FALL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE SHORTLY – REGISTER NOW!
The 2019 COEO conference organizing committee has been hard at work and plans are well underway for this year’s annual conference. This year’s conference, The Power of Connection, will be held at Camp Couchiching, located near Orillia, Ontario.
This year’s conference is all about fostering connections. How can we use outdoor education to build bridges between classmates, create engaged citizens, and deepen relationships with nature? These are some of the questions we hope to tackle at this year’s conference! We will share ideas around how educators can build or strengthen connections between their students and the land, their community, their peers, their food, and more. This year we’ll also have more workshops that let us disconnect from technology, foster discussion, get hands-on or be immersed in nature.
Since 1946, Camp Couchiching has hosted tens of thousands of youth on the shores of Lake Couchiching near Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Originally founded as a single gendered camp with an Anglican religious focus, Camp Couchiching has morphed over the years into a co-ed inclusive community which operates throughout the year. Most of Camp Couchiching’s programming operates out of their main camp site near Longford Mills, Ontario which is open from May through October. This 15 acre piece of property has over a km of shoreline, rolling fields and mixed deciduous forests. Camp Couchiching is a few kilometres south of the Canadian Shield, and so they enjoy a limestone base and tend to be less “buggy” than its northern neighbours. During the rest of the year, Camp Couchiching supports many varied community initiatives including in-school programming, sustainable gardening, experiential education tutoring, PA day programming and March Break camps too. The camp’s main program is a Summer Overnight Camp and a successful Summer Day Camp and Spring/Fall Outdoor Centre. They currently provide programming to over 7000 people each year. They feel it is important to provide many of their programs at no or low cost and for the other programs, they ensure there is ample subsidy available to ensure that the ability to pay isn’t a barrier to participate.
Camp Couchiching is located at 3990 Longford Mills Road, Longford Mills, Ontario (Ramara) or 3990 Longford Mills Road, Washago (depending on the map/app you are using). Google maps will show a Camp Couchiching located at 27 Peter Street North in Orillia. Please note that this leads to the camp’s winter offices, not the camp property (don’t go there). The camp is 3 kms north of Casino Rama, which has a lot of signage. Please see the detailed directions below.
From Toronto & the south
Take Hwy 401 in Toronto to Hwy 400 north. Follow Hwy 400 north through Barrie, take Hwy 11 north to Orillia. At Orillia take the Hwy 12 south exit (follow the Casino Rama signs to Rama Road). Follow Hwy 12 through Orillia (over a bridge in Atherley). Turn left at the traffic lights just past Atherley onto Rama Road (Simcoe County Road 44), and follow it for about 7 kms. Camp Couchiching will be on your left.
From North Bay & the north
Take Hwy 11 south. Exit onto County Road 169 at Washago. Travel about 1 km and then turn right onto Rama Road (Simcoe County Road 44), and proceed for about 8 kms. Camp Couchiching will be on your right.
From Ottawa & the east
Heading west from Ottawa take Highway 17 through Arnprior to Renfrew. Continue west onto Bancroft. Follow Highway 118, then 503 towards Kinmount. From Kinmount, take 45 west to Rama Road (Simcoe County Road 44). Turn right and follow it for about 7 kms. Camp Couchiching will be on your left.
From Kingston area
Take Highway 401 west to Hwy 115. Take Hwy 115 north, then 35 north to Lindsay. Follow 7 west towards Highway 12. Turn right at Hwy 12, and head north for 50 kms. Turn right at the traffic lights onto Rama Road (Simcoe County Road 44), and follow it for about 7 kms. Camp Couchiching will be on your left.
Accommodations will be in shared camp cabins at Camp Couchiching. Facilities include flush toilets and hot showers. Please bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel and flashlight. Tent camping is available on the Camp Couchiching property (same cost applies). Please inform us of any special accommodation needs on your registration form.
WHAT TO BRING
Things you’ll need at the conference:
- Sleeping Bag
- Clothing to be comfortable in rainier shine, cold or warm
- Toiletries & personal items
- Water bottle
- Coffee/Tea Thermos or Mug
- Ear plugs
- Alcohol (no glass beer bottles please – cans only)
- Musical Instruments
- Previous COEO conference nametag – we love recycling if we can!
- Business cards
- Camping chair
Extra cash: The COEO silent and live auctions are always filled with amazing items, so don’t forget to bring some extra cash or perhaps even your cheque book! Additionally, the President’s Raffle will be taking place again this year, and you may want to purchase tickets to win a $100 MEC gift card and much more!
MEALS AND SNACKS
The Camp Couchiching Kitchen will be providing delicious and nutritious meals for the conference. Please outline any dietary needs clearly on your registration form. Coffee, tea, juice and water will be provided at all times in the dining hall. Other snacks will be provided at times indicated. BYOWB! – Bring Your Own Water Bottle. ***Please note, alcohol is permitted on Camp Couchiching property (BYOB), but no glass beer bottles – cans only please.
Each year the COEO Board of Directors sets aside funds for individuals who require financial assistance in order to attend our annual conference. This year, COEO Alumni have also stepped forward and contributed funds specifically for students and young professionals who require financial assistance to attend the conference. Those wishing to apply for conference bursary must submit a letter to COEO President, Liz Kirk at email@example.com with the requested amount and a rationale by September 1, 2019. You will be informed by September 3, 2019 to whether or not you have received funding.
As always, the COEO Conference Committee encourages carpooling when possible and will help facilitate this by organizing a list of drivers with available space in September – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you require a ride or are willing to offer a ride to someone else. Please email with your name, email, where you’re coming from (area/town) and how many spaces you have or will need in a car.
INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE KEEPERS AT COUCHICHING
Join Our Circle
Over the past few of conferences, COEO has been afforded the opportunity to invite indigenous knowledge keepers to recognize the land, the traditional territory, and to help us explore how to best approach, explore, and respect indigenous perspectives, practice, and relationships.
Once again COEO is pleased to announce that Peter Shuler, elder from the Mississaugas of The Credit First Nation, will be joining us to provide his guidance in helping people connect to more Earth knowledge, self-awareness, and the appreciation of the Fall Season!
As a Traditional Ecological Knowledge Keeper and teacher he has worked with all levels of the education system to develop better relationships, and encourage the inclusion of an indigenous worldview in our places of learning. He looks forward to talking and learning more about outdoor education programs and practice!
He will be conducting an opening and closing to the conference and running a workshop at this year’s fall conference. Although the conference organizing committee will offer tobacco, please also feel free to bring a small tobacco tie or a little pinch of tobacco from you organization if you wish for the opening.
AWARD NOMINATIONS AND PRESENTATION
Our annual conference is also the time for us to recognize and celebrate the efforts and achievements of COEO members and other outdoor educators throughout the province. Join us after dinner on Saturday evening as we acknowledge the recipients of this year’s annual COEO awards. Please consider nominating a deserving colleague or organization — visit the COEO awards webpage and read about our five major awards. A nomination form can be downloaded from the bottom of that page.
LIVE AND SILENT AUCTION
Now an annual conference tradition, we are again having both a Silent Auction and a Live Auction and we will need your help. We are looking for a variety of items to be donated by you or your affiliated organization. We hope to have about 30 items in the silent auction and about 5 big-ticket items in the live auction. We are open to welcoming whatever you have to offer. Past auctions have included donations of: gift certificates, books, organization-related clothing, camping gear, gift baskets, artwork, handmade crafts, etc. Please contact email@example.com if you have any potential items you wish to donate. All proceeds from the auctions will go towards future COEO initiatives.
SATURDAY NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
We’ll start off our Saturday night with some square dancing led by the talented Hannah Naiman. Never been square dancing before? Feel like you’ve got two left feet? Not to worry, Hannah will give you a chance to learn the moves before we dance up a storm.
Once we’ve warmed up with some square dancing it’ll be time for everyone to bust a move for DJ Lisa. That’s right, DJ Lisa will once again be spinning the wheels of steel and pumpin’ up the jam! Bring your dancing shoes, because we will be burning up the dance floor on Saturday night. This year’s theme is Surfs Up! Whether you want to rock board shorts & a sun hat or bust a move in your wetsuit & snorkel, come dressed for good times at the beach.
Individuals and companies that would like to market programs, services or products at the 2019 COEO Conference will be able to do so in the Exhibitor Showcase located inside the Camp Cooch town hall. Members of COEO may reserve exhibit space at no extra cost. Exhibit space is limited; contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot and avoid missing out on this great communication-promotional opportunity.
Are you planning to attend the upcoming conference as part of group of six or more? Group discounts are available. Contact email@example.com for more details.
Regular and Organizational Members $230 (Early Bird Rate) $260
Student and Retiree Members $195 (Early Bird Rate) $225
*Membership: Registrants for the 2019 COEO Annual Fall Conference must hold a current COEO membership. Membership fees may be paid with registration.
Also, please note that the special early bird pricing is only valid until August 15th, 2019 – to qualify, you must register online or mail-in your registration form and payment postmarked on or before this deadline!
Want your own copy of this year’s poster to hang up at your school or outdoor centre? Download a copy by clicking here.