Welcome Messages

Conference Co-Chair’s Message


When we began planning for this conference, we had a few goals in mind:

  • Cast a wider net and involve more people – we assembled a committee of 40+ contributing ideas, time and creativity.
  • Invest more in program – our program committee developed specific themes, sought out great speakers and created a jam-packed list of workshops.
  • Deliver inspiring keynotes – we hope you agree that this is an impressive list of impactful individuals.
  • Bring back the banquet – there will not be an empty seat on Friday evening to watch Choir! Choir! Choir! and truly celebrate camp.
  • Deliver some freshness – we trust the Innovations Program will be inspirational, creative and entertaining; we know the Interest Groups program will provide focused, deliberate, highly relevant learning opportunities for like-camps.
  • Go digital – you are reading this message on our dedicated conference website and you will review workshops, set your schedule and engage with the community via the conference app.
  • Take care of the details – integrate our HLMs throughout, provide a “day tripper” pricing option, create fun, social space throughout the event.

We are deeply indebted to and grateful for each of our conference committee members and to our dedicated OCA office staff. It truly takes a village to bring this event together and we fully embraced that concept! Come, engage, learn, contribute, celebrate!


Rob Carmichael, Julie Gallie & Jeff Bradshaw
Conference Co-Chairs

OCA President’s Message

The OCA Annual Conference is such an incredible opportunity for camp professionals to come together to share, learn and explore all things CAMP!

This year over 40 volunteers have worked together to put this signature event on. I was truly in awe when I arrived at a conference meeting in the fall. The amount of time and effort that has been put into planning this conference is outstanding. Folks from multiple generations are actively involved in this year’s conference planning.

Working closely with our office staff, the Co-Chairs: Jeff Bradshaw, Julie Gallie and Rob Carmichael, have gone the extra mile listening to what Members and Preferred Vendors are looking for in a great conference.

I have no doubt that you will be amazed at the program and overall event that is presented to you.


Eric Shendelman
President, Ontario Camps Association


CCA President’s Message


As indicated by the 2019 OCA Conference theme “OCA Connects” this event not only helps one’s personal development by learning, networking, building partnerships and collaborating but it does so by building connections to one another which transitions into helping connect our campers, our staff and our community!

A primary focus of the Canadian Camping Association over the last few years has been to ensure the continuation of building connections as we are stronger working together to empower and connect with children and youth.

I know you’ll have an incredible experience at this year’s conference and I’d like to thank the OCA and all volunteers involved for putting on such a highly impactful annual educational conference yea after year.

Yours in Camping,

Stéphane Richard
President, Canadian Camping Association

ICF President’s Message

Since its beginning, the International Camping Fellowship has recognized the OCA as a key partner and model for professionalism, volunteerism and knowledge in camping. The annual conference of the OCA epitomizes the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing. The phrase ‘together we are stronger’ is reflected in the quality and generosity  of the exchanges that take place.

Congratulations to the conference organizers and to all of the delegates who will attend. You will be part of an assembly of camping professionals that is the envy of many other camp communities around the world and an inspiration to all of the importance of growing stronger by bringing together the world of outdoor experience. See you in January!


John Jorgenson
President, International Camping Fellowship