Workshop Offerings

From programming and activities, kitchen maintenance to human resources, board governance and fundraising, the Alberta Camping Association has lined up camp professionals to present a wide variety of topics.  There are many educational workshops and presentations that will benefit you and your camp.


Keynote Address from Franz Plangger

Monday, March 19 - 6:30 PM

Going Beyond the Gut Instinct of Knowing the Benefits of Outdoor Activity

Your gut has been telling you for a long time that going outdoors is great. But, is your gut enough when you have doubts, ask a parent to trust you, defend the value of your program? What is it about being outside that is great and is this enough to justify all the effort we invest in running outdoor programs?

Outdoor programs can bring many benefits to our society and this realization is becoming more evident. However, fewer and fewer people have had the chance to be part of outdoor programs or spend some unstructured time outside. It is up to program managers and group leaders to take on the important task of explaining why going outside matters.

In this presentation, we will spend some time looking at all the benefits associated with outdoor activity and how bringing people outside can really impact a person in many ways. We will go beyond the gut instinct and look at what a broad array of research is uncovering on this topic.

Franz Plangger, Outdoor Council of Canada, Curriculum Specialist

Franz's life path changed significantly upon participating in an outdoor expedition in 2001. Ever since then, he has been passionate about sharing the beauty of natural environments and the power of finding one's own potential. Franz completed a Bachelor's of Outdoor and Adventure Tourism in the beautifully scenic Saguenay/Lac Saint Jean region of Quebec and a Masters of Education, Leadership studies in the historical Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.

He has spent more than a decade leading experiential education programs with organizations such as Outward Bound, NOLS, Class Afloat and Enviros Wilderness School. His journeys exposed him to many different environments, where he felt the power of the howling wind, saw rainbows painted on mountain sides, understood the lifesaving power of words and heard stories carried from generation to generation.



Workshop Session 1 -  9:30 AM

Fund Raising with Alumni and Volunteer led Work Groups – Rob Brown, Camp Chief Hector YMCA – Perraton Lounge

A session detailing the ways that a volunteer work-group can be formally structured to drive fund development for camps. Detailed role descriptions for recruiting, training, and on-boarding new volunteers, as well as the roles necessary to manage social media, events management, and stewardship activities for donors.

The key take away is that with minimal effort and time commitment for camp professionals the dedicated supporters around each camp can be empowered to raise funds for campership or capital campaigns quite successfully.

The key is to manage activities so that the contributions are meaningful and rewarding for the volunteers and this session will deliver usable and adaptable tools to ensure that is happening for your organization. This will be valuable to both organizations that have large head office support and professional fund raising teams as well as smaller camps that are just beginning or looking to improve their current efforts.

Evaluating Your Camp Operations Using Business Intelligence Strategies – Stephane Richard, Canadian Camping Association President – Music Hall

Description currently not available


Workshop Session 2 - 11:00 AM

Machines Have Manuals, Why Not People?" - Oliver Baezner, Camp Kindle – Music Hall

This "fun" and interactive workshop will not only help you identify some of your own strengths and weaknesses, but will also help you learn how to improve communication with everyone you interact with not only at work, but in your personal life. Benefits include:

  • Significantly enhance communication with others.
  • Learn how to get agreement with less effort.
  • Identify your own behaviors under stress.
  • BONUS: Learn why you and your "significant other" drive each other crazy sometimes!

Providing staff with the tools to maximize Challenge Course program efficacy and outcomes! – Kevin French, CUI – Perraton Lounge

Camp activity blocks are getting shorter in an effort to allow campers to experience all the wonderful things camp has to offer. This session will provide you with a number of programming concepts that in combination with the newest technology will help younger, less experienced staff provide more meaningful Challenge Course experiences. Programming concepts, identifying possible learning outcomes, staff training and recent technological developments will be discussed. Participants should expect to be active in this workshop.


Workshop Session 3 - 1:30 PM

Working with LGBTQ+ Campers - Dori Palimer, Calgary Sexual Health – Music Hall

Description currently not available

Sacrificial Caring and Burnout – Dick Derkson, Whisper Pines Bible Camp – Perraton Lounge

Many who work in professions where caring for and managing the needs of others in a leadership role is the main focus experience signs of burnout. This workshop explores the symptoms of burnout and the way out of this condition.

Practical Nature Programming – Natalie Armbruster, Camp Yowochas – Aspen Lounge

This session will give you the information, practical skills and vigor to bring life back into your nature programs. You'll receive resources and activities that are easily transferable to your own facility plus a literal breath of fresh air while you're lead on a nature walk through the enchanting natural landscape of Camp Kindle.


Workshop Session 4 - 3:00 PM

Mindfulness: What Is It and Why Should We Want to Practice It? -  Lonnie DeSorcy, Yoga Association of Alberta

Through didactic and experiential material, participants will develop a basic understanding of mindfulness as a meditation technique and way of being in life, as well as some of the many benefits that are being realized through its practice.

In The Kitchen @ Kindle – Meaghan McNamee, Camp Kindle

An overview of how we run our kitchen at Camp Kindle. Focusing on the following:

  • How we handle different group needs from kid’s BBQ's to corporate events to weddings.
  • How we handle our high volume of special dietary requirements from prep to table. 

Ending with a round table discussion regarding best camp practices in regards to the kitchen.

Debunking ADHD Myths, and Strategies That Work - Kathleen Gurski & Tanya Keto, Foothills Academy Society

Is ADHD just an unruly camper, or one with too much energy? Do parents have control over these campers at home? What is a "medication vacation"? I thought it was called ADD, not ADHD, are you sure there's an H in there? How can you run a camp for only kids with campers with ADHD?!

Learn about the myths and truths about ADHD, identify a camper with ADHD campers, and build strategies that work for your camp to support that camper with ease.



Workshop Session 5 - 9:30 AM

Outdoor Council of Canada & The Benefits of the Outdoor Experience – Franz Plannger, OCC

We will be talking more on the benefits of getting youth outside and the benefits that the Outdoor Council of Canada can provide to the camping industry.

Annual General Meeting Pre-Session – Terry Konyi, ACA President

This session is designed to answer any questions member camps have about the ACA before going into the AGM.