Ontario Camps Association

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Standards Visitors

Health Care
(2 Articles)

CCA Tree Planting Program

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Nyquest International

Toronto Windsurfing Club

Dear OCA Members,

On behalf of the Ontario Camps Association Board and the 2014 Conference Committee, I would like to thank you for attending the Conference held at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel,  from Wednesday, January 29th to Friday, January 31st. It was a very successful event. On Thursday and Friday there were over 500 Delegates and Exhibitors. This year there were 103 Breakout Session Speakers, 3 Keynote Speakers and 72 Breakout Session for Delegates to attend.

This year the Conference included two new streams; Food Services and Facilities and Maintenance. Both new additions were well received. Thank you to our Commercial Members for sharing their expertise.

At this time I would like to thank all of the Exhibitors who contributed prizes for the Kids In Camp Raffle. The Raffle raised $1,095.00 for the Charity.

A big thank you to all of the Commercial Members who Exhibited this year. The Exhibit Hall was sold out and had a waiting list.

I would also like to recognize the work of the 2014 Conference Committee for their generous contribution of their time and expertise in making this event such a success! By the way, we are happy to announce that they are all remaining on the Committee for the 2015 Conference. 

**A 2014 Conference Survey was sent to your attention on Wednesday, February 12th. I ask that you please complete the short survey which will help the Committee develop the 2015 Conference in all areas.

Pictures from the 2014 Conference have been uploaded to the OCA's FaceBook - don't forget to like our page!

Happy Valentines Day!

We need you!




Thank you to those who submitted your form at the Conference to be a Standards Visitor!

We will be conducting a record 150 Visits this summer and still require many more volunteers to meet this demand.


The main purpose of OCA's Accreditation Program is to help camps create an enriching, positive, safe and healthy experience for the children and staff in their care. As a volunteer organization, we rely on our Members to assist us in the process of accrediting or re-accrediting other Members. 


Never been a Visitor before and are not sure what's involved?

If you would like to know more, please call our office and we would be happy to talk you through the process!


Please CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE FORM AND submit IT by March 1stto info@ontariocamps.ca



Health Care Committee 
Camp Health Education Evening 


Register today! 


Mental Health Issues at Camp  
A Growing Challenge

 Presented by: Cheryl Bernknopf R.N., BScN      

The OCA believes that camp is for everyone. Our programs and services help people and families facing mental health issues, 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 and pay that night (February 18th) 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 register for the Health Care Education Evening click here.


Cheryl Bernknopf, RN

Barb Gray, RN, MN

OCA Health Care Committee


Cheryl and Barb presented this topic in a PowerPoint presentation at the 2014 Annual Conference. So many people were interested in having the information that they are sharing their presentation with the whole Camp Community. To learn more, please click here.



FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter 

Help us increase OCA's Social Media presence by liking us on FaceBook, following us on Instagram and Twitter. 

Don't forget to use the #OCA2014. 











Last year's tree planting program was a huge success, with the ChariTREE Foundation providing over 8,500 FREE trees to OCA camps!


The 2014 program is now underway and we would ask that you review the following information if you would like to order trees for this summer.



  • All orders must be received by March 25, 2014
  • Andrea Koehle Jones, Executive Director of ChariTREE, will order the trees and will be selecting native species indigenous to Ontario


RECEIPT OF TREES - OCA office pick-up OR your own courier:


  • You will be notified of the tree receipt date which will occur in the last 2 weeks of June
  • If you are choosing to have the trees couriered to you, it is your responsibility to make the arrangements and cover the cost 
  • Trees must be picked up by you or your courier from the OCA office within 24 hours of delivery
  • If you are planning on storing the trees before planting, they must be stored in a dark, cool location for no more than 2 weeks. 




Promptly acknowledge the receipt of your trees directly to Andrea:  www.charitree-foundation.org/resources-and-tools/tree-planting-project

  • Camps that do not meet this obligation will forgo the opportunity to access free trees in future years
  • Plant your trees with your campers within 2 weeks
  • Water the seedlings if the weather is dry




UK Trip Recap!


For the third consecutive year, NYQUESTxtravelled to the UK with a number of camp directors in order to participate in Camp Job Fairs with our recruitment partner, CCUSA.  This year, 8 Accredited OCA Camps were on board for the adventure!


The Job Fairs themselves, in Edinburgh, Leeds and London, were an obvious highlight; the opportunity to meet international staff in person is such an awesome experience for camp directors, and really great for the industry to get out of North America. So much of our work is done over email, phone and Skype that seeing connections being made between directors and potential staff, and feeding off the enthusiasm and excitement of the staff getting placed was really significant for us. It was an excellent reminder why we do what we do, and how special the experience of international camp staffing is! Being in the UK, we couldn't avoid enjoying the local pubs, sampling fish & chips, haggis and IRN BRU, and immersing ourselves in the culture such as at Edinburgh Castle.


For a more detailed overview of our trip, check out the following link: http://www.go-nyquest.com/blog/uncategorized/uk-summer-camp-job-fairs-recap/




(New Affiliate Member) 

The Toronto Windsurfing Club has joined the Ontario Camps Association as an Affiliate Member.  TWC looks forward to working together with any interested OCA Members to develop their windsurfing programs and promote windsurfing in Ontario.


With over 500 members, TWC is the largest independent windsurfing club in North America. We are also the only club in Canada to run a comprehensive youth windsurfing program based on CANSail Windsurf, the new national training standards for windsurfing from Sail Canada.

Some of our instructors are highly accomplished racers at the provincial and national level.  Read more at torontowindsurfingclub.com .


TWC would be pleased to help OCA Members recruit qualified

instructors, train existing staff or choose new equipment.   Training of existing staff would be held at our club in Toronto. In certain cases, training might also be possible on-site at OCA Member Camps or could be coordinated with Ontario Sailing's mobile BOOM units.


Last year, some OCA Members referred some of their campers to TWC's own youth program to further develop their skills.  These campers will return to their own camps this year as potential windsurfing instructors.


For further information, please contact youthcamp@twsc.ca .

For further information on any of the articles or if you wish to submit an article or information for the March Newsletter, please send it to heather@ontariocamps.ca by March 1, 2014

Ontario Camps Association
70 Martin Ross Avenue, Toronto, ON L3J 2L4
T: 416-485-0425 F: 416-485-0422 E: info@ontariocamps.ca 
If you are attending the OCA Health Care Camp Educational Evening, Tuesday, February 18th...and you register
and pay for the Health Care Conference, Saturday, May 3rd, you will save $10.00 on your Health Care Conference Registration.
Offer Expires: Tuesday, February 18th at the Educational Evening