Archive for March, 2015

Camp Nursing – Circles of Care

Posted on March 31, 2015 by Catherine Ross

Mary Casey Camp Nursing Circles of CareCamp Nursing-Circles of Care is a popular and useful resource for camp nurses across the country.

Written by experienced camp nurse and award-winning author, Mary Casey BScN PHN, Camp Nursing-Circles of Care gives an overview of the multi-facetted job of a camp nurse. Spiral-bound for convenient reference, the book includes fifty pages of Treatment Guidelines, the accepted procedures for illness and accidents. The content and the principles presented are applicable to all camps.

Order from: or contact Mary Casey at

10 Reasons to Give Kids 10 Seconds

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Dr. Christopher Thurber

In a recent faculty meeting, our Director of Information Technology explained some upgrades to the school’s hardware and software. “One of the benefits of this series of upgrades,” she said, “will be faster load times on the pages you use most, such as the page for entering grades and comments.” One of my colleagues shot her hand up and shared how eagerly she was anticipating these technological enhancements “because some of the load times on these pages are devastatingly slow.” My curiosity piqued as she continued: “I’m sometimes having to wait 3 or 4 seconds. That’s unacceptable.” Wow. If 4 seconds is “devastatingly slow,” I shudder to think how this colleague might tolerate, for example, baking a batch of cookies.

Canadian summer camperI like fast Internet speeds just as much as the next person. And yes, baking is different from online surfing. Heck, 4 seconds is Bugatti-quality if we’re talking about acceleration from 0 to 60mph. Time is a constant, until you approach the speed of light, but the perception of speed is a function of the task. So the question is: How impatient have we become when we find a few seconds of waiting unacceptable?

Cultivating patience is something we all need to do, especially if we work with children. Here are 10 different reasons to give kids 10 seconds. (None involves the Internet. Patient or not, I think we can all agree that faster is better when it comes to page load times. Just don’t take it too hard when your browser takes a deep breath.)

  1. So you can better understand. Kids don’t always say what they mean. (“I’m bored.” “Math is stupid.” “The ref was an idiot.”) When you give yourself 10 seconds to consider how the words that come out of a child’s mouth may differ from their underlying meaning (“I’m sad.” “I don’t understand.” “I’m disappointed we lost.”) then you’ll be in a better position to provide empathy.
  2. So you don’t say something you regret. When you wait before you open your mouth—even if you’re not actually counting to ten—then you are less likely to yell, swear or exaggerate.
  3. So young people feel listened to. Even when you’re feeling calm and confident that you understand what a youngster is thinking and feeling, it can feel good to them when you occasionally pause before responding. It demonstrates you care without your having to say so.
  4. So others have a chance to respond. It’s easy to start believing that you have the best advice until you give other people—both children and adults—a chance to say something. Not only is that behavior deferential, it can also be enlightening.
  5. So that kids have time to process. All young people need time to think about what you’ve said or asked, especially those with a developmental disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Whenever any child is marching to the beat of a different drummer, it’s your job to slow down. Rather than repeat the question or decide for others, wait for them to formulate a response.
  6. So that you sound smarter. The first thing that comes to your mind may have merit, but the second and third things may be even better. It’s fine to say, “Hmm. Let me think about that for a second” and actually give yourself ten. Words of wisdom or more likely after you let a little time tick by.
  7. So that you’re sure the young person is done talking. Adults have a pesky habit of believing they know what a youngster is about to say. By occasionally waiting after one sentence concludes, we may be rewarded by a fresh sentence or a whole new idea. And we can be certain that we haven’t interrupted.
  8. So that play becomes more creative. Outside the confines of a conversation (the focus of reasons 1-7 above), we have other opportunities to give kids space. Play is one domain where adults are constantly interrupting young people. We give directions, advice and scripts when what we should be doing—in a free play situation—is playing along. Try asking a question, such as, “What happens next?” rather than being prescriptive, such as, “That should go here.”
  9. So that youngsters don’t feel “multitasked.” When adults slow down the pace of a verbal or nonverbal interaction with a child or adolescent, it usually means setting aside the mobile devices, the paperwork and the TV remote. Do what you can to provide your full attention, rather than dividing your attention. Quality suffers the more tasks you perform simultaneously.
  10. So that you develop a little more tolerance for waiting. Young people’s brains are still developing. Expect them to be impulsive, reckless, selfish, preoccupied, distractible and, sometimes, downright slow. Give them time to grow and learn without interrupting and rushing them.

Now it’s time to share a surprising piece of data: You don’t have an accurate perception of what 10 seconds feels like in an interaction with a young person. So count it out now, for practice. Stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself a complicated question. Now wait a full 10 seconds for the reply. One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand, six one thousand, seven one thousand, eight one thousand, nine one thousand, ten one thousand. Now you’ll be able to do it better in a real-life situation.

It may seem counterintuitive, but an upgrade to your interpersonal interactions entails slowing down, not speeding things up.

This article originally appeared in the Week-Ender blog, a product of Camp Business magazine. To subscribe to this content, visit

Reduce Your Camp’s Food Budget by 14%!

Posted on March 23, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

vegetables-573961_1920Harry Edwards, Past President of CCA and Executive Director of Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre, British Columbia, is a strong supporter of Foodbuy because, he tells us, they provide great service and save him money. If Harry’s endorsement sparks your interest, contact CCA Foodbuy representative, Brian Laughton ( /

Harry says:

In April of 2014, we made the conscious decision to join the Foodbuy Program and we can only say positive things. Brian Laughton and his team at Foodbuy have been ultra-responsive to any and all requests for help or guidance.

The program has proven to be far more beneficial than we had even hoped. In general, Foodbuy has reduced our food budget by more than 14% in the last 9 months when compared to year over year numbers. In addition to the reduced food cost, I know that we have saved money on other items that are also covered under the Foodbuy program i.e. office supplies, waste management products, etc. the list is extensive.

The bonus items that are clearly marked have netted us several thousand dollars in refund cheques from manufacturers. Cheques are always welcome at camp!

I would highly recommend to any camp whether big or small to have a cost analysis prepared by Foodbuy (it’s free) and I have no doubt that you will be pleasantly surprised at the cost savings potential for your camp.

Promoting Canadian Camps in China

Posted on March 21, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

The CCA has been invited to participate in an exhibition in Beijing, China in April where parents can look at the opportunities to send their children to Canadian camps. John Jorgenson will be there in his role as International Camping Fellowship President and will also represent the CCA component of the exhibition. We need your help to create an awesome Canada presentation that represents our industry nationwide.

We are asking for:

  • Pictures to be incorporated into a powerpoint
  • Video or vimeo clips

Please email pictures or links to video/vimeo clips to Jill Dundas at These must be received no later than Wednesday, April 1 in order to be incorporated prior to Jorgi’s departure.

Thanks so much!

Temporary Foreign Worker Webinar with Service Canada

Posted on March 19, 2015 by Jill Dundas

Service Canada will facilitate a webinar on March 25th from 1-2 pm eastern. They will address specific questions for those camps wanting to bring in foreign workers but are not eligible to utilize the charitable or religiously affiliated LMIA process. You are also welcome to join if you are just interested in hearing the information being provided.

Anyone who is interested in participating in this webinar is to contact Jill Dundas at no later than 11:00 am Eastern time on March 25th. All details for the webinar will be provided to those respondents as soon as received from Service Canada.

We apologize for the short time line with this opportunity.

Call for Nominations for CCA President

Posted on March 16, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

Harry Edwards, Past President of the Canadian Camping Association, invites nominations for the September 2015 election of the next CCA President.

Jill Dundas’s two year term ends December 31, 2015.

Deadline for nominations is April 30, 2015.

Please contact Harry at

2015 Bondar Challenge – Registration Now Open!

Posted on March 9, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

The Roberta Bondar Foundation is proud to offer the Summer Camp Bondar Challenge for the fourth year. The program brings art, science, photography, and outdoor learning to your camp.

Join camps from across Canada in the Bondar Challenge. The program focuses on engaging campers with the natural environment around camp. Campers are challenged to capture an image of their surroundings that highlights the unique biodiversity and ecosystem around camp, and then write an artist statement to accompany their photo. Campers and staff can use the Foundation’s provided materials and resources to help guide them through the challenge. The program fuses the art of photography with environmental sciences to promote a lifelong love of nature, protection of our environment and global citizenship.

The winning images and statements, and camps, will be recognized on the Foundation’s website and social media platforms. The winners will travel with the Foundation’s Travelling Exhibition and Learning Experience alongside the fine art works of Dr. Roberta Bondar in art galleries and museums across Canada.

For more information and to register your camp, visit the Foundation’s website. Registration will remain open until April 30, 2015 – 11:59PM (EST).

Role of the Foundation

The registration fee of $100 includes:

  • Unlimited use of the program for summer 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 and social media sites
  • Opportunity to apply for loan cameras

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.

Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play

Posted on March 8, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

Dr. Mark Tremblay, Director, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, working with twenty-one Canadian experts representing seventeen organizations, has prepared a draft Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play.

They are seeking feedback on the clarity of the Position Statement from YOU, a professional whose work is connected to children’s active outdoor play.

Dear Friends,

You are being invited to participate in a survey soliciting your opinion on the draft Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play, prepared by a group of 17 concerned Canadian organizations. You are being invited to participate because you are a practitioner whose work is in some way connected with children’s outdoor active play. In the past few decades, the prevalence of obesity, physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours among children in Canada has risen, and children are spending more time indoors and less time outdoors and with nature. A recent systematic review completed by our group uncovered strong evidence that children who spend more time outdoors have higher physical activity and lower sedentary behaviour levels. A second systematic review completed by our group showed that various forms of active outdoor play (e.g., independent mobility) are related to increased physical activity, decreased sedentary behaviour, and improved social outcomes in children. Despite these benefits of outdoor active and even risky play, the potential harms perceived to be associated with increased time in nature and the outdoors appear to be swinging the pendulum to a point where healthy child development may be at risk – ironically in an attempt to actually reduce risk.

Related to this, we brought together previously fractious/dissenting groups in the health promotion community to work constructively together for the promotion of childhood health and wellness. As a result, a group of 21 Canadian experts, representing 17 organizations, convened to examine the best available evidence on outdoor and risky active play and develop an evidence-informed position statement. This Position Statement outlines the evidence, and provides our recommendations for action. As the final stage in the development of this Position Statement we are seeking to gain feedback about the clarity of the Position Statement, as well as level of agreement, perceived importance, and support for the Position Statement from a large number of practitioners in the fields represented by each of the contributing collaborators (e.g., parks, green cities, pediatricians, physical activity).

Click on the link below for more information on the survey and instructions on how to get started.  Thanks for your time!

We encourage you to circulate the survey link to your colleagues and among your networks. This stakeholder survey will be open until March 15, 2015. 

Participation in this survey is voluntary. By accessing and completing this survey you are giving your implied/passive consent to participate in the survey. The survey does not collect information about your name or email address and responses will be presented in group format only. A summary of findings will be available on the HALO website ( once the results have been published and will also be sent to participating organizations for distribution to members. If you have any questions about this study, please contact Dr. Mark Tremblay at 613-737-7600 ext 4114 or The CHEO Research Ethics Board (REB) has reviewed this protocol. The REB considers ethical aspects of all research studies involving human participants at the CHEO and its Research Institute. If you have any questions about your rights as a study participant, you may contact the CHEO REB Chairperson at 613-737-7600 ext 3624. Note: This Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play is in draft form and not intended for general circulation

Call For Papers: Canadian Camp Research Award of Excellence

Posted on March 2, 2015 by CCA Communications Committee

Camp Directors: Please forward to your present and former staff.

The annual Award honours and celebrates excellence in research and writing that makes a significant contribution to the body of academic literature relevant to the organized camping movement in Canada. It encourages graduate students, faculty and independent scholars to examine issues and/or practicalities of camp phenomena from a social, educational, economic, technological, political, natural and/or organizational perspective from any academic discipline or professional field.

For details, please click here.