It wasn’t the reward that mattered or the recognition you might harvest. It was your depth of commitment, your quality of service, the product of your devotion — these were the things that counted in life. When you gave purely, the honor in giving, and that was honor enough.

Captain Scott O’Grady

Group around a laptop.As a volunteer organization, it is important to provide opportunities for Members to gain recognition for their outstanding contributions to the Association and to specific areas of camping. Recognizing our deserving colleagues is an important way for us to appreciate their career achievements and set the bar for our younger colleagues.

The OCA Awards Committee annually receives numerous nominations for awards and is so pleased to recognize the talent and accomplishments that each recipient exhibits. It is an honour and a privilege to be able to share in the celebration of recognizing greatness within the OCA. Please click here for information on the most recent Awards Recipients.

The OCA is proud to present the following Awards to Members on an annual basis.

View our 2021 Awards Recipients here!

View our 2022 Awards Recipients here!


The OCA Legacy Award

The OCA Legacy Award was created in 2019 with the purpose of acknowledging OCA Members who over their lifetime demonstrated a significant and sustained contribution to the Ontario Camps Association and the Ontario camping community. This award is bestowed by the OCA Board of Directors.

The Member in receipt of the award will have:

  • Demonstrated sustained, exceptional service and leadership to OCA and Ontario camping over multiple decades. This award is for lifetime achievement rather than a singular contribution.
  • Displayed a wisdom and depth of service and leadership that has made a significant difference to individuals or groups within the OCA and the Ontario camping community.
  • Exemplified the core values of OCA through their interaction with colleagues.
  • Promoted excellence within the OCA and the Ontario camping community.

Dorothy Walter Award of Excellence

This award was created by the OCA Board to recognize the contribution of Dorothy Walter to the growth and development of the Association. It is the most prestigious recognition offered by OCA. Dorothy died in December of 2006; however, her legacy of leadership lives on in the form of the good work done and fine examples set by the past and future recipients of this high recognition.

The award is presented, not necessarily annually, for providing outstanding service over a period of time. This outstanding service must include and is not limited to:

  • Board and/or Committee leadership
  • Workshop and/or Conference leadership
  • Publication of articles regarding the field of camping.

Honorary Life Member

The Ontario Camps Association is honoured to present the names of camp leaders, who over many years, have trail blazed, built bridges and set precedents, which have assisted others in the Ontario camping industry. Honorary Life Award (HLM) Nominees hold a place of special significance in the traditions and successes of our Association. New paths and bridges created and implemented by current camp professionals rest upon the solid foundations laid by these courageous pioneers. Honorary Life Members in our Association are a permanent part of our camp lives.


  • Shall have 10 or more years of distinguished service in the field of camping
  • Shall have held positions on the Board or have chaired Committee(s), Task Force(s) or Special Project(s) for at least 10 years
  • Shall have held an executive position of a camping organization or agency for at least 10 years
  • May be retired from active service in the camp industry

Ron & Mickey Johnstone Youth Leadership Award

Working as a team, Ron and Mickey Johnstone made significant contributions to both the Ontario Camps Association and the Canadian Camping Association, which have permanently enriched and enhanced both Associations. Their continued commitment to the development of camping across Canada and their remarkable skills in the area of youth leadership development have left us a lasting legacy.

This award is presented to camp leaders who:

  • Are between the ages of 17 and 30
  • Demonstrate outstanding leadership of youth through innovation and creativity
  • Apply their innovative skills in an OCA Accredited Camp

John “Jorgi” Jorgenson International Development Award

This award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the international camping community through their leadership and their support of the camping philosophy.

Volunteer Recognition Award

This award was established to recognize the contributions of volunteers and volunteer members. The Award is presented to individuals whose service and commitment to the OCA have merited special mention and to acknowledge a significant and special contribution to the work of the Ontario Camps Association in the year of presentation.

Brian Blackstock OCA Archives Award

This recognition award is to be given to a group or an individual who, in the opinion of the OCA Archives Committee, has made an outstanding contribution to the Archives of the Ontario Camps Association located in Trent University.

Preferred Vendors Recognition Award

This award recognizes Preferred Vendors who make significant contributions to the OCA beyond their membership.

Camp Milestone Award

The OCA has always prided itself on recognizing individuals who have blazed trails, led new initiatives and volunteered their time and expertise. Many of our OCA volunteers and pioneers have been recognized due to their hard work and commitment to the organization.

The Awards Committee is excited to recognize Individuals, Preferred Vendors and accredited camps that have reached a “Milestone Year” in the industry (i.e. 25 years, 30 years etc…).

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Poet)


The Awards Chair will send a letter, detailing the OCA Awards and including Nomination Forms for each category to all Members each year. The letter will also outline the Award Nomination process and provide a deadline for nominations to be received in the OCA Office.

The Ontario Camps Association Awards Committee will review the submitted nomination. Not all Awards will be presented in any given year.

The Awards Committee counts on YOU to help OCA identify potential honourees.