Friday at OCA Connects 2020


Schedule Overview

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM
Interest Groups Programming
11:30 AM Brunch with Keynote featuring Dr. Eugenia Duodo
1:00 PM Workshop #1
2:15 PM
Workshop #2
3:30 PM Workshop #3
4:30 PM Break
5:45 PM Banquet Reception
6:30 PM
Closing Banquet featuring Peter Katz and the presentation of the OCA Legacy Award, the Dorothy Walter Award of Excellence, the Ron & Mickey Johnstone Youth Leadership Award, and the Honorary Life Member Award. 
9:00 PM

Interest Groups Programming

Our Interest Groups Programming features three distinct Friday morning programs for Day, Outdoor Education, and Overnight Camps.

What happens? Camping leaders and experts facilitate a focussed morning of group-based learning and discussion. Each Interest Group experience focuses on hot topics, trends, and challenges that will leave you energized for the best summer yet. See the OCA Connects 2020 app for session descriptions.

  • Day Camps - Hosted by Jenny Wyatt (Appleby College Day Camps) & Eva Perringer (Ryerson University, School of Performance Youth & Camp Programs)
  • Overnight Camps - Hosted by Mark Diamond (Camp Manitou), Adam Kronick (Camp White Pine), Howie Grossinger (Camp Walden, Camp Robin Hood, Madawaska Volleyball Camps)
  • Outdoor Education - Hosted by Jasmine Green (Toronto Region Conservation Authority) and David Hawker-Budlovsky (Toronto District School Board)

Workshop #1
1:00-2:00 PM

Presenter Room Title Session Description
Jessica Faith Butternut/Holly Self-Regulation at camp: How to help your staff and campers stay calm and play on! Having the skills that enable us to cope with daily challenges is essential to everyone’s experience at camp, from the director to the youngest camper. Every person arrives at camp with their own set of vulnerabilities which affect their capacity to self-regulate. During this session, we will explore the sensory, social, physical, emotional, and self-care demands that cause dysregulation in both staff and campers. We will also discuss individual, cabin and camp wide calming tools to help everyone feel calm and play on!
Kwesi Millington CC1 Building Unbreakable Confidence BUILDING UNBREAKABLE CONFIDENCE - How to Create a Resilient & Confident Mindset  In this experiential and active workshop, you will leave with steps to wake up every day with high self-esteem, the ability to bounce back after disappointment and failure, and an understanding of how to find your personal purpose, aka your “why.”
Joe Richards CC2 Difficult Conversations You Must Have to Be Successful In today's world, it is clear that many people hold back on what they really mean, really want to say.  Have you ever been in a situation where you need to have a hard conversation with someone, but you put it off?  Do you think things will get better?  Has it ever just gotten better by itself? If you are a leader or want to grow into a leader, you need to learn to say the hard thing.  This workshop will cover recognizing difficult situations, how to respond with truth and get to a positive outcome for your organization and for yourself.
CANVAS Programs Evergreen Gender Equity at Camp Explore gender dynamics in the camp workplace. Using a unique framework, upper-level staff gain concrete strategies to improve policies, cultural norms, and infrastructure for a more equitable work environment
Rob Davis Maple Poop Talk - Sewage smarts, pitfalls and solutions - Protecting the Camp Environment An engaging discussion on the importance of adequate sewage infrastructure, what causes system failure, preventing failures and protecting the camp environment from nutrient pollution. How to best manage camp sewage systems in a sustainable way from vault & composting toilets, to septic systems, lagoons, pump pits and tile bed rehabilitation, this session is packed with valuable information.
Darrel Keezer Orchid 37 Ways Your Website Died How do customers describe your company’s online presence? If they’d say, “outdated and clunky” instead of “inspiring and informative,” you’re doomed. Technology has changed the way Canadians interact with organizations including chatbots, mobile advancements and even new provincial rules about accessibility. It’s time camps responded and changed how they connect with customers. So buckle up for a revealing session on the important realities of digital marketing and learn how to build a digital presence to not only generate sales, but to win advocates for life.
Jeff Bradshaw and Thomas Appleyard Primrose Selecting and Keeping Phenomenal Staff
(Part A)
Part A - In this two-part session, Thomas Appleyard and Jeff Bradshaw outline how Wenonah selects and keeps phenomenal staff.  In 2019, Camp Wenonah introduced a series of new processes for both veteran and new staff selection, shifting to an evidence-based model rooted in the main competencies that outstanding staff have displayed in previous years.  Large numbers of returning staff maintain culture and create a sense of continuity from year to year. Camp Wenonah has enacted a highly successful recognition program that plays a huge role in maintaining a very high staff return rate.
Matt Henry Violet Child Protection: Camp is the best and the worst From counselors-in-training to directors, an awareness of child protection issues (education, prevention, response) is an absolute necessity. Common misconceptions can lead to poor policy choices. Come with your insights and questions and be ready to discuss difficult subjects, including why camp is both the best and the worst in this realm.

Workshop #2
2:15-3:15 PM

Presenter Room Title Session Description
Meghan MacDonald Butternut/Holly Conflict First Aid Kit  Coming soon!
Special Needs Committee CC1 Special Needs Panel Coming soon!
Joe Richards CC2 10 of Each - Games, Songs & Ideas to Make Your Camp Amazing Energy is contagious. Join Joe for a songs, games, & innovative ideas to help make your summer camp experience super amazing. Make your camp a more amazing place for everyone.
Mike Young Evergreen Practical and Compassionate Inclusion for the Gender-Diverse Camper Beginning a very brief overview of what gender identity and diversity are as concepts, this session focuses on providing tangible, practical tools to solve a wide array of challenges pertaining to hosting gender-diverse campers at historically gendered sites, from cabin assignments, to washroom management, to pronoun use, and everything in between.
Dale Radin and Dean Orr Maple An Introduction to Running ORCKA Programming at Your Camp The session will include all a camp needs to know to either get a canoeing/kayaking program up and running, or to improve and develop an already existing program. We will cover questions ranging from "we've never run a canoeing program -- how do we get boats, instructors, and how do we set it up?", to "we've been running a canoeing program for years, and now we would like to start giving out ORCKA's skills levels", to "we would like to incorporate more of a tripping component in our programming -- can you help us start a responsible tripping program?"; while covering a bit about how ORCKA features in the history of canoeing programs at camps in Ontario we will go through what ORCKA program looks like today at OCA camps, the insurance program ORCKA provides, how ORCKA certified instructors and trip leaders appear in the OCA accreditation standards, and the administration involved.
Julie Cole Orchid Balancing Your Personal and Professional Brands

How important is the personal brand of the Camp Director or staff members? How does the brand of "you" impact your business? This discussion will explore the idea behind personal brands, how they are different from professional brands and how they can work together, and be used to leverage your professional "camp" brand.

Jeff Bradshaw and Thomas Appleyard Primrose Selecting and Keeping Phenomenal Staff
(Part B)
Part B - In this two-part session, Thomas Appleyard and Jeff Bradshaw outline how Wenonah selects and keeps phenomenal staff.  In 2019, Camp Wenonah introduced a series of new processes for both veteran and new staff selection, shifting to an evidence-based model rooted in the main competencies that outstanding staff have displayed in previous years.  Large numbers of returning staff maintain culture and create a sense of continuity from year to year. Camp Wenonah has enacted a highly successful recognition program that plays a huge role in maintaining a very high staff return rate.
Chelsea Barnett and Rhiannon Downey Violet Creating a Consent Culture at Your Camp This session will focus on societal perspective, enabling participants to critically examine camp culture in a post #MeToo world, devising plans to prevent harmful traditions, hazing and language, and promote consent culture at camp.

Workshop #3
3:30-4:30 PM

Presenter Room Title Session Description
Marc Cooper Butternut/Holly Keep Your Staff Happy This Summer The number one reason staff aren’t happy is because they don’t feel appreciated.  Join Marc for an action-packed hour and leave with dozens of ideas on how to create a great staff experience that begins the moment they are hired.  These techniques can be applied this summer and are guaranteed to help you retain a team that comes back year after year.

Panel Disscussion with:

  • Mark Diamond, Camp Manitou
  • Eric Shendelman, Crestwood Valley Day Camp
  • Rob Crew, OCA Staff
Orchid Day Camp Safety Plan Coming Soon!
Outdoor Education Committee CC2 Hot Topics Join members from the OCA Outdoor Education Committee to discuss a wide range of topics impacting Outdoor Education including Resilient Programming During Rolling School Board Labour Disruption, Hiring Qualified Outdoor Education Staff, and the New Outdoor Education Standards for 2020.
Matt Honsberger and Michelle Roberts Evergreen Creating a Culture of Innovative Programming No matter what your budget is, no matter how big your camp is, it's your responsibility to create unforgettable experiences for your campers. If you've ever felt that your Outdoor Centre or Summer Camp programming is not as great as it could be, then this is the session for you. In this session, Michelle and Matt will break down not only the framework of what makes a program memorable, but how to foster the type of camp culture that will empower staff of all levels to strive to create their own memorable camp programs
John Jorgenson Maple ICF Update Reasearch panel that can entice students and understand the research about camps or how to go about doing this research.
Beth Allision and Gabrielle Raill CC1 Being Firm and Taking Care Conducting staff training with a generation in a mental health crisis.  This generation of staff has grown up in a time where anxiety and depression are more prevalent than in previous generations. Staff members come to camp asking for more accommodations for their own mental health than ever before. This session is NOT about how to work through a mental health crisis; rather, this session will guide participants on how to train staff to feel empowered and competent in their camp jobs AND and prepared to take on the challenges they will face during the summer.
Matt Henry Primrose 9 Songs and 10 Ideas: Approaching Singing at Camp Music is at the heart of some camp programs, and around the edges of others. Come along to learn some new songs (guitar/lyrical, not campfire/silly), and some philosophical thoughts about how to approach songs and singing in a camp setting. All levels of musical ability welcome.
CANVAS Programs Violet LGBTQ2S+ Inclusion 101 Training Introduces participants to foundational terminology, gender affirming pronouns, and concrete strategies to support queer, trans and questioning campers