Posts Tagged ‘National Leadership Forum’

National Leadership Forum, November 2017

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Catherine Ross

In late November 2107, twenty-three Canadian camping leaders met for two days at Camp Elphinstone on the Sunshine Coast of beautiful British Columbia. The group included five recently-elected provincial Presidents and two newly-appointed Administrative Staff, all keen to learn and to share.

President Stephane Richard led us through a packed agenda, which included items of importance to every camp in Canada.

We celebrated our successes:

  • Working with Tactix, a lobbying firm, camps are now exempt from the Labour Market Assessment requirement and may hire temporary foreign counsellor staff.
  • Biannually, Tactix provides a federal and provincial audit of all anticipated legislation that could affect camps. This enables our industry to be proactive rather than reactive.
  • Stephane Richard and Donna Wilkinson ran a successful International Camp Directors Course for a maximum twenty-six participants at Elphinstone in November.
  • We now have five qualified Lead ICDC trainers, two of whom are bilingual, which will allow us to offer a bilingual course in 2018.
  • Gabrielle Raill, creator of the National Marketing Campaign, Thanks to Camp, reported that we have exceeded our goal for the number of camps participating in the first year while urging the camps that are not yet involved to get on board NOW! When the campaign was presented at the International Congress in Sochi in October 2017, it attracted international interest, opening up the possibility of revenue generation. The second phase of the campaign, More Than Just Fun, is on track to be launched in February, 2018.

We were invited to participate in two important initiatives:

  1. Dr. Laurie Browne, American Camp Association Director of Research, described ACA’s current groundbreaking Five -Year Impact Study, Research 360 and invited CCA’s participation as an oversample. The purpose of the study is to explore if and how camp experiences prepare youth for college, career and adult lives outside of camp. A decision to participate must be made by December 2017.
  2. Eric Shendelman, OCA President, attended a meeting of the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition and offered to share their October 2017 report with the NLF. To assist them in their task, Co-chairs, Lisa Hanson Ouellette and Dr. Steve Beerman are asking the CCA to provide data on their camps, campers and water based programs. Eric will circulate an online survey to the provinces to achieve this purpose.

We accepted a challenge:

A newly formed committee will seek alternate resources to enable us to continue to finance our programs and initiatives that benefit all camps. Marketing, research and lobbying have been identified as important national programs. With additional funding, we could accept the offer of the Quebec Camping Association to translate their newly created Emergency Procedures and Inclusion documents.

CCA Builds Bridges not Walls

Posted on November 21, 2016 by Catherine Ross

On the day of and the day prior to the US Presidential election, the sixth annual National Leadership Forum of eighteen camping leaders convened at Camp Tawingo in Huntsville, Ontario.

Stephane Richard (CCA President-Elect), Jill Dundas (CCA President), and Harry Edwards (Past President) at the National Leadership Forum.

Stephane Richard (CCA President-Elect), Jill Dundas (CCA President), and Harry Edwards (Past President) at the National Leadership Forum.

Following Trump’s election, we witnessed protest marches on both sides of the US. On the contrary, guided through a packed agenda by CCA President Elect, Stephane Richard, we departed to our separate provinces committed to build bridges not walls and launch several, exciting, national initiatives.

Despite the limited time and the temptation to be outside by the lake in the glorious November sunshine rather than inside at a board table, we accomplished much:

  • We reviewed the provincial reports, and identified common themes and challenges.
  • We heard presentations from two potential partners: one to reduce the overwhelming paperwork load for camp administrators onboarding staff and a second to reduce the risk and increase the safety of campers with allergies.
  • We agreed to nurture our ongoing partnerships with Foodbuy, Sterling BackCheck, ChariTree and the Roberta Bondar Foundation.
  • In 2017, we will launch two new programs: CCA Connects, a program to gather national camping data, and a National Marketing Campaign.
  • Jeff Willis of British Columbia challenged us to become allies of the indigenous peoples. We committed to a future round table discussion to explore ways to connect with indigenous campers.
  • We learned that twenty camp leaders, both national and international, would participate in the International Camp Directors Course immediately following the Forum.
  • We learned about the many research projects now underway that will increase the knowledge of our industry and help us to improve the experience for our campers.
  • Skip Connett, Chair of the Insurance Committee, informed us that property damage caused by weather conditions played a large role in insurance claims. He mentioned that if marijuana becomes legal, directors will need to consider re-wording camp policies.
  • We confirmed our ongoing commitment to lobby governments on issues that impact camps.

President Jill Dundas has kept us on track for the past three years as we began to implement the vision identified for CCA. Thank you, Jill!

The Board Members, Committee Chairs, Provincial Presidents and Executive Directors departed from the 6th National Leadership Forum united and willing to give Stephane Richard their full co-operation and commitment when he begins in January 2017 to lead us to realize our ambitious dream for CCA. Good luck, Stephane!

Together We Are Stronger

Posted on December 1, 2015 by Catherine Ross

Canadian Camping Association National Leadership Forum November 2015

Delegates to the National Leadership Forum gathered in Bromont, QC in November 2015

In November 16, 2015, twenty six leaders in Canadian Camping including CCA Board Members, Provincial Representatives and Committee Chairs, Executive Directors and Provincial Presidents gathered at Chateau Bromont, Quebec. John Jorgenson, President of the International Camping Fellowship, opened with an inspiring message which concluded: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.  Quebec presented three new programs, which we hope to share soon with the rest of the country:

  • Shape Up, a program designed to help summer camps incorporate healthy habits.
  • Sentinel, a computerized platform to assess a camp’s financial health
  • A complete tool kit for the integration of special needs campers.

CCA leaders determine three priorities at November 2014 National Leadership Forum

Posted on January 11, 2015 by Catherine Ross

On November 17 and 18, 2014, twenty-nine Canadian camping leaders met for the National Leadership Forum at the Toronto Airport Holiday Inn. The participants included the CCA Board, Provincial Presidents, Executive Directors and National Committee and Task Force Chairs.

On the second day, after hearing reports from every province and committee the participants focused on three priorities: marketing, education and lobbying.


Chair, Liz Kovach (Executive Director for Manitoba) with assistance from Gabrielle Raille (ICF Representative) of Quebec will form a task force of provincial representatives to develop a National Marketing Campaign. Before seeking professional input, they will begin by answering two questions:

  1. What is the message?
  2. Who is our target group?


John Savage (CCA Board Representative for New Brunswick) with assistance from Sean Day (CCA Board Representative from Quebec) is committed to hosting a Canadian Camp Directors Course in New Brunswick in the Fall of 2015 with leadership from Jane McCutcheon (former CCA Treasurer) and Jeff Bradshaw (Camp Wenonah).


Currently, Mark Diamond (Director of Camp Manitou, Ontario) is the Chair of the CCA Lobbying Committee, which was established in the Spring of 2014 to address pending federal legislation affecting camps. Jill Dundas (CCA President) and Jonathan Nyquist (CCA Board Representative for Ontario) are members. The intention is to expand the committee to include a representative from every province to act as a watch dog for pending legislation affecting their camps and disseminate relevant information to their camps.

Earlier efforts, which were focused on Transport Canada legislation, were successful in negotiating a camp-specific course for camp boat drivers that is less onerous than the Small Vessel Operator Proficiency. Decisions are being made on how and by whom this course will be delivered to camps for summer 2015. Work is ongoing on insurance requirements for camp boats.

Attention then focused on Foreign Workers Legislation. The hope is for current exemptions for charitable and religious camps to continue while gaining an exemption for all camps. CCA is budgeting to cover all costs of lobbying on national legislation pertaining to camps.

CCA Priorities: Lobbying and Legislation

Posted on March 31, 2014 by CCA Communications Committee

After identifying the awareness of new legislation and government lobbying as priorities at the November 2013 National Leadership Forum, the CCA pleased to announce that it has:

  • Committed $4,000 annually for Global Public Affairs to provide semi-annual audits of federal and provincial legislation affecting camps.
  • Contributed $11,500 to date to assist the Ontario Camps Association with Global Public Affairs fees related to the Transport Canada legislation and will continue to financially support OCA with lobbying related to this national issue.
  • Committed $10,000 to assist OCA to continue working with Transport Canada to develop a camp-specific, shorter, less expensive program to qualify camp boat drivers, a course which would be less onerous than the Small Vessel Operators Proficiency (SOVP).

An Unprecedented Collaboration of Canadian Camping Leaders

Posted on February 3, 2014 by Catherine Ross

Canadian Camping Association National Leadership ForumIn November, 27 leaders in Canadian camping including Provincial Presidents, Executive Directors and representatives of every province met in Toronto for the third National Leadership Forum.

Facilitated by Jill Dundas, CCA President Elect, this capable and committed group collaborated to frame the future direction for the Canadian Camping Association.

The gathering began with a report on the status of current programs and a commitment to continue to provide current services: CCA Insurance, tree planting, the Roberta Bondar Challenge, BackCheck, Awards Program, Research, and website, Facebook and Twitter communications.

The participants then drafted an ambitious plan to support the camping industry with several exciting new initiatives:

  • Creating a national database of Canadian camps
  • Collaborating with the University of Dalhousie on a research project to study camper resilience
  • Establishing a CCA lobby/advocacy committee to work directly with a government relations firm to produce a semi-annual audit of federal and provincial legislation affecting camps
  • Developing a comprehensive communications strategy
  • Planning a national conference for 2016
  • Gathering statistical information annually through the provincial membership renewal process for marketing and lobbying.

The CCA Board is charged with finding the volunteers and financial resources to implement these programs.

We want to hear your comments, suggestions and/or offers of assistance! Please feel free to contact Jill Dundas, and be part of the exciting future for Canadian camping! You can reach Jill by email at

Honouring Dr. Troy Glover

Posted on December 9, 2013 by Mike Stewart

At the recent National Leadership Forum of camping professionals from across Canada, CCA presented Dr. Troy Glover, Associate Professor, Director of the Healthy Communities Research Network, University of Waterloo, with the Jack Pearse Award of Honour.

Dr. Glover directed the six-year study, the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project, which proves the great benefits of camp for children and youth. In the final phase of the research, parents confirmed that the proven benefits extend beyond camp.

For a complete report of the study, please click here.

Dr. Stephen Fine, CCA Research Chair, discusses the findings in this ACA article.