The Bondar Challenge

Posted on February 26, 2013 by CCA Communications Committee

Dr. Roberta Bondar is a Canadian icon most widely known for her journey aboard Discovery as the world’s first neurologist and Canada’s first woman in space. Her achievements are outstanding in her varied careers as a scientist, medical doctor, astronaut, author, environmental educator and professional landscape and nature photographer.

In summer 2012, The Roberta Bondar Foundation partnered with the Canadian Camping Association to launch the Summer Camp Bondar Challenge, piloting the experience in 5 summer camps. Modeled after the successful school-based Bondar Challenge, it focused on campers using a camera as a tool and gateway to learning about the environment. Campers are challenged to capture an image in their environment that relates to an aspect of biodiversity and then write a statement to accompany their photo. The program fuses the art of photography with a knowledge of science and promotes a lifelong love of nature, protection of our environment and global citizenship. The winning images and statements will travel with The Foundation’s Travelling Exhibition.

You can view the 2012 winning images and accompanying artist’s statements on the Bondar Challenge page of The Roberta Bondar Foundation website at

Your camp can join the Bondar Challenge in summer 2013.

Role Of The Foundation

The 2013 trainer registration fee of $25 per trainer includes:

  • Unlimited use of the program for summer 2013 by trained staff counselors/leaders
  • Start up camp kits of detailed information about program regulations, judging criteria, competition deadlines, submission guidelines, etc.
  • Training materials for staff counselors/leaders delivering the program including certificates signed by Dr. Bondar certifying completion of the training program
  • Password protected on-line access to all learning tools, program materials, regulations, and instructions for submitting entries to the competition
  • Digital badge for trained staff counselors/leaders completing the evaluation of the program experience at the end of summer
  • Acknowledgment on The Roberta Bondar Foundation’s website as a participating camp
  • Winning entries will be posted on The Foundation’s website

Role Of The Camp

Camps agree that:

  • All staff delivering the program have completed the training provided on-line through The Foundation’s website
  • The program may be run in any number of sessions during the summer but each session must ensure campers have allocated a minimum of 6 hours over at least 2 days for each camper/group who participates (any combination is acceptable to achieve the 6 hour commitment)
  • Access will be provided to necessary electronic support for campers /staff to view images, complete artist’s statements and make submissions online
  • An online evaluation questionnaire on the program experience will be completed

How And When To Register

Individual CCA member camps can apply on-line through The Roberta Bondar Foundation website.

Applications to be a participating camp open March 1,2013 and must be received by 20:00 EST April 30, 2013 to be considered.

The CCA Communications Committee produces regular online content for Canadian camps.