Call for Papers – Research Award of Excellence

Posted on October 10, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The annual CCA Research Award of Excellence competition honours, celebrates and promotes research that contributes significantly to the growing body of academic literature relevant to the organized children’s camping movement in Canada.

It encourages graduate students and faculty to examine issues and/or practicalities that relate to child and youth development, enhancement of the quality of life, creating and enabling the experience, and the role of “camp” in its social, political and physical environment yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The submission deadline for the CCA Research Award is on November 30, 2019.

Camp Directors, Owners, and Boards – please forward this notice to your staff and alumni. Anyone, from senior undergraduates to PhD candidates, is welcome and encouraged to submit!

The Call for Papers includes full details and submission requirements, and can be found here.

CCA Awards – Nominate Someone Today

Posted on October 8, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The CCA is proud to have a national awards recognition program that honours outstanding achievement and contribution by Canadian camp leaders, camps, associations and institutions.

The CCA Awards Program recognizes individuals, camps, agencies or corporations. Written online nominations, from any member of the CCA (including individuals) must be submitted by October 31, 2019 for consideration.

Once approved by the Committee/Board, the awards will be presented by a member of the CCA Board/PCA at a Provincial Camping Association’s annual meeting or other suitable gathering. 

Just a reminder, nominations for a camp or an organization must come from an external source.

Please visit here for more information or to look up the criteria for the different awards that are presented.

Remembering Bruce Hodgins (1931-2019)

Posted on August 30, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

By Barb & Peter Gilbert

While we were sad to learn of the death of our friend and camping colleague, Bruce Hodgins, it was uplifting to read the obituaries with details of his many accomplishments.  To his academic accomplishments and his leadership at Camp Wanapitei, we can add his significant contributions to camping in Ontario and indeed across Canada.

In the 60’s and leading up to the Centenary Journey in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s Centennial, Bruce was an extremely active member of the committee that organized campers in every province who paddled a section of a cross-Canada route, which the committee laid out from coast to coast.  Bruce’s expertise in Canadian history and canoe routes was a key to the success of this project.

In 1989, Bruce was a founding member of a committee whose purpose was to develop an annual writing award program with the objective of attracting academic papers relevant to organized children’s camping in Canada to the Camping Collections at the Trent University Archives. The Society of Camp Directors Writing Awards Program attracted submissions in both English and French from across Canada and the United States.  Bruce chaired this committee from 1996 to 2010. From 1996 to 2012, Bruce was also Chair of the OCA Archives Committee ensuring that camp records have a place in the Trent University Archives and can be accessed by researchers around the world.

From 2006-2009, Bruce chaired a committee that planned and executed the Ontario Journey to celebrate OCA’s 75th anniversary.  As a culmination of the event, The Ontario Journey, which recorded the various historical trips (hiking, sailing, kayaking, canoeing) taken by campers from many camps across the province, was published in 2009.

Bruce played a key role in setting up in 2013 the annual Canadian Camping Association/association des camps du Canada Prize for Excellence in Research competition which honours, celebrates and promotes excellence in research that contributes significantly to the growing body of academic literature relevant to the organized children’s camping movement in Canada.

In recognition of  his numerous contributions and leadership, Bruce received the Dorothy Walter Award of Excellence from OCA and the Jack Pearse Award of Honour from CCA in 2013.

Always thinking, always enjoying life to its fullest, remembering the past and looking to the future, a true believer in the value of children’s camping, Bruce will be remembered as a true camper and an example for us all.

Request for Services – International Camping Fellowship

Posted on April 9, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The International Camping Fellowship is seeking self-employed individuals or third-party companies that can provide services to the organization.

Formally established in 1988, the ICF has been governed and managed by volunteers from around the world. As the work of the association becomes more diverse the demands on volunteer time has led to the realization that in order to allow the volunteers to “dream” and expand the mandate of the association it is necessary to have a paid service provider undertake certain functions so that we can release the pressure of being a volunteer.

Please review the Request for Services for more information.

Newcomers Love Camp!

Posted on April 3, 2019 by Catherine Ross

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting a Syrian family of seven that arrived in Toronto in March 2017 after time spent in Iraq. In two short years, the father has secured full time work in his field as a cook. The mother attends English classes five days a week where her youngest daughter also attends daycare.  She has learned to drive and has recently passed her license.  The other four children attend school.  As well as learning English (which at present they are speaking very well), they are also studying French, thereby adding two new languages to their current fluency in Arabic and Kurdish. I was impressed!

The four older children, ranging in age from five to fourteen, are anxious for winter to end.  They are looking ahead excitedly to returning to day camp for a week at the end of August.  They are not fond of the cold weather; Nihad told me that he liked camp because “every day there was sun.”

For the past two years the children have experienced camp thanks to the generosity of Seneca: King Day Camp one of the eighty day and overnight Ontario Accredited Camps that are making the experience available to newcomers to Canada at no cost. 

The children eagerly talked about their summer experience.  For Shahid, canoeing was the best thing. She also described the excitement of rock climbing.  “Going up was fun; I made it almost to the top, but I didn’t like going down.” Shahid is excited about the possibility of going to an overnight camp for a week with her school class next year.

 Appreciative that the counsellor was responsible for putting the worm on the hook, the three older children went fishing.  While the others were unsuccessful, Mohamednour mentioned that he caught three fish.  However, he was not particularly excited because he doesn’t like to eat fish!  Not a problem  ̶  they were all released and thrown back into the lake.

Without a doubt, the best thing about camp for Nihad was soccer.  He is an ardent Real Madrid fan.  When I told him that my grandson’s favourite team was Arsenal, he grinned and replied, “They are a weak team.”  

 The first summer, their camp was on a college campus with mostly indoor activities.  Last summer they were in an outdoor setting with a lake and woods, which they liked much better. They loved being outdoors swimming in the lake almost every day.  Camp has become an important part of a new life in Canada for these children contributing to their feeling of welcome and safety as well as introducing them to exciting new activities.

Youth Impact Study

Posted on March 22, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

In the Fall of 2018 findings from the American Camp Association/Canadian Camping Association Youth Impact Study were presented at the National Leadership Forum Moncton, NB.

The project’s aims and methods aligned with the National Research Council’s work on college and career readiness, which means that reports on the results of this project will help position camp within the broader context of youth development programs.

Funding for the Canadian version of the project was generously provided by the following: Alberta Camping Association – $15,000.00, Saskatchewan Camping Association – $6000.00, Ontario Camps Association – $5000.00, and The Society of Camp Directors – $1335.00 (1st of 3 installments).

The final report is available for download.

Congratulations to the 2018 CCA Award Winners!

Posted on March 18, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The Canadian Camping Association is pleased to announce three recipients of the 2018 CCA Awards: Catherine Ross (Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award), Neita Avery (Award of Excellence), and Valery Kostin (Special Recognition Award – Honorary CCA Membership).


Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2018)

Catherine has a long history as a leader in Canadian camping, and she has left a legacy of meaningful work that has impacted campers, staff, and camp professionals across the country in profound ways.

Significantly, Catherine was the first Communications Officer of the CCA, and volunteered in that role for nine years. As Communications Officer, Catherine pioneered the correspondence with camps across the country once the internet, email, websites, and social media became methods of communicating. As a CCA Board member Catherine also spearheaded the successful tree planting program, which has seen over 100,000 trees planted since its inception by hundreds of campers at dozens of camps across Canada.

Catherine is a founding Board member of Kids In Camp charity, and continues to sit on the KIC Board as Campership Chair. Catherine is a renowned author, having written books that highlight the history of several private camps in Ontario, and she also published the popular staff training resource “How to be a Camp Counsellor…the best job in the world!”.

Catherine was a member of the 1994 International Camping Congress Program Committee that welcomed camping professionals from 32 countries to Canada. She is an Honourary Life Member of the Ontario Camps Association, is a past OCA Board member, was a long-time OCA standards committee member and visitor, and volunteered on the OCA Archives Committee. Catherine is a past Chair of the OCA Conference Committee, and she has been, and continues to be, an active committee member. Catherine is also a former President and Board member of the Society of Camp Directors.

As anyone who has sat on a Board or committee with Catherine can attest, she tirelessly volunteers to take minutes of any meeting, any time. Catherine was a camper and long-time staff member at Camp Tanamakoon in Algonquin Park in Ontario.

She and her husband George purchased Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da near Parry Sound, Ontario in 1979, where Catherine was Camp Director for 20 years.


Award of Excellence (2018)

Neita served Rock Lake United Church Camp (RLUCC) in Manitoba for over 20 years as secretary / treasurer, board chair, and board member. There is nobody more dedicated to the success of RLUCC than Neita. She has been the face of the camp for as long as many people can remember.

Neita is willing to do anything it takes to make camp a success. As she soon approaches her 90th birthday, she can still be found walking through the crawlspace to turn on the walk-in cooler or collecting water to send for testing. She mows lawns, bakes cookies, arranges camperships, and recruits counsellors. The list of what she has done and will do for the camp is endless.

Neita is constantly thinking about the camp and what more she can do to promote it. She is never seen without a handful of RLUCC brochures in her purse, and she is always talking to people about the camp. She has arranged for fundraisers, new equipment, grants, and so much more. She has done it all with a smile on her face, and if you try to give her credit where it is definitely due, she brushes it off.

This year, Neita has been pretty firm in her decision to leave the role she has served so faithfully for so many years. There is no better way to conclude her time at RLUCC than to honour her with this award, and it couldn’t go to a sweeter, more dedicated woman.


Special Recognition Award – Honorary CCA Membership (2018)

Since his first appearance on the North American camping scene in 1990 , Valery Kostin has been a friend to Canada. As a camp director of Diamond Camp in the huge Soviet camping complex known as Artek, and as a product of the camping system there himself, Valery brought to North America his communication skills, his enthusiasm and his knowledge to enrich us all about a wider world of camping. The special friendship between the camp communities in Canada and Russia is due, in large part, to his role as permanent, goodwill ambassador.

Since that time, Valery has brought delegations of campers, staff and directors to Canadian camps and conferences for sharing and knowledge. In 1994, as a member of the International Camping Fellowship (and again in 2008) , Valery led the largest delegation from outside North America to the International Camping Congresses in Toronto and Quebec. Later, in Russia, in both 1997 and 2017, Valery was the driving force behind as well as the charming face in front of the International Congresses in St Petersburg and Sochi.

Valery has spoken at several provincial conferences in Canada and brought along additional Russian camping leaders and delegations to do the same. In recent summers, he has also assisted numerous camps to secure excellent international staff into their camps.  For any camping professional travelling to Russia, Valery manages to somehow clear his schedule and provide first class, personal attention and assistance in trip details and goes the extra mile to provide additional enhancements.

“From Russia with Love” is often a byline quoted by Valery. It is more than just a phrase – – –  Valery provides the very best demonstration of the fact that one person can make a difference. He has done so for camping in Canada and his love of peace, friendship and international understanding is evident in everything he does. Canada and Russia share more than a love of winter, a love of camping and a love of children. We also share Valery – – – a Russian with love.

CCA-ChariTREE: 10 TREE-mendous years together

Posted on March 15, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

The ChariTREE Foundation just completed their 10th TREE-mendous year planting trees with Canadian Camping Association!

“Thanks to all CCA campers, staff and volunteers and of course the remarkable Catherine Ross, my mentor from Camp Mi-A-Kon-Da ~ who all worked together to plant thousands of trees across Canada over the last ten summers,” said Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder, The ChariTree Foundation.

She says she plans to take a break from this project to dig into a few new national and international kids climate action, food and water development projects by partnering with a new bigger charity she will help launch in 2019.

In the past ten years, more than 100,000 children (closer to 119,000) had the opportunity to plant a tree at a summer camp across Canada, participating in a ground-breaking national children’s environmental education project.

“Thank you again for this great initiative. Wonderful idea, and a hit with our campers,” said Miles Villneff, Assistant Director, Onondaga Camp, Toronto.

This hands-on project was a fun way to get kids outside, teach them to plant trees and care about something beyond themselves. “I’m so happy kids had the opportunity to learn more about trees and their contribution in the world,” Koehle Jones said. “I love projects that educate and empower kids to know that they can help make the world a better place. I am thankful for CCA’s support and all camp staff that helped out ~ and I’m especially proud of every child that planted a tree.”

“It is amazing to see seedlings that we had planted two years ago thriving and growing all over our property,” said- Meg Doherty, Camp Ekon, Rosseau.

Next Steps

Instead of offering trees to camps in 2019,  The ChariTree Foundation is expanding its environmental education reach by will  be helping to send kids to camps and schools with environmental education programs.

ChariTree is already helping to send inner city classes to Camp Kawartha’s outdoor learning programs and sending campers who can’t afford camp to other Canadian environmental education camps. 

Contact The ChariTREE Foundation if your camp or school offers outdoor learning, tree planting, or environmental education programs and is a REGISTERED CANADIAN CHARITY. ChariTree can only donate to other registered Canadian charities.

Remembering Joe Kronick

Posted on March 11, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

It is with sadness that we share the news of Joe Kronick’s passing.

Joe was the founder and long time Director of Camp White Pine in Haliburton, Ontario. Joe was a recipient of the Ron Johnstone Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, in recognition of his significant contributions to CCA and camps in Canada. He was an active member of the CCA Insurance Committee, and was a driving force behind the insurance policies that are now available to camps across the country.

In remembering Joe, his family wrote:

Today we lost the heart and soul of White Pine. Since 1956, Joe Kronick lived and breathed camp. He filled it with love and life, creating the most magical place for thousands of people to call home. For a man who was larger than life he created a legacy that spans generations.

We will always remember Joe for the impact he’s had on so many, but even more so we will remember him for the kind, loving and funny grandfather he was to us.

Joe, even though you are no longer with us, White Pine will forever hold the love that you had for it. You will always be the heart of White Pine and every time we walk past a Buffalo, we promise we will pick it up.

Jesse, Sammy, Gabby, Eugene and Taylor

Empatico: a FREE program for your camp!

Posted on March 5, 2019 by CCA Communications Committee

Connect your campers with other campers from around the world this summer!

The Canadian Camping Association is pleased to introduce Empatico for Camps, a free online tool that provides Canadian camps with opportunities to be matched with camps in the United States and Mexico.

The goal of Empatico is for campers to see how their peers around the world live, and to share and celebrate their lives and communities.It’s FREE to sign up, and easy to bring to your camp! All you need is an internet connection and a device with a camera.

Learn more about Empatico