OCA [Re]Connects 2023: Your Professional Development

Our focus is your development as a camp/outdoor education professional! With more than 65 sessions from several timely content streams to choose from, you’ll leave OCA [Re]Connects 2023 with tools, insights and perspectives for a successful 2023 season!

Our conference is structured with wall-to-wall programming. You create your agenda and attend the sessions that fit your development journey!

Whether you’re a Director, Owner, Manager, Senior Staff Member, Board Member, Programmer, Admin, Maintenance staff, or other camp and outdoor education industry professional there are sessions for you!

We invite you to join us for 70+ workshops, with these stream focuses:

• The Business of Camp
• The Camper
• Equity & Diversity
• Industry Sustainability
• Mental Health
• About OCA
• Outdoor Education
• Program
• Staff Engagement
• Support: Administration & Property Staff
• Trending Topics

The Opening and Closing Sessions

Our Opening Plenary on Thursday (9:30-10:45 a.m.) AND the “Friday Forums”, the closing series of facilitated discussions (Friday 3:30-4:30 pm) are Conference “bookends” focused on the challenges and opportunities for the industry presented within seven theme areas:

• Health
• Healthy Camp Culture
• Marketing & Promotion
• Mental Health
• Staff Challenges
• Technology
• The Future Of The Camping Industry

Here are just SOME of this year’s workshop topics:

• 10 Innovative Tools And Activities To Conduct A Green Needs Assessment
• 10 Tools To Stay Organized And Get Tasks Done On Time
• A 2022 Update On Drownings In Canada
• Admins Unite! Panel Session
• Barriers And Motivators To Camp Sustainability
• Camper First! A Staff Training And Certification Model
• Campers & Staff With Disordered Eating
• Climate Anxiety
• Creating A Culture Of Daily Changes
• Daily Or Weekly Staff Community Times And Rituals: Logistics And Content
• DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) & LGBTQ2S
• Difficult Conversations: Being Proactive About Issues Of Race And Difference
• Equity, Diversity, And Inclusion In The Outdoors
• Extraordinary Facilitation – Insights From Fifty Years Of Working And Playing With Groups
• Green Camp Initiative
• Greener Camps
• Harassment: Camper To Camper, Staff To Staff And Camper To Staff
• Health And Safety Training Certification
• Health Topics Roundtable
• How Do We Help Staff Value A Commitment To Signing A Contract And Completing A Summer
• How To Legally Release Staff
• How To Recruit A More Diverse Staff
• How To Spot, Stop And Manage Behaviours Related To Dysregulation In Campers
• How To Teach And Encourage Staff To Self-Praise To Build Their Own Sense Of Pride, Accomplishment, And Self-Affirmation
• Industry Sustainability: A Deep Dive In Six Parts (Outdoor Centre, Day Camp, Overnight Camp, Financial, Non Profit, Staffing)
• International Staff – Successful Integration And Time Off Challenges
• Labour Laws 101 – How The Laws Have Changed
• Let’s Build Relationships…With Our Boards
• LGBTQ+ Camp Inclusion
• Making Our History Matter
• Making The Most Out Of Your Low-Ropes Course
• Meditation And Non-Violent Communication
• Mental Health Strategies: Flourishing In A Stressed-Out World
• Not Another Mental Health Talk; Camp Wellness In 2023
• OCA Risk, Emergency & Crisis Guide
• OCA Standards Grand Council
• OPHEA Roundtable
• Plants With Purpose (Leading Toward Medicine Walks)
• Post-Pandemic Realness: Addressing Your Staffs Knowledge Gap And Emotional Road Blocks
• Promoting Camp Fever All Year Round
• Queering Camp: Approaches To Creating Inclusive Experiential Education Spaces For Queer And Trans Youth Of Colour
• Risky Play
• Sun Aware Camp Program
• Supporting Campers With Additional Needs (Including Autism, ADHD, Etc…)
• Supporting Childhood Medical Challenges
• Supporting Kids In Recovering From Pandemic Grief
• The Adventure Trail
• The Book Does Not Exist – Get Creative With How You Post And Attract Staff
• The International Camping Fellowship: Spotlight Spain
• The Renewed Value Of Icebreakers In Our Post-Pandemic World
• Trade And Consequences
• Value Proposition
• Who To Turn To: Exploring Mental Health Support For Camps
• Women in Camp
• Year Round Communication At Camp

Our line-up of experienced speakers includes*:

• Alf Grigg (OCA Honorary Life Member)
• Allan Wilson (Outward Bound Canada)
• Bev Unger (Camp Robin Hood)
• Bonita Eby (Breakthrough Personal and Professional Development)
• Bonnie Anderson (Outdoor Environmental Education and Healthy Active Living Coordinator) with Simcoe County District School Board)
• Brandon McClounie (YMCA GTA)
• Brian Lisson (Adventureworks Associates, Inc.)
• Brooke Auld (Piccolo Heath LLP)
• CampBrain
• CANVAS Arts Action Programs
• Charmaine Hammond (The Expert Talk)
• Chris Hudson (Director and Co-Founder, Camp Highlight)
• Colette Marquardt (Executive Director, American Camp Association – Illinois)
• Dana Leahey (Camp Scugog)
• Dr. Daniel Warner
• Danny Sudman (Executive Director and Founder, Green Camps)
• David Borsook (Moorelands)
• Dori Wilner (City of King)
• Dr. Michelle Foster (Ph.D., C.Psych Clinical Psychologist, Clinic Co-Director Toronto Psychology & Wellness Group)
• Dr. Nina Mafrici (Ph.D., C.Psych. Clinical Psychologist, Clinic Co-Director Toronto Psychology & Wellness Group)
• Dr. Stephan Fine (The Hollows Camp)
• Emma Fogel (Emma Fogel Therapy Services)
• Eric Shendelman (Shendy’s Swim School)
• Falyn Katz (Melanoma Canada)
• Gabrielle Raill (Camp Ouareau)
• Howie Grossinger (Camp Robin Hood)
• Ilana Stoch (Camp Kodiak)
• Jacob Rodenburg (Camp Kawartha)
• Jacqui Raill (Camp Ouareau)
• Janet Cottreau (Red Pine Camp)
• Janet Lunau (Piccolo Heath LLP)
• Jeff Blay (Creative Guild)
• Jen Dundas (Camp Couchiching)
• Jessica Faith (BSc. OT, OT Reg. (Ont.) Assistant Director Ellen Yack & Associates Paediatric Therapy Services)
• Jim Cain (Jim Cain, Ph.D. Teamwork & Teamplay)
• Joe Richards (Pearce Williams)
• John Jorgenson (OCA Honorary Life Member)
• Jonathan Nyquist, Taylor Jacobson and Cindy Benedek (Camp Canada by Nyquest)
• Julie Gallie (City of Toronto)
• Karen Suurtamm (Trent University Archives)
• Kelsey Harpur (KH Diversity Consulting)
• Kevin Lindner (University of Guelph)
• Lee Biear (CampBrain)
• Linda Leckie (Outdoor Council of Canada)
• Lindsay Tremmel (The Village)
• Mark Diamond (Camp Manitou)
• Martine Brouillet (CEO/Owner Camp Tournesol | The Brouillet Academy)
• Matt Honsberger (Director of Overnight Programs for Campfire Circle)
• Michael Waxman (Waxman Counselling and Consulting)
• Neil Persaud
• Rachel Kent (Girl Guides of Canada)
• Rob Davis (EcoEthic)
• Robin Squires (BLG LLP)
• Robynne Howard (the Cairn Family of Camps)
• Ross McIntyre (Camp Couchiching)
• Ryan Persadie
• Shane Miskin (CampBrain)
• Sinead Rafferty (Child and Nature Alliance of Canada)
• Suzanne Ross (Camp Safety Network)
• Thomas Appleyard (Camp Safety Network)
• Travis Allison (Go Camp Pro)

*Please note, speakers and sessions are subject to change. We apologize for any inconvenience.