The 2018 COEO conference organizing committee has been hard at work and plans are now set for this year’s annual conference. Our theme, THE UNCONVENTION II, is an attempt to breakaway from the usual conference format and do things a little bit differently. This year’s conference will actually be comprised of “4 conferences in 1” or four separate conference streams. The conference will also include many unconventional elements and surprises—it will be an opportunity to explore new ideas and perspectives, learn and share best practices and rejuvenate and refocus for the year ahead. Our host site will be YMCA CAMP PINE CREST, located near Gravenhurst, Ontario.
We have an amazing line-up of engaging workshops, captivating keynotes, and awesome pre-conference experiences!
CONFERENCE STREAM DESCRIPTIONS
Crafting & Making: Handmade and hands-on solutions to everyday problems
Our world is filled with messy problems, which require creative solutions. People must think innovatively, respond productively, and work collaboratively to face the challenges of today. And so, what role can outdoor and experiential education play in advancing the development of these skill sets in young people? This conference stream will explore crafting and making with a purpose, as we get our hands busy creating, building, hacking, reinventing and learning along the way. This is a call out to all makers and crafters in the COEO community—now is your time to shine! We want to see your skills: folk art or fine art skills, bushcraft skills, gardening skills, musical skills, computer hacking skills—show us your inventions, adaptions and contraptions. Whether it’s time and/or cost saving workarounds you’ve developed for your classroom, centre or camp, or innovative program ideas you’ve employed to get kids making, crafting and creating, we want to see it all!
Creating Community: Connecting people to the environment and each other
Let’s come together and connect! Community building is a cornerstone of any successful educational venture. As outdoor educators, we work particularly hard at creating supportive learning environments where communities can form and flourish, and we also endeavour to exemplify the qualities of a productive community members in the work we all do. Today, we face unique challenges (and opportunities) when it comes to connecting people to the environment and each other—from navigating social media platforms to engage online communities with the natural world or supporting the integration of newcomers and refugees in your local area, we are collectively working harder than ever. And in doing so, from an educational perspective, we will ask the following questions: what are some of the best practices for building and supporting strong communities, and how do we identify and eliminate the barriers that prevent productive communities from forming? This conference stream explore community-based educational practices such as integrated curriculum programs, place-based education, community-based informal and non-traditional learning environments, community environmental action projects, expeditionary learning, and more.
Leadership Development: Supporting the next generation of outdoor leaders in Ontario
The aim of this conference stream is to explore current practices and future possibilities in youth leadership development within Ontario. We will start at the beginning by discussing the various theories and approaches used to support the growth of emerging leaders and then move on to examine the program designs, mentorship styles and coaching methods we currently use in our own practice. Successful program models will be shared and discussed along with practical advice and tools for practitioners. An exciting and eclectic variety of workshops will showcase new and innovative practices, while also offering solutions to current issues faced in the field. Research and relevant resources will also be presented along the way. We will envision the future landscape of leadership development by locating needs, assessing trends and refocusing core objectives. Our overarching goal is to renew and further strengthen the area of leadership development within Ontario.
Nature Study: New approaches to help us rediscover our natural surroundings
Join us as we take a fresh look at an old idea. First, we will learn about the history of nature study and explore a variety of long established field-based approaches to learning science. We will then leap forward and examine some of the new and rebooted methods being used in outdoor education today. What are the similarities and differences between past practices and current trends, and how do they impact individuals’ spiritual, personal, and educational experiences within the natural world? This stream will explore the pedagogy and practice of this new wave of nature study and how it might best align with the Ontario K-12 and early years curriculum. We hope to share a variety of approaches in this stream offering, including, but not limited to: Citizen Science, BioBlitzes, Coyote Mentoring, Forest Schooling, Project-based conservation initiatives.
YMCA Camp Pine Crest is located approximately 2 hours north of Toronto near Torrance, Ontario within the District of Muskoka. The camp is one of North America’s oldest summer camps, operating continually since 1910. At over a hundred years old, Pine Crest now operates as both a summer camp and year round outdoor education centre. Over the past several years the camp has undergone a series of major changes, including renovations to every cabin, the main dining hall and outtripping centre. In addition, the construction of three new winterized lodges took place in 2010. The camp boasts two, 40-foot high ropes courses, one located on their open Adventure Field and the other found in a forest of mature pine trees, as well as, two low ropes courses and variety of fixed initiatives. The camp also has a climbing wall with 4 faces of varying difficulties and a waterfront that includes a large swimming area with floating dock, diving board and jumping tower. They also have a fleet of cedar strip canoes, ABS tripping canoes and Kayaks.
From Toronto & the south
Take Highway 400 north to Barrie, then Highway 11 north to Gravenhurst. At Gravenhurst take Highway 169 about 21 km northwest to Torrance. Turn left onto Southwood road and immediately left again onto Clear Lake Road. Camp is about 3.3 km down the road.
From North Bay & the north
Follow Highway 11 south to Highway 169 at Gravenhurst. Take Highway 169 about 21 km northwest to Torrance. Turn left onto Southwood Road and immediately left again onto Clear Lake Road. Camp is about 3.3 km down the road.
From Sudbury & the northwest
Follow Highway 69 south through Parry Sound to Highway 169 at Foot’s Bay. Take Highway 169 southeast about 25 km through Bala to Torrance. Turn right onto Southwood Road and immediately left again onto Clear Lake Road. Camp is about 3.3 km down the road.
From Ottawa & the east
Take Highway 60 west through Algonquin Park to Highway 11 at Huntsville. Take Highway 11 south about 52 km to Highway 169 at Gravenhurst. Take Highway 169 about 21 km northeast to Torrance. Turn left onto Southwood Road and immediately left again onto Clear Lake Road. Camp is about 3.3 km down the road.
Accommodations will be in shared camp cabins at Camp Pine Crest. Facilities include flush toilets and hot showers. Please bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel and flashlight. Tent camping is available on the Pine Crest 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 Rain or Shine, Cold or Warm
- Toilettries & personal items
- Water bottle
- Coffee/Tea Thermos or Mug
- Dance Costume! (see details below)
- Ear plugs
- Alcohol (no glass beer bottles please – cans only)
- Musical Instruments
- Previous COEO conference nametag – we love recycling if we can!
- Business cards
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 Pine Crest 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 Pine Crest 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 Past, Past, Past President, Kyle Clarke – firstname.lastname@example.org with the requested amount and a rationale by September 1, 2018. You will be informed by September 3, 2018 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 email@example.com 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 PINE CREST
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 to 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.
BRING A FRIEND TO THE CONFERENCE CAMPAIGN
We’ve just launched an exciting new membership promotion for this year’s Annual Fall Conference. To acknowledge and celebrate the “Creating Community” conference theme, we are encouraging members of COEO to invite a colleague or friend to the conference who has never attended before. For each new person that joins you at the conference, you will receive a special prize draw ticket for an ULTIMATE GIFT BASKET, valued at $300!!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any potential items you wish to donate. All proceeds from the auctions will go towards future COEO initiatives. The auctions will take place just after dinner on Saturday evening.
SATURDAY NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT
DJ LISA IS BACK!!! Get excited! 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. What’s that you say? What’s the dress-up theme for this year’s dance? Hold on to your spandex! This year’s dance theme is: Starlight Starbright! That’s right, Dress in your most vibrant, glow in the dark colours and shine bright like a diamond in the sky! Sort of like a Tight and Bright party where everyone is dressed in flourescent colours/80’s work out attire, but trying to bring Nature into the idea by using the stars/astronomy as our inspiration.
Individuals and companies that would like to market programs, services or products at the 2018 COEO Conference will be able to do so in the Exhibitor Showcase located inside the Camp Pine Crest main dining hall. Organizational members of COEO may reserve exhibit space at no extra cost. Exhibit space is limited and organizational members and presenters will be prioritzed; contact email@example.com to reserve your spot and avoid missing out on this great promotional opportunity.
Are you planning to attend the upcoming conference as part of group of six or more? Group discounts are available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Regular and Organizational Members $250 (Early Bird Rate) $275
Student and Retiree Members $225 (Early Bird Rate) $250
Registration can be done online or by mail. Download a copy of the 2018 COEO Annual Fall Conference registration form by clicking here or register online and use PayPal to make payment using your PayPal account or credit card.
*Membership: Registrants for the 2018 COEO Annual Fall Conference must hold a current COEO membership. Membership fees maybe included with registration. Also, please note that the special early bird pricing is only valid until August 15th, 2018 – to qualify, you must register online or mail-in your registration form and payment postmarked on or before this deadline.
Have you seen the OFFICIAL 2018 ANNUAL FALL CONFERENCE POSTER yet? (see below) Download a copy for your very own, print and display it with pride in your centre, school, camp, store, park, staffroom, office or outhouse!