Special Statements

Islamophobia Statement

The Ontario Camps Association stands in solidarity with our Muslim Members, campers and families in condemning the horrifying attack that occurred in London, Ontario on June 6. Acts of racism, Islamophobia, violence and harassment do not match the OCA’s vision of enriching the lives of children, youth and families nor do they align with our values. The OCA welcomes and celebrates all of our Members and the diversity they bring to our Association.

The OCA is deeply saddened and grieves with our Muslim Community at the incredible loss of life that the community has suffered. We recognize that events like this must be met with compassion, empathy and resolve to continue our fight against racism in all its forms.

The Naseeha Mental Health Hotline is an organization which provides both Muslim and non-Muslim youth with free, confidential support 7 days a week from 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. EST via phone or text. We encourage you to reach out for support.

https://naseeha.org/ 1 (866) 627-3342

May 31 Residential School Statement 

The OCA grieves with our Indigenous Members and Indigenous communities across Turtle Island at the discovery of the bodies of 215 Indigenous children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. 

We mourn for the children who did not receive the love, support and care they deserved when they were taken from their families and communities and forced to attend Residential schools. 

The OCA acknowledges the deep and ongoing harm caused by residential schools and other acts of colonization, and we are committed to working towards reconciliation. We encourage our Members and the Ontario camps community to familiarize themselves with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action and examine how they can be implemented at their camps.

We recognize that this is a deeply upsetting and traumatizing time for survivors and intergenerational survivors of residential schools. Please reach out to your loved ones, community members, or the emergency crisis line listed below. You are not alone. 

The National Residential School Crisis Line is available 24/7 for those that may need support. 1-866-925-4419

Posted May 31, 2021.

Our Statement Regarding the Roadmap to Reopen

The Ontario Camps Association was pleased that Premier Ford and his government have included the reopening of summer camps- both day and overnight- in its Roadmap to Reopen. We are grateful for the government’s decision to allow for the reopening of overnight camps- more than 15 months since the industry was shuttered- and encouraged by the decision to allow the continued operation of day camps with greater capacity.

Clearly, the inclusion of summer camps in the government’s reopening strategy is an endorsement of the Ontario Camps Association’s detailed approach to a careful and responsible return to camp, and, is an acknowledgement of the widespread support the OCA’s plan for camp has received from a litany of internationally respected health institutions, professional medical groups, highly respected physicians, leading mental health advocates, and public health professionals.

With clear metrics to allow for the operation of programs this summer, both in Step 1 and Step 2 of the provincial reopening plan, millions of Ontario campers, staff, parents and caregivers can join the OCA and the government in the coming weeks and plan for camp.

We look forward to continuing to work with the government and public health officials, and to encouraging all friends of camp to get vaccinated and help speed the arrival of the province’s staged reopening.

Posted May 26, 2021. 

 

Our Response to Recent Anti-Semitic Actions

The Ontario Camps Association does not condone anti–Semitism or racism in any form. These actions, which have recently been seen around the world, do not match our vision of enriching the lives of children, youth and families nor do they align with our values. The OCA welcomes and celebrates all of our Members and the diversity they bring to our Association. Regardless of religion, nationality, race, sexual orientation or other lived experience, you have a place within the OCA.

We encourage our Members to take care of each other and their communities. Please reach out and connect with one another as needed, the OCA is here to support all of our Members.

Posted May 20, 2021. 

Black Lives Matter

As a camping community, storytelling is embedded in many of our camp’s cultures. We understand that not every story is easy to share or to hear, and that not everyone has been given the same platform to share their stories.

We cannot be silent.

At the OCA we are committing to listening and uplifting stories from Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). As leaders we recognize the responsibility of using our voices and our platforms to create space to allow for uncomfortable and challenging conversations.

Today we renew our commitment to learn and grow in order to best support BIPOC, both within and outside of our communities.

Today we renew our commitment to learning and bettering ourselves and the larger camp community.

Today we acknowledge that we value the many intersections of lived experiences our members and our communities bring to the table.

We take seriously our responsibility to our members and our industry to denounce racism in all of its forms. We stand with you and will work hard to follow through on our commitment. We understand, now more than ever before, that #blacklivesmatter.