The Canadian Camping Association/Association des Camps du Canada is pleased to formally support the work of the newly established Outdoor Council of Canada. The mission of this fledgling organization is “to promote and enable accessible education and recreation in the outdoor environment.”
Engagement by camps and by camping associations will be very important in maintaining the relevance and vitality of the OCC. Camps can provide their expertise – and camps will benefit with staff satisfaction, improved programs and budgeting efficiencies.
For its first major initiative towards its mission, the OCC developed an entry level certification course for outdoor leaders. This course is an affordable and effective weekend program that will become available across Canada.
The OCC’s Curriculum Development Committee began its work in February 2010. By May 2010, it was ready to pilot a course in Calgary: Leadership Level 1 Hiking. After incorporating feedback, two more courses were delivered to a total of 36 students – a course in Calgary in May, and a course Ontario in June. Both courses received strong and positive reviews.
The goals of Leadership Level 1 Hiking can be summarized as such:
– Understand and demonstrate the role and responsibilities of an outdoor leader
– Develop and demonstrate the basic tools/actions for organizing and leading a high quality activity in a low risk ‘hiking’ environment
The next step for the OCC is to train and certify Course Instructors this winter so that they can deliver the course in their home communities in spring 2011.
Subsequent courses will provide certifications for longer trips, more demanding environments, and for other activities, such as canoeing and cross country skiing. The OCC also develops resources to promote outdoor recreation, to share research on outdoor recreation, and to develop helpful risk management templates.
It is the hope of Executive Director, Albi Sole, that very soon ”OCC Leadership Level 1 will be seen as the logical first step for the majority of people in their journey to be an outdoor leader.”
For more information on the Outdoor Council of Canada visit their website www.outdoorcouncil.ca