Archive for March, 2013

Greystone Simplifies Camp Shopping

Posted on March 26, 2013 by CCA Communications Committee

For the second season, CCA is pleased to partner with Greystone Corporate Merchandise Solutions to assist camps with shopping and marketing.

With Greystone’s online, 24/7 service, you may choose from a wide variety of products and benefit from significant savings while building your camp’s market presence.

Click on the Greystone logo on the CCA Partners page and start shopping!

Greystone’s value proposition:

  • Greystone offers everyday low prices on all your basic Camp Store items. They also are proud to give back a percentage of every purchase to CCA.
  • Looking for a specific item? Greystone’s dedicated Custom Sales team is constantly searching for deals to save your camp money.
  • Greystone offers free art assistance and lightning fast service to help ensure your camp orders are on time and on budget. Silk screening and embroidery is their specialty.
  • Ask about their Embroidery Made Easy Process. Simply send Greystone an art file of your camp logo, and leave the rest to them! They will have a virtual sample back to you in 24-48 hours. Choose your colours, sign off and they are ready to embroider.

“The Inconvient Indian” – By Thomas King

Posted on March 19, 2013 by CCA Communications Committee

Thomas King’s  humorous, insightful and at times disturbing book, The Inconvient Indian, defines “Dead Indians” as, “the stereotypes and clichés that North America has conjured up out of experience and out of its collective imaginings and fears…war bonnets, beaded shirts, fringed deerskin dresses, loincloths, headbands, feathered lances, tomahawks, moccasins, face paint and bone chokers.”

King continues, “When we dance, when we sing at the drum, when we perform ceremonies, we are not doing it for North America’s entertainment  …we [Live Indians] do these things to remind ourselves of  who we are, to remind ourselves of where we come from, and to remind ourselves of our relationship with the earth…Land has always been a defining element of Aboriginal culture.  It provides water, air, shelter, and food.  Land participates in the ceremonies and songs.  And land is home…A great many Native people have a long-standing relationship with the natural world.  But that relationship is equally available to non-Natives.”  We don’t need to throw out the trappings, but this is the lesson we need to share with our campers.

King’s book helps us to understand and challenges us to confront the uncomfortable and urgent reality of native peoples today.

For those in the Toronto area, Kids in Camp Charity is hosting a fundraising event on Tuesday April 9, 2013.  After dinner, The Hon. Dr. Carolyn Bennett, P.C., M.D., will introduce Steve Paikin of TVO in conversation with Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Ph.D., Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) at Lakehead University about “Sharing Our Canadian Roots.”

The Value of Storytelling & Summer Camp

Posted on March 12, 2013 by Joe Richards

It all starts with a story – “Let me tell you about the time…”

For me it started when I was a camper. I loved campfires most of all – our camp had a campfire program each night. We only went to camp for one week and five times over that week we would all sit around the campfire circle and sing the songs, watch the skits and listen to the stories.

The stories caught my imagination and took me away to another place. By the flickering light of the campfire I listened to the camp staff share their stories. I was in the mountains and the mining town when I first heard the story of The Shooting of Dan McGrew; I was on the island as they told about a shipwreck; I was caught by surprise when the twist came. Storytelling is magical and should be an important part of the camp experience.

When we want to pass on some of the history of our camps, do we write it down and then pass the sheets around to all the campers so they can read about ‘Chief’ or ‘the one that got away’? No. We share these experiences in the form of stories. We use oral tradition to pass on the feeling, the emotion and the gravitas of the experience. Stories that we hear last long after other camp memories have faded. Our time at camp is remembered and shared through stories. Your campers go home each summer and tell thousands of stories about camp.

Storytelling was once an integral part of many camp programs and somewhere along the line it has faded. Building a tradition of storytelling within your camp culture can add a wealth of benefits. Stories help to teach lessons and morals that simple instruction cannot. Stories are one of the best ways to help a message stay with campers and often times campers will continue to think about that story long after a simple message would have faded.

How do we create a tradition of storytelling in our camp settings? A few simple suggestions:

1. Start telling stories – this sounds almost too simple, but if we don’t tell them we will not build that tradition

2. Tell, do not read – very few stories have to be read word for word. Help your camp staff make a story their own, change it, adapt it and make it something that they will be remembered for. Reading is story-time, not storytelling.

3. Interact with the Audience – choose stories that can include the campers with sounds and actions. Repetition in stories helps with this. The best part about the counsellor who told, by memory, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, is that he had sounds and actions associated with each character which made the campers hang on each word with anticipation to be ready to do their job.

4. Make the resources available – books with short stories should be available (Stories for the Campfire – Hanson, Roemmich). Have your staff come to camp ready with a story and get them to tell them during training – this helps them with public speaking and helps you to find the amazing storytellers that you might not have known existed.

Storytelling is an art that can be learned. Storytelling needs to be encouraged at camp. Storytelling is what we do each day when we try to explain why a child should go to camp. How good are you at storytelling?

Second National Camp T-Shirt Day

Posted on March 5, 2013 by Mike Stewart


We are pleased to announce the second annual Camp T-Shirt Day.

Encourage your campers, staff members, and others in your camp community to join the excitment on Wednesday, May 1 as we start the countdown to summer camp.

Please download our poster to share with your camp community (or get the jpeg version here)!

And, on May 1, be sure to share your camp t-shirt photos on the CCA Facebook and Twitter pages!