who is upset with you, not only listen, but also explain that understanding them matters to you and that you are thankful for voicing their
concern. Follow that up with actions that support it. What this really amounts to in the face of the heat is that we must relax our grip and show love.

Finally, when mediating, reset the focus with questions. It’s very difficult to get someone else to show appreciation for the other person’s view. So if two boys are brought into my office after a fight, getting them to tell their side of the story will become a never ending nightmare of trying to prove the other person to be wrong. Now deep inside they both know that they could have done something differently… that at some point they made a choice to fight back. Rather than focus on the part that creates division, focus on the part inside each of them that they would rather not admit. The question I often use is, “So tell me what you could have done differently?” or “What did you do that you know you should not have done?” I always begin with the one that I think is more likely to spill first. When he starts with, “Well he…” I stop him and say, “No, what did you do that was wrong? He will have his turn to tell me what he did wrong.” The first admission almost always encourages the second. And by the time the second is done, the boys will often ask each other for forgiveness before I even get that far, and then they leave as friends.

If we embrace our differences, we actually, at the same time, are embracing our similarities.

Sterling Talent Solutions offers complimentary webinars.

Posted on May 8, 2017 by CCA Communications Committee

In addition to processing camp employee background police checks efficiently and economically, Sterling Talent Solutions (BackCheck) also offers complimentary webinars:

Engaging Volunteers for Impact and Success.

Tuesday June 15, 2017 2:00 p.m.

Register online at

All past webinars are archived and can be accessed at any time.

Should you have questions about any of Sterling Talent Solutions services or require assistance, please contact CCA’s account representative Linda Ferens at

Great News for Camping!

Posted on May 5, 2017 by Jonathan Nyquist

After nearly three years of hard work and lobbying, our CCA government relations committee is excited to report the following, newly created Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt permit category for staff working at camps:

All foreign workers who wish to secure a temporary work permit as a camp counsellor should be processed under this recently created category.

You may also find it useful to review information on the web-pages listed below. These resources are included as links in the new camp counsellor work permit policy and they provide additional information regarding potential work permit fee exemptions for international camp staff and employers utilizing this new category:

The process of securing this policy has been a major undertaking and these new guidelines will pave the way for addressing our future needs for foreign camp staff. It will also support our ability to continue to create high-quality, diverse staffing teams as well as develop camp communities that encourage the exchange of cultures. We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the many government policy makers who listened to our case, believed in our cause and helped guide and support us through this hard fought endeavour. The following MP’s, Ministers and their respective office support teams went above and beyond to help with this initiative and advocate on our behalf:

Minister Ahmed D. Hussen and previous Minister John McCallum, MP Michael Levitt, MP Anthony Rota, Roland Parris – previous Senior Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, MP Marco Mendicino, MP David Graham, MP Anthony Housefather, MP Jamie Schmale, MP Ralph Goodale, MP Rodger Cuzner and Minister Patty Hajdu.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Mark Diamond and Jonathan Nyquist who co-led this initiative, as well as the following members of our Association who dedicated a substantial amount of time on this matter: Barb Gray, Jonathan Pivnick, Adam Kronick, Sol Birenbaum, Leon Muszynski, Craig Perlmutter, Stephane Richard and Mike Sladden.

We also appreciate the efforts of our very competent lobbying company, Tactix, for their exceptionally skillful guidance and support throughout this process.

If you have any questions regarding the exemption then please feel free to reach out directly to Jonathan Nyquist:

Take care and happy camping!