Join Now – Preferred Vendors

The OCA supports, encourages and recommends our Preferred Vendors to all of our Members over other suppliers.

Becoming a Preferred Vendor opens the door to possible partnerships with over 450 Accredited Camps and Outdoor Education Centres in Ontario!

Join Now Inquiry Package

Preferred Vendor Membership Benefits

Our Members know that our Preferred Vendors are vetted.  That means our Members and the general public know they can trust your product/service and will look to you first to fill their needs for their camp and/or outdoor education programs!

Marketing

Our Preferred Vendors receive the following Marketing benefits. Your business will:

  • Receive an OCA brand kit that includes our OCA Preferred Vendor logo for use on your website (for the duration of your membership).
  • Preferred Vendors are sent and permitted use of the annually updated Camp and Outdoor Education Centre and Preferred Vendor Contact Lists, for the duration of their membership.
  • Be listed on our website’s Preferred Vendor Directory, sorted by category making it even easier for a potential customer to find you!
  • Receive the exclusive opportunity to advertise with OCA.
  • Preferred Vendors have access to Early Bird and discounted Member Rates for the Exhibit Hall at our annual conference, OCA Connects! This is the BIGGEST Camp Industry Trade Show in Canada, with more than 600 qualified delegates with purchasing power and/or influence.

Government Lobbying

When changes to regulations that have a potential negative impact on the camp industry are proposed by the government, the OCA lobbies the government on behalf of all its membership camps and outdoor education providers. Given that the OCA represents more than 450 camps and outdoor education centres, it has a powerful voice with the government.

Our past successes include:

  • Establishing a minimum wage exemption for full-time students working at camp
  • Creating the Camp Marine Module with Transport Canada for a Marine Technical Review Board (MTRB) Exemption
  • Working with Service Canada to assist foreign workers and campers in coming to Canadian camps and outdoor education centres

Over the past year (2020-21), OCA worked harder than ever to advocate for the camp industry. Our Board of Directors, Government Relations Committee and the COVID-19 Task Force lobbied the federal and provincial government for the ability for camps to reopen, for financial supports, and for guidance from the Ministry of Health to operate camps as responsibly and safely as possible in summer 2021. OCA continues to advocate for our Members and our industry!

Support

  • The Preferred Vendors Committee meets a few times each year to discuss current industry trends, how to be successful in marketing to camps and outdoor education providers, Exhibit Hall tips from the pros, and to take your feedback so Preferred Vendors get the most out of their membership!
  • Your membership will give you exclusive access to the OCA Weekly, our weekly newsletter with industry news, resources, and updates.
  • Our Slack channel provides the ability to chat with other OCA Preferred Vendors for support, resources, and networking!

Mentoring

The camps industry is unique – we are a community of like-minded people who want to ensure that the Canadian tradition of camp and outdoor education is available, accessible, and safe for everyone. In this spirit, the OCA provides mentorship connections for new directors, new camps and outdoor education centres, camps in need of support, and to our OCA Preferred Vendors.

New in 2021 is our formal Mentor Program! Built on OCA’s connections and relationships, and our strength coming from sharing our knowledge with each other, this program is all about sharing resources, knowledge, and information.

How does it work? The OCA provides Generalist and Specialist mentorship connections for new directors, camps and OECs, camps/OECs in need of support, Preferred Vendors, and individual members who, in writing, commit to starting the Provisional One Application process at the next available opportunity.

We currently have specialists in the following categories:

  • Aquatics
  • Business Operations (includes finance, insurance, office management, marketing, communications)
  • Crisis Response
  • Equity and Diversity
  • Facilities/Maintenance
  • Food Service
  • Fundraising/Events
  • Health and Wellness
  • Human Resources
  • Institutional (university/college) Camps
  • Municipality Camps
  • Outdoor Education
  • Programming
  • Risk Management
  • Special Needs
  • Staff Management (includes training)
  • Standards
  • Tripping
  • YMCA Camps

OCA Events

The OCA team wants to make sure all our Members and our community are safe during the pandemic, and as such, we will be taking a measured and practical approach to OCA events.

OCA delivers a variety of educational workshops to provide professional development and networking opportunities to our Members. These events are delivered as either part of your membership, or at a discounted members-only rate, and have included events such as:

  • OCA Connects, our annual conference
  • Health Conference
  • Campfire of Inclusion
  • Staff Summit
  • Sessions on topics as needed, such as Mental Health First Aid Training, the Equity and Diversity Ambassador Program, and health hot topics
  • OCA Meet-Ups, Holiday Parties, and other networking events

We are continuing to support our Members through Town Halls, Webinars, Think Tanks, Coffee Hours, and other virtual sessions on a variety of topics which have included:

  • Mental Health
  • Online Safety
  • Virtual Programming

OCA also connects its Members with relevant external professional development opportunities in the OCA Weekly.

Research

The OCA provides Members with access to research, completed by the Canadian Camping Association and the American Camp Association, providing data and trends that are important to the camps industry. The COVID-19 Task Force and OCA Board of Directors will be researching successful programs that ran in Summer 2020 to provide insight and direction for the 2021 season and beyond. We also connect researchers to camps and outdoor education providers.

Savings

Your OCA membership makes you eligible for OCA Member pricing, or free access, for OCA events!

Ready to Learn More?

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Preferred Vendors

Find the product or service you need in our directory of preferred vendors.

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Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us!

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Benefits and Applications

Learn more about the application process and membership benefits for: