Camping’s Crème of the Crop


When you first see this photo, it looks like an older version of an elementary class photo. However, I invite you to take a closer look at the amazing people in this photo.

This is the Ontario Camps Association, Honourary Life Member group, that gathered at the recent OCA camping conference. There are 123 HLMs in total so this is snapshot of the excellence in Canadian Camping.

In order to be an Honorary Life Member, you have to have made an extraordinary contribution to camping through the following criteria:
• Ten (10) or more years of distinguished service in the field of camping.
• Held positions on the Board or have chaired committee(s), task force(s) or special project(s) for at least 10 years.
• Held an executive position of a camping organization or agency for at least 10 years.
• Retired from active service in camping or reached 55 years of age.

HLMs are an incredible group of people who have dedicated their lives to camping, youth development and many other facets of camping that impact all aspects of operating a summer camp. Remember, having fun is serious business!
I found myself in awe of their collective wisdom and sheer number of years that this group has dedicated to the development, care and leadership of children and young people. Being in their presence was inspiring to those of us who yearn to live up to their incredible professional standards and all-around awesomeness.

Front Row

Mary Casey – Camp Big Canoe
Liz Greenway – YWCA Camp Tapawingo – Director
Alf Grigg – Community college professor, Outdoor education in a camp setting, leadership
Peter Gilbert – Involved in the design of camp’s infrastructure
Leon Muszynski – Camp Arowhon, Owner and Director
Kate Moore – Executive Director of Ten Oaks
George Ross – Former Owner of Miakonda, Past OCA treasurer
Catherine Ross – Former Owner of Miakonda
Dave Newnham, Tim Horton Children’s Foundation
Barb Hnatiak – Easter Seals Camp programs

Middle Row

Marj Booth – Past Executive Director Mooredale and Canadian Camping Association
Margaret Bernardo – Owner Camp Wabikon
Ellen Nash – Director of Camp Northland B’Nai Brith, OCA Past President
Sally Moore – Current owner of Sunnyrock, past staff Bark Lake
Barb Gilbert – past camper & staff, Glen Bernard Camp
Jane McCutcheon – Past Director Camp Tawingo, Camp consultant
Patti Thom – Camp Director, Tanamakoon
Jocelyn Palm – Owner, Glen Bernard Camp and Order of Canada recipient
Larry Bell – Past Director, Camp Robin Hood
Pearl Bell – Past Director, Camp Robin Hood
Skip Connett Owner and Director Canadian Adventure Camp
Janet Fine – Owner and Director of the Hollows Camp
Stephen Fine – Owner & Director of The Hollows Camp, CCA research in partnership with the University of Waterloo

Back Row

Jeff Bradshaw, Owner and Executive Director Camp Wenonah
Jo Dwhytie, Assistant Director, YWCA Tapawingo
Jill Dundas, Chief Operating Officer, Girl Guides of Canada.
Marilee MacFarlane – Past staff at Camp Gay Venture
John Jorgenson –Director, Camp Tawingo
Bev Unger, Health & Wellness Director, Camp Robinhood
Bob Smith, President of Kids in Camp, Past Owner Haliburton Hockey Haven
Rob Crew, Director Sparrow Lake
Diane Blair – Chair of Camping Archives, Ontario Camps Association