In 2017, twenty-three camps across the country and thousands of campers participated in the Summer Camp Bondar Challenge. With direction form trained camp staff (training material available online and in hardcopy), campers took their cameras outdoors to explore, observe, appreciate, and photograph nature. Include this great program at your camp this summer!
The deadline to apply is May 1, 2018.
Fore more information, or to sign up, please visit http://www.therobertabondarfoundation.org/the-bondar-challenge/summer-camp-bondar-challenge/
Here’s My Canada is a Canada 150 Signature project and is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Bank of Montreal.
Please visit HeresMyCanada.ca for more information on how your camp can participate.
For the ninth year, CCA partners with Andrea Koehle Jones, Executive Director, ChariTree Foundation, to offer free seedlings to all Canadian camps. Planting a tree is a powerful way to teach kids that they have the power to make Canada and the world a better place. Click (link) for the full details on how to participate.
This program is open to all Canadian camps, including camps that planted trees in previous years. We urge all camps to participate and to benefit from the program while celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.
The camp agrees to:
For more information on Andrea Koehle Jones and the ChariTree Foundation see Charitree-foundation.org.
Alberta: Ted Lockie (Ted.Lockie@diabetes.ca)
Saskatchewan: Donna Wilkinson (email@example.com)
Manitoba: Kim Scherger (KimScherger@manitobacamping.ca)
Ontario: Jen Gilbert (firstname.lastname@example.org)
New Brunswick: John Savage (John@campcentennial.ca)
Newfoundland: Malcolm Turner (email@example.com)
In summer 2016, campers across Canada planted over 13,000 trees provided by the ChariTREE Foundation. The Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary. CCA has partnered with the ChariTREE Foundation since 2009.
Comments from participating camps confirm the many benefits of this program include:
Thank you for this continuing opportunity. We value the focus The ChariTREE Foundation provides to involve our campers in forest sustainability. ~ Jocelyn Palm, Director / Owner, Glen Bernard Camp
There is something hopeful in the act of planting a tree. Our campers enjoy enhancing our habitats, increasing bio-diversity and just being in nature. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity. You are growing hope for a greener future. ~ J. Rodenburg, Camp Kawartha
Thank you for your generosity and work as a charity. This is an incredible program for our camp, staff and campers. It is our 70th anniversary at Camp Couchiching so we are planting one of these trees in honor of each of our years in operation. Many thanks for being a part of this and contributing to our success this summer. ~ Ross McIntyre, Associate Director, Camp Couchiching
The trees we received from the ChariTree Foundation were planted during our Family Camp. Your donation is greatly appreciated as the Emerald Ash Borer has left many holes in our camp’s forest canopy. The White Spruce trees will help to replace the loss of our Ash trees. ~ Sarah Leitch, Camp Manager, Disciples Conference Grounds
Join the over 280,000 Canadians who took the Citizenship Challenge by registering your group. Your campers can learn about Canada with free bilingual learning tools and then take the mock citizenship quiz for a chance to win great prizes like a trip to Ottawa, books and mittens!
See citizenshipchallenge.ca/teacher/register for full details and to register your group.
“What is it?” asked my cabin leader, gently. We both eyed my clay creation as it emerged from the camp kiln, glazed and cooled. I was 12, so I hadn’t made a something; I’d made an anything. It had just been fun to pinch and push the clay for our hour-long arts and crafts period. Now came the hard part: I needed to identify my project.
“Hmm…” I thought out loud.
Finally, my cabin leader said confidently, “Oh, I see. It’s an ashtray.”
And there it was. The year was 1980, so it was still permissible to make an ashtray. Today, the same object would clearly be a politically correct candy dish or a heart-healthy, hypoallergenic soy nut dish. In any case, it was what it was and there it was. Like most arts-and-crafts projects at camp, it was, more than anything else, an expressive snapshot of my thoughts, feelings, and actions at the time of creation. It was simple and personal. Which is probably why it still sits (sans ashes) on my mother’s writing desk.
Volumes are written about what makes art art and what differentiates art from craft, so instead of writing an essay on aesthetics, I just want to share why I think arts and crafts at camp are so meaningful. In my mind, anything creative and pleasing to the senses can be art. Crafts, on the other hand, are construction skills, often learned through apprenticeship. Naturally, arts and crafts go hand-in-hand. Michelangelo used the craft of stone carving to create pieces of art like David. At camp, children learn crafts such as weaving and woodworking to create pieces of art such as baskets and birdhouses. To what end?
Contemporary conceptualizations of the human mind include the idea of multiple intelligences. Simply put, we have different domains of cognitive strength—such as mathematical, social, verbal, artistic—and those domains complement each other. So combining some athletic and social activities at camp with some arts-and-crafts actually feeds kids’ brains. It’s kind of like intellectual cross-training. The trouble with some camp arts-and-crafts programs is they are either marginalized or mechanized.
Marginalization occurs when the leadership at camp fails to create an atmosphere where art is valued. Arts-and-crafts becomes an “uncool” program activity and few campers attend the lame periods that are offered. The campers who do participate are labeled in ways that suggest they must not be athletic, adventuresome, or heterosexual.
Mechanization occurs when the leadership at camp relies on kits rather than creativity. Arts-and-crafts devolves into campers purchasing nearly-assembled moccasins, birdhouses, wallets, etc. The activity periods—if you want to call them that—involve very little activity besides counselors explaining to kids how to interpret the kit’s assembly directions. Creative juices dry up along with the seed for self-esteem: a genuine sense of accomplishment.
At the best camps, arts-and-crafts programs flourish because the leadership recognizes the value of a balanced program of activities—something that includes athletics, adventure, and art. Equally important, these programs flourish because campers are challenged to refine their crafty skills, solve problems, and create new works. The brains and souls of these children are nourished and the camp staff become actively involved in their mission: to nurture positive youth development. And as an added bonus, some lucky parents and grandparents may get an ashtray—I mean paperweight—on closing day.
This article originally appeared in the Week-Ender blog, a product of Camp Business magazine. To subscribe to this content, visit www.campbusiness.com.
Visit The Roberta Bondar Foundation website and enjoy the world of nature as captured by award-winning camper photographers.
Consider joining the over fifty Canadian camps now benefiting from this excellent program, the Summer Camp Bondar Challenge, a fusion of the natural environment and photographic art.
For the eighth year, CCA partners with Andrea Koehle Jones, Executive Director of the ChariTREE Foundation, to offer free seedlings to all Canadian camps. Reports show that this program has helped to replenish diseased and burned forests, beautify sites, create future privacy walls and wind protection while inspiring young campers.
This program is open to all Canadian camps, including those that planted trees in previous years. Given the known benefits to camps and campers, we urge all camps to join the program in a big or small way.
By April 8, 2016, contact your provincial representative (listed below) and place your order including the number of trees and the location where they will be planted.
You may chose to plant between 40 and 800 trees. Andrea accesses the trees from nurseries in each province; therefore, the seedlings are suitable for growing conditions in your province.
The trees are packed in packages of 20 in cardboard boxes.
You will be notified by your representative precisely when (the date will be within the last two weeks of June) and where the trees are available for pick up in your province. Andrea’s commitment is to deliver the total order for each province to one location, which is chosen by the provincial representative. Your representative will notify each participating camp of this location prior to submitting your order.
Each camp is responsible for collecting their order from this location or pre-arranging to pay for delivery to their campsite. Andrea has found that Greyhound bus is the least expensive way to ship seedlings. If you do not receive your seedlings on the expected date, please notify your provincial representative.
The trees may be stored in a dark, cool location for a maximum of two weeks before planting.
As a participating camp, you agree to:
For more information on Andrea Koehle Jones and the ChariTREE Foundation see www.charitree-foundation.org.
British Columbia, Yukon, NWT, Nunavut
Andrea Koehle Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ted Lockie (Ted.Lockie@diabetes.ca)
Donna Wilkinson (email@example.com)
Liz Kovach (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jen Gilbert (email@example.com)
Christine Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
John Savage (email@example.com)
Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island
Derek Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Newfoundland and Labrador
Malcolm Turner (email@example.com)
In mid June 2015, the Town Council of Sundridge, Ontario, (population 1.000) called upon Camp Director, Jocelyn Palm, for help. She obliged.
The Sundridge Council knew that Jocelyn Palm, the Director of Glen Bernard Camp, was the former Executive Director of the Lifesaving Society. The town, located on the shores of Lake Bernard, despite limited funds and resources, wanted to provide a swim instruction program for its young residents. Joc agreed to work with the Council and provide instructors for two classes to run every weekday morning for two-week sessions repeated three times over the summer. The $30 fee per participant would go into the village revenues.
Each morning, the camp van transported the camp swim instructors the six kilometres to the town beach. The group returned to camp by lunch. One of the Counselor in Training Coordinators accompanied the qualified instructors drawn from a pool of thirty-three CITS. The town children benefitted while the CITs enjoyed the satisfaction of giving back to the local community by sharing a skill that they had acquired at camp.
Since 2013 when the partnership between the CCA and the Roberta Bondar Foundation began, over fifty camps in six provinces have participated in the Summer Camp Bondar Challenge. Eleven of these camps have participated in all three years and hundreds of campers are now connecting in new ways to the diverse natural environments at their camps. The Foundation welcomes returning camps for summer 2016 and encourages new participants to join this exciting program.
The judging of hundreds of submissions is now in progress and the 2015 winners will soon be announced.
The Bondar Challenge allows campers to slow down from their usual fast pace and really connect with nature — what camp is all about!
– Camp Kanannaq, YMCA of Northern BC, British Columbia