Alberta Camping Conference

FEBRUARY 27- MARCH 2, 2023



The ACC provides the chance to connect with camp professionals and experts throughout the province.


The conference features a variety of sessions led by experts in their field. Explore ways to enhance your business and program practices.


Make your voice heard! Participate in the ACA AGM and CCI Annual Updates Meeting. Share ideas and practices.


Celebrate your industry colleagues at the ACA Awards.


Joe Pavelka, PhD

Alberta summer camps occupy a unique and important position in the development of children and adults alike. They have been a crucial part of tradition, memory and friendships for decades. The summer camp itself in its structure and operations are equally unique within the spectrum of social recreation offerings in Alberta and beyond. Yet, in the recent past summer camps have struggled to regain the relevance they once occupied within their communities and as viable enterprises.

This session is about relevance. It is about understanding what it means to be relevant today in the broad space that camps occupy and how can Alberta’s summer camps regain it.  What it means to be relevant today is not necessarily what it meant in the past.

Joe Pavelka, PhD, is a professor at Mount Royal University.


Prioritizing Wellness at Camp

Burnout has always been a difficult obstacle to overcome in summer camp communities. With long days that are jam-packed with activities, and nights that can be tough for some campers, counsellors can easily get overwhelmed and worn out within the first couple weeks of summer.

The Health and Wellness Coordinator, a new position developed in Spring 2022, is a member of the lead team who is not focused on daily camp logistics and scheduling but rather on how the community is feeling. Warwa’s focus on wellness also incited change to our programming.


Isabel “Signal” Wynn has been working at Camp Warwa since 2018 and took on the role of camp’s first Health and Wellness Coordinator in spring 2022.


Developing junior staff into leaders

This seminar will focus on the importance and strategy of developing young camp staff into leaders. Most camps rely on young staff to run the majority of its operations: from programming to cabin leading to food service. The youth and inexperience of camp staff can be seen as either a problem to be managed or as an opportunity to be developed. Intentionally using real responsibility and proactive facilitation you can help staff develop- for your benefit and theirs


Dennis Landon has been the Director of the Outdoor Leadership program at Prairie College since 2011

All About Camp Insurance

The CCA Insurance program has been designed specifically for the unique needs of Camps. During our session we will review the scope of coverage a camp should consider and review claims examples for both property and liability risks.

For more than 40 years Nancy Brown has demonstrated he commitment to serving the needs of her clients. She and her experienced team have built their business around the idea that long-term, good-faith relationships are not obsolete and integrity is not out of style.

Preventing Abuse at Camp

Join Katie Reese, a Senior Risk Consultant who Katie specializes in helping youth development organizations manage the risk of sexual abuse, including camps. You will come away with best practices and resources you can take back to implement at your camp!

Share It!

Share It!

The Camp Industry is built on a sharing mentality – Let’s make it ALL better together! 

Come with an open hand to share and snag ideas about training, culture, camper care, followup, fun, whatever and learn from each other! 

Facilitated by Cortney Armstrong, Camp Evergreen & Tonia Martens, Southern Alberta Bible Camp

Camp Construction: When to Renovate and When to Build New

In this session we will discuss some of the key considerations in deciding whether to fix, renovate, or build new at your camp. We will look at how to prioritize projects, how to perform a basic cost-benefit analysis, the importance of good stewardship (not just of financial resources!), and how fundraising ties in to all of it. We will also look at an example of how one camp built “new” to serve generations to come, while continuing to honour their history and remember where they came from.


Braden Swab is the founder of Tree Stream Consulting, which provides planning and project management services specifically to non-profits undertaking capital construction projects.

How to Get Out of Reactive Functioning

Maintaining camps is not an easy task. Typically you have limited time and resources to maintain aging infrastructures. Too often camp facilities staff find themselves trapped in a cycle, functioning reactively to important problems, without any time left over to put into creating the efficiency that goes into breaking that cycle. In this session, Jon will share how SABC has created a system of time blocking and prioritization to get out of reactive maintenance and into proactive management. 

Enhancing nature connection for campers and staff

In this fast paced, technological world, we find ourselves relying on our sight and hearing – seeing and listening to the world through our glowing windows. In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to a whole suite of activities that will help you and your campers use your sight, hearing, feeling, smell and taste in unique ways to connect more deeply to the world.  From exploring the beauty of the very small to learning how to be a bird whisperer; from drawing sound to creating beautiful nature sculptures, you’ll discover the beauty and magic of time spent in nature.


Jacob Rodenburg is an award-winning educator and Executive Director of Camp Kawartha – an outdoor, environment centre and camp. 

Creating a Culture of Respect for Gender and Sexual Diversity at Camp

Building on the anti-homophobia work that the Centre for Sexuality has been doing since the 1990s, this workshop defines and examines the differences between sex, gender, and sexual orientation. We discuss the impacts of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, on 2SLGBTQ+ employees in the workplace. Participants will learn about creating safer and more inclusive spaces. 


Prax Li (he/him) is a Training Centre facilitator at the Centre for Sexuality with a background in biomedical sciences and experience in youth work.

Accreditation Orientation

Accreditation Orientation

This session will provide an overview of what to expect when you receive an accreditation visit and how to perform a visit as a volunteer. We will also look at any standard you might have questions about and review the Accreditation Process. This session is recommended for anyone planning to volunteer as a visitor for the first time and/or receiving an accreditation visit this summer.


Kendra Freeland, ACA Standards & Accreditation Chair, Camp Kuriakos

Building a Complete Preventative Maintenance System

How do you set up a preventative maintenance system when you’re working on a limited budget? Learn how SABC changed how they approached preventative maintenance and created a system without breaking the bank! 


John Kehler has been at SABC in the Properties Manager position for 14 years. He lives at the camp with his wife and five children. Before the camp he was involved in the construction industry and owned a residential framing company.

Three stages of recruitment

How do you recruit the best quality candidates at your camp? This session goes through the three stages of recruitment;

  1. attracting candidates with the right skills and qualities
  2. selecting the most qualified candidates by designing good selection systems (the most common example being interviews)
  3. keeping hires interested and engaged with the organization during the interim period between when they are hired and when they actually start their position.

Kaitlyn Guenther is an Industrial Organizational Psychology researcher at the University of Calgary. 

Wilderness First Aid Splinting

This session will be hosted by Dave Wooldridge, owner of Ridge Wilderness Adventures and First Aid. The session with Dave will focus on the different types of bone, muscle and joint injuries. He will cover how to splint and sling these injuries, along with what types of injuries should be relocated.

Dave is a previous Committee Member for the First Aid Technical Advisory with the Canadian Red Cross for Wilderness First Aid. He has taught all over the world to Military, Expedition Guides, Ski Patrol, Search & Rescue teams, and simply anyone who loves the outdoors!


Nominations for the 2022 awards are now open.  Submission deadline is February 1. Awards will be presented at the 2023 Annual Conference.

There are a number of awards available to be presented to worthy individuals, camps and organizations each year at the ACA Annual Conference.


Interested in being a conference sponsor?



February 28 from 12 – 6:30 p.m.