Ontario Camps Association
January 2014
Issue No.1
In This Issue
President's Message


Dear OCA Members,

Happy New Year!
My letter this month is a "Call to Action". I know that many of you are thinking about registering for the 2014 Annual Conference. I am asking you to take the time to review the online Conference Guide. Please click here to register.. These Educational Events have great value for everyone!


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. 2014 Health Care Educational Evening  Mental Health Issues at Camp - A Growing Challenge - Presented by: Cheryl Bernknopf R.N., BScN - February 18, 2014 - OCA Office
  3.  Health Care Conference - May 3, 2014 - Bayview Glen School   
  4.  Counsellor Conference  - May 24, 2014 - Camp Robin Hood

In addition, I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, January 15th at the Annual General Meeting and the Awards Dinner. 






2014 Annual Conference

Important Conference Information:


 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."    

** Please click here for the 2014 Conference Guide..


** The Exhibit Hall is completely "Sold Out"! Everything you need for your summer's success can be found through our Commercial Members. This year there is  a Raffle with prizes of unbelievable value. All proceeds will go to Kids In Camp.


**New this year? The Food Service and Maintenance & Facility Streams...please make your staff aware of these great opportunities to network and learn more about their profession!


To download the Registration Form please click here to register. 


We look forward to seeing you there!


Health Care Committee
Camp Health Education Evening 
Register today! 


Mental Health Issues at Camp - A Growing Challenge  

Presented by: Cheryl Bernknopf R.N., BScN
OCA believes that camp is for everyone. Our programs and services help people and families facing mental health, eating disorders and developmental challenges have a meaningful experience while at camp. 
How do we prepare the camper and camp effectively to meet possible challenges? Is this camper a good fit for the camp? Does the camp have all of the medical information for that camper to make their camp experience a positive one? These are only a few of the questions to be addressed.


About the Presenter...                        

Cheryl has been a longstanding member of the OCA Healthcare Committee and has been an R.N. and worked in Camps for over 30 years. Currently, Cheryl is a Professor of Nursing at Seneca College. Her background is mostly in nursing, with a special interest in adolescent mental health. She has previously addressed this topic at the Association of Camp Nurse Symposium and finds that there is a growing challenge to accommodate those campers while at the same time looking at the bigger picture of camp.


Come and participate in this informative evening.

When?                 Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Where?                70 Martin Ross Avenue, North York M3J 2L4 
                             (OCA Office - Free Parking Available)
Time?                   7:00 pm
Fee?                     No Charge

Information?         OCA Office T: 416-485-0425 or E: info@ontariocamps.ca

                             Light refreshments will be available.



** Please note:  
If you attend this Camp Health Education Evening and register, with payment, for the OCA Health Care Conference, being held on May 3, 2014, at Bayview Glen School, you will receive $10.00 off the Early Bird Conference Registration fee. To receive this discount, you must register and pay for the Health Care Conference at the Camp Health Education Evening, February 18th.



To register for the Health Care Education Evening click here.


Health Care Conference 
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Save the Date!




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.  




Chinese Pancakes & Camp Directors

submitted by Judith Cheung 


Wishing everyone a great start to 2014!


Thank you to OCA members who contributed to the discussions at Chinese Pancakes & Camp Directors, November 14th, on how we can make further inroads into Chinese communities. OCA members, while enjoying Chinese pancakes, gave us some great suggestions and ideas to help Chinese parents make the decision to send their kids to camp. 


We were pleased to hear at least a third of the camps we worked with in 2013 registered an increased amount of campers from the Epoch Times  Chinese Community and we look forward to growing this number.


"We had between 70-90 (people) that we can correctly assume that came from Epoch Times at our Open House in June" - Jeff Bradshaw, Camp Wenonah


Some milestones that were achieved through this group effort: 

  • Over 300 attendees at the 1st ever Chinese Summer Camp Expo
  • 30,000 views between April - August on the Ontario focused Chinese Summer Camp Website education1st.ca
  • A national award given to Epoch Times' 1st ever Chinese Summer Camp Guide for "Best Visual and Editorial Presentation" from NEPMCC


Looking forward to 2014, we will increase the number of editorials, including our own personal experiences this past summer visiting camps, in addition to the OCA branding ads to further educate the community. Chinese parents can look forward to receiving in language camp information in March 2014, one month earlier than last year.  For more information about the Chinese Summer Camp Project please contact Judith Cheung at judith.cheung@epochtimes.com



Cold Weather First Aid 
Health Care Committee

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

NEW Service Canada Information...  


Funding: Canada Summer Jobs Policies and Standards 

  • Service Standards for Funding Programs
  • Official Languages
  • Access to Information and Privacy

    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


    Further to the information email sent the week of January 6th please note the following information.


    a. Here is a link to the homepage at Service Canada where a 'Highlights' box talks about what's new as of Dec. 31, 2013 as well as links to the newest forms



    Here are some of the 'Highlights' on Temporary Foreign Worker Program

    b. The LMO application web service is down for a few days, for upgrading. Don't panic, it will come back up online by Jan 15.


    c. Employers must post their jobs in Canada for a minimum of 4 weeks before submitting an LMO application. It turns out that if the officer starts to review an application submitted before the 4-week time is complete, they won't just table it, they will reject it. Camp directors, hold on until your job has been posted for 4 weeks before submitting your LMO application.


    d. While web service is pretty good, there are those of us who prefer to stick with paper LMO applications. There may be changes to the paper version of the LMO application form (camp counsellor positions require the High Skill version) so camp directors need to be careful not to use an outdated paper form or it will be rejected and they'll have to start all over again.


    e. The general phone number at Service Can. has changed for employers to get help with temp foreign worker program questions/status: 800-367-5693.


    f. The compliance people at Service Canada are now in a different division than the LMO people, there is an 'arms length' approach between these staffs, and in addition to this there are some new policies taking effect Dec. 31, 2013 including the possibility that compliance reviews can include on-site visits to camps. This would matter if your camp is in session, and if you may keep employment and foreign worker files in another location. 


    More to come on how to prepare fora possible STS review, in our Temp Foreign Worker Bulletin #3 coming soon.



    Camp Pathfinder
    585-249-0716 winter
    705-633-5553 summer 

    Toronto Camp Expo 

    Happy New Year from Our Kids!


    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. 


    2 blue ducks


    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

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