[:en]Camp on the Move[:fr]Un camp mobile en pleine ville[:]

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Muskoka Woods City Camp Canadian Camping Association

Courtesy MuskokaWoods.com

During the summer months, two teams of twenty staff travel to thirteen locations across the Greater Toronto Area. Accompanied by a twenty-six foot truck packed with equipment, the teams provide week-long camps to about 60 guests. Director of City Camps, Jeremy Laverty, created and now manages the mobile camp program for Muskoka Woods. Future plans include expansion across Canada.

With seven years of experience as a summer day camp director and year- round program manager, Jeremy approached Muskoka Woods with a proposal to expand their resident camp program to include a day camp on a Toronto site. Muskoka Woods, founded in 1979 by John and Marie Boddy, is a year-round Christian Youth Resort on Lake Rosseau, Ontario, which annually receives 28,000 guests. As a former, summer camp, staff member at Muskoka Woods, Jeremy had identified the camp as having the resources and brand recognition to make his proposal successful. Several meetings and business plans later, the concept for a mobile day camp emerged.

In January 2014, Jeremy looked at a number of American camps that had been extremely successful in pioneering the mobile day camp business model.  In May, they started marketing the Toronto area mobile camp and in summer 2014 put one team on the road to four sites and provided six weeks of camp for a total of 200 guests.  In September 2014, two more full time staff were hired and planning began for 2015. In summer 2015, two staff teams went on the road to thirteen sites at churches and private schools and provided fifteen weeks of camp for almost 600 guests.

With an emphasis on cabin grouping and a wide range of activities, their goal is to provide “an overnight camp-style experience closer to home.” Another aim is to introduce camping to populations that are not familiar with camping as part of their culture. The intent is to expand the program provincially and eventually nationally.

For more information on MuskokaWoods CityCamp please see MuskokaWoods.com.[:fr]

Muskoka Woods City Camp Canadian Camping Association

Courtesy MuskokaWoods.com

L’été, deux équipes de 20 personnes sillonnent le Grand Toronto avec un camion de 26 pieds rempli de matériel. Elles s’arrêtent dans 13 villes pour y offrir un camp d’une semaine à une soixantaine de jeunes. C’est le directeur des camps urbains, Jeremy Laverty, qui a créé le programme de camp mobile de Muskoka Woods, qu’il administre aujourd’hui avec une équipe du tonnerre. La prochaine étape? Offrir ce programme ailleurs au Canada.

Après sept ans comme directeur de camps de jour estivaux et responsable de programmes sur toute l’année, Jeremy propose à l’équipe de Muskoka Woods un nouveau projet : offrir un camp de jour à Toronto en plus des traditionnels séjours en colonie de vacances. Muskoka Woods, fondé en 1979 par John et Marie Boddy, est un camp pour jeunes chrétiens situé sur les berges du lac Rosseau, en Ontario. Ouvert toute l’année, il accueille 28 000 jeunes par an. Ayant déjà travaillé pour les camps d’été de Muskoka Woods, Jeremy sait que l’organisation a les ressources et la notoriété nécessaires pour mener à bien son projet. Plusieurs rencontres et quelques plans d’affaires plus tard, le concept de camp de jour mobile est né.

En janvier 2014, Jeremy étudie le travail de camps américains ayant créé des camps de jour mobiles extrêmement populaires. En mai, Muskoka Woods commence à faire la promotion de son camp mobile dans la région de Toronto; pendant l’été, une équipe se déplace à quatre endroits pour offrir six semaines de camp à 200 jeunes. En septembre 2014, deux autres employés à temps plein sont engagés, et l’équipe commence à planifier la saison 2015. À l’été 2015, deux équipes s’installent sur 13 terrains d’églises et d’écoles privées pour offrir 15 semaines de camp à près de 600 jeunes.

Avec ses petits groupes et ses activités très variées, le programme propose aux jeunes l’équivalent d’une colonie de vacances près de chez eux. Il vise aussi à faire découvrir les camps aux communautés culturelles qui ne connaissent pas ce concept. La prochaine étape? Offrir le programme ailleurs en Ontario, puis ailleurs au Canada.[:]

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About Catherine Ross

Catherine's lifelong love of camping began in 1953 when she accompanied her mother, the new camp cook, to Camp Tanamakoon in Algonquin Park. She remained at Tan until 1978 as a camper and in several staff roles. After five years as a teacher, in 1979, Catherine and her husband George purchased Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da for girls in Parry Sound, Ontario which they owned for 20 years. Catherine has served on the Board of the Ontario Camps Association, and is Past President of the Society of Camp Directors. She is served as Communications Officer on the Board of the CCA, as is a recipient of the CCA's Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award. She is past editor of Camps Canada, published by the CCA, and the OCAsional News, the newsletter of the OCA. She is the author of four publications. Her articles on camping have appeared in numerous magazines.
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