Ontario Camps Association
December 2013
Issue No.12
In This Issue
President's Message


Dear OCA Members,

On behalf of the Board, I wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season!

It is a busy time of the year for everyone. Most camps are in the midst of registration and hiring for next summer. I urge you all to take advantage of the educational programs being planned by the many OCA Committees. They have worked hard to provide programing to meet your needs.

The dates for these important programs are:
  1. 2014 Annual Conference - January 29, 30 and 31, 2014  
     Includes Food Services plus Facilities & Maintenance Stream  Sheraton Parkway Hotel, Richmond Hill, ON  
  2.  Health Care Conference - May 3, 2014 - Bayview Glen School   
  3.  Counsellor Conference  - May 24, 2014 - Camp Robin Hood

At this time I would like to acknowledge and thank the 78 Commercial Members who have registered for the Conference - Exhibit Hall. Please make every effort to visit each Booth to introduce yourselves and discuss their services or supplies.


The Annual General Meeting and Awards Dinner will be taking place at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel on Wednesday, January 15th. The Annual Meeting (AGM) will begin at 3:00 pm in Vaughan East Room. Notice of the AGM was mailed Friday, November 29, 2013. In addition, all AGM information has been uploaded to the front page of the OCA Website under the Calendar heading at the bottom of the page.


The Awards Dinner will start with a reception at 5:30 pm followed by the dinner at 6:15 pm in the Grand Richmond Ballroom. Everyone is invited to attend the Awards Dinner.






2013 Award Recipients



Congratulations to the 2013 Award Recipients! 

 1. Dorothy Walter Award of Excellence

Eric Shendelman, Crestwood Valley Day Camp


 2. Honorary Life Member

Cheryl Bernknopf, Centauri Summer Arts Camp


3. Volunteer Recognition Award
Marjorie Booth, Mooredale Day Camp
Mattushka Sheedy, Health Care Committee Camp Wabikon 
Nancy Cohen, Health Care Committee, Bayview Glen Camp 
Bev Unger, Health Care Committee, Camp Robin Hood


4. International Award 
An International Award will not be presented this year.


5. Ron  and Mickey Johnstone Youth Leadership Award

Nathan Seroski, Canterbury Hills Camp


 6. Commercial Member Recognition 

                  Nancy Brown, FCA Insurance Brokers
                  Brian Lisson, AdventureWorks! 


7. Camp Milestones Award      
      Beacon Bible Camp 
                           50th Anniversary       
      Canadian Adventure Camp
                40th Anniversary     
      Crestwood Valley Day Camp             25th Anniversary 
  Bobby Freeman                              25th Anniversary
      Camp Gesher                                     50th Anniversary 
      Camp Oochigeas                                30th Anniversary 
      Opemikin - Scouts Canada                 75th Anniversary 
      Pleasant Bay Camp                            50th Anniversary 
      Camp Quality - Southern Ontario        25th Anniversary 
      Silver Lake Camp                                50th Anniversary 
      Take Action Camp                              10th Anniversary 
      Camp Tanamakoon                             90th Anniversary 
             Kim & Marilyn Smith                     30th Anniversary 
             Patti Thom                                    50th Anniversary 
             Karen Gris                                   30th Anniversary
             Ray Kettlewell                             40th Anniversary 
      YMCA Northumberland Day Camps   25th Anniversary 
      YMCA-YWCA National Capital           75th Anniversary
        Region Otonabee Y Day Camp    



Order of Canada 


The Canadian Camping Association announced on

November 27th that on November 21, 2013, Jocelyn Palm received the Order of Canada for her outstanding contribution to the lives of thousands of individuals, many communities and our country.  

The Ontario Camps Association would like to add their congratulations for Jocelyn on this auspicious occasion.

2014 Annual Conference

Important Conference Information:

  • Who are the Keynote Speakers?

    • Nadia Chaney, PYE: "Wisdom, Courage and Fun - Developing Arts Empowerment Capacities for Camp Counsellors"                           

    • Greg Witz, Witz Education: "Leading Tomorrows Generations Today"                                        

    • Alyson  SchaferPsychotherapist, Parenting Expert and Author: "Nature to Network: Camp life is changing. Millennial children and their parents are changing too."  


  • What breakout sessions are being offered?

    • See the attached '2014 Conference Breakout Sessions' document for full session descriptions


  • Who will be there?

    • All of your camp friends plus Delegates from the ICF (International  Camping Fellowship) from Mongolia, Africa, Russia, Turkey, Australia and Japan          

  • Who will be in The Exhibit Hall?

    • We are bursting at the seams with many supportive new and veteran Commercial Members! A list of Exhibitors will be shared in the near future.               

  • Will I be able to schmooze with camp people?

    • There will be many informal and formal opportunities including:

      • Wednesday night's social- The Honest Lawyer

      • Thursday night's President's Reception- Jack Astor's    

  • What's new this year?

    • Food Service and Maintenance & Facility Streams!

    • There will be a dedicated session in each of the 5 time slots for each stream on Friday, January 31st   To download the Registration Form please click on the following link: Conference Registration Form

Health Care Conference - Save the Date!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

If you are a camp healthcare staff, camp director or anyone that has a connection to supporting the health of campers and staff, then this is an event that you should not miss! This one day encompasses all that you might need to know to support you in having the healthiest summer possible.
We are fortunate this year to have Linda Erceg as our keynote speaker. Just reading her bio below, you will realize what an amazing speaker she will be and how much camp and health knowledge she can lend all of us. To add to this amazing day you will also be able to attend your choice of many sessions offered by other healthcare professionals on a variety of topics.


We hope you will join us for a wonderful day that also includes vendors, good food, networking and giveaways.

Linda E. Erceg, RN, MS, PHN, is the Associate Director of Health & Risk Management for Concordia Language Villages as well as the Executive Director of the Association of Camp Nurses, both located in Bemidji, MN. With over 30 years of camp nursing experience, Linda has spoken at several conferences, co-authored The Basics of Camp Nursing, helped launch the Health Camps initiative, conducted research in camp health, and been part of ACN's growth since its inception.  "Healthier Camping for All" is her personal motto, one that hints at the passion she feels for the World of Camping and camp nursing in particular.  


Melanoma Network of Canada

Melanoma is one of the leading causes of cancer for our youth population, due primarily to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or indoor tanning beds.  

The Melanoma Network of Canada (MNC) www.melanomanetwork.ca  is developing a pilot program for camps, camp counsellors and youth that will focus on simple and practical sun safety messaging to encourage youth to adopt sun safe practices for their health and the outdoor activities they take. 


We are very pleased to be working with the Ontario Camps Association to launch this sun safety certification program in the spring of 2014, that will recognize camps that follow sun safe practices and standards. The program will be created in a fun and engaging way as the catalyst for change to educate, breakdown myths of tanning, and ultimately change behavior. A special website for children, adult educators, and parents with a variety of tools, videos and blogs will be the centre for sun safe health information. MNC has already been in contact with a number of camps who have indicated interest in participating in this pilot program and we can't wait to share the results with all of you.  We will be presenting an overview of the project at your conference at the end of January - we hope to see you there!  


Cold Weather First Aid 
Health Care Committee

Even though winter does not officially start until December 21, if you have been outside, you know the winter weather is here.  For camps that run year round, winter weather preparation and how to prevent cold weather injuries should be a part of staff training.   It is important to remember that all cold weather injuries are preventable, and although accidents and injuries can happen, serious injuries can be avoided in a camp or outdoor education program with the proper training. Below are some overviews of mild cold weather injuries. 


Frost nip This injury can be prevented by wearing warm clothing, mittens/gloves, and proper footwear.   Frost nip normally affects ear lobes, fingers, noses, cheeks, and toes.  The affected skin will be white and feel numb. You can treat frost nip by gently rewarming the affected tissue by placing it next to another area of the body that is not affected.  Remind staff to avoid rubbing the area or using hot surfaces to warm up the affected tissue


Snow blindness can be prevented by wearing wraparound sunglasses or ski goggles if spending long periods of time outdoors in the winter.  Symptoms include watering of the eye, eye pain, the feeling that something is in the eye, and eyelid twitching.  In more severe cases the eye may become bloodshot and swell.  The person should be kept indoors resting in a dark room.  If they wear contacts they must be removed and a cool compress applied to the eyes can help soothe the pain.  For more severe cases the person should see a doctor.


Sun burns or snow burns are another common problem when spending times outdoors in the winter.  Many people may feel they do not need sun block in the winter but this is far from true.  The sun's rays can bounce off the snow having the same effect as a lake during the summer.  People working or playing outdoors during the winter should wear sunblock and reapply when needed.


Hypothermia ia potentially dangerous drop in body temperature, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, it can set in if you are not dressed for the activities you are participating in. Some symptoms for mild hypothermia are shivering (which may stop as hypothermia progresses), confusion, drowsiness, slow / shallow breathing and pale skin.  If someone is showing any of these symptoms they should be allowed to go indoors to warm up and remove wet clothing.  Always allow a person to warm up slowly as heating them too quickly can cause shock. Use warm, dry clothing and blankets. If conscious, offer warm drinks - avoid alcohol and caffeine. If the hypothermia becomes more severe, immediately transport to the hospital or call 911.


All of these cold weather injuries can be prevented by dressing appropriately and preparing for the weather conditions.  Remind staff and campers to wear 3 layers (wicking, warming, protective), sunscreen and sunglasses when outside.  Just because it is cold outside does not mean we cannot still enjoy the winter.    


Service Canada

The Canada Summer Jobs program launched today:


Here again is the link www.servicecanada.gc.ca/csj

Funding: Canada Summer Jobs

Policies and Standards

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities.

Canada Summer Jobs:

  • provides work experiences for students;
  • supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and
  • recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

Apply Now 
Deadline: January 31st, 2014


The period to apply for Canada Summer Jobs 2014 will be from December 2, 2013 to January 31, 2014. These new dates will allow employers to be notified of their application status earlier.   


Toronto Camp Expo 

Happy holidays from Our Kids!


The festive season is here, and soon we'll be seeing each other at camp fairs and expos around town.  If you've been considering exhibiting at a camp fair, we invite you to join us at the Our Kids Toronto Camp Expo on Sunday, February 23rd, 2014.  Exhibit and raise more awareness about your camp in time for March Break and summer registrations! 


This is a fun and informative event to help educate families about the importance of investing in a camp experience and to meet with hundreds of parents in a single day. Develop personal relationships with families directly, showcase your camp, raise your profile, and get immediate and specific feedback on what families are looking for. 


"This was by far the best Camp Expo we have attended in 27 years of marketing - both in the US & Canada. Amazing diversity and great conversations! Super impressed!!" Said Patti Thom from Camp Tanamakoon.


But don't just take Patti's word for it - find out for yourself and join us in February for some amazing one-on-one experiences! 


For more information on the Expo and how to become an exhibitor, please visit our page here: http://www.ourkids.net/campexpo/ or contact info@ourkids.net to secure your booth today. 

 McMichael Art Collection


The education department at the McMichael Art Collection is developing a new project for school groups that visit the gallery:




They are looking for old/used paddles to be donated to the gallery for this project.  Their initial goal is 30-35 paddles for the pilot project with one class. 

If you are able to donate 1, 2, 5, 10, or all 35 paddles, please contact:


Bonnie Marcus Katzev

Educator At McMichael

Tel 905 893 1121 x 2244



The McMichael Art Collection thanks you in advance for your consideration of a donation!


Thank you for your submission to this month's newsletter. Please forward your information and/or articles by the first day of each month. The Newsletter is distributed the 15th of each month.

Ontario Camps Association
70 Martin Ross Ave. Toronto, ON M3J 2L4
P: 416-485-0425  F: 416-485-0422
E: info@ontariocamps.ca  W: ontariocamps.ca

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