Your 2020 COEO Make Peace with Winter Organizing Committee has been hard at work and plans are now set for another amazing weekend packed full of professional development, experiential learning and winter fun. Make Peace with Winter is a retreat-style conference for educators interested in learning how to share the outdoors with their students in the coolest of seasons! Snowshoeing, cross country skiing and winter camping skills; games, crafts, learning activities; snow science, winter ecology and much, much more.
Plan to join us as we learn, share and laugh with kindred spirits from across the province and beyond. We’ll savour delicious food all weekend and enjoy an evening social program filled with fun, dancing and live music. You will leave this professional development experience feeling rejuvenated and with many new ideas and resources in hand. The final ingredient for a perfect winter weekend is you! Our host site will be the Bark Lake Leadership and Conference Centre—a place of significant meaning and long standing connection to the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario.
The Bark Lake Leadership and Conference Centre is a year round leadership and outdoor education facility. Each year Bark Lake welcomes thousands of students from across Ontario and around the world. Students and teachers participate in a wide range of camp and leadership activities including campfires, canoeing, and challenge courses.
The Bark Lake Leadership and Conference Centre began as the Ontario Camp Leadership facility at Bark Lake in 1948. It has been a forerunner in Outdoor Education and Leadership experiences in North America since that time, for staff and students, corporate leaders and organizational groups. The centre is passionate about making leaders, building character, as well as providing nature and adventure based experiences. For more information about the site, visit: http://barklake.com/
Map and Directions
The Bark Lake Leadership and Conference Centre is located at:
1551 Bark Lake Drive, Irondale, Ontario, K0M 1X0
From Toronto, Mississauga & the west
Take Highway 400 north to Hwy 11. Follow Hwy 11 to 2nd Orillia ext 131A, Hwy 12 south. Follow Hwy 12 to the turn off for RR 44 (Rama Rd.) Follow 44 (Rama Rd.) to RR 45.
From Toronto & the Oshawa area
Take Highway 35 north via Lindsay to RR 121 junction just south of Fenelon Falls. Follow RR 121 north to RR 45/County Rd. 503 Kinmount.
From North Bay & the north
Take Highway 60 just north of Huntsville to Highway 35. Follow Highway 35 south to Kinmount.
From Ottawa & the east
Take Hwy 17 to Hwy 60 west. Take Hwy 60 to Renfrew. From Renfrew, take Hwys 132 and 41 to Hwy 28 at Denbigh. Take Hwy 28 west thru Bancroft to Paudash. Take Hwy 118 West to County Rd. 503 at Tory Hill.
From Kingston area
Take Highway 401 West to Hwy 62 at Belleville. Take Hwy 62 North via Madoc to Bancroft, then Hwy 28 west Paudash. Take Hwy to County Rd. 503 at Tory Hill.
Accommodations will be in Bark Lake’s cabins and dorms. They are heated and very comfortable. The beds are bunks and you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. The facilities are modern and features separate washrooms and shower facilities. Bring ear-plugs just in case, and please inform us of any special accommodation needs with a note attached to your registration form. If you snore, please let us know! We have space reserved for individuals or groups wanting to set-up their own canvas winter tents, but please inform us if you are planning to do so before arriving on-site (same cost applies).
Meals and Snacks
Bark Lake’s culinary professionals 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 the Bark Lake property (BYOB), but no glass beer bottles – cans only please.
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 January – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you require a ride or are willing to offer a ride to someone else.
FRIDAY, January 17, 2020
4:00 – 10:00 p.m. Conference Registration and Orientation
8:00 – 8:45 p.m. Official Welcome and Conference Opening
9:00 – 11:30 p.m. Trading Blanket, Late Night Snack and Campfire
SATURDAY, January 18, 2020
8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Session A Workshops
10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Session B Workshops
Noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Relaxation Break
1:15 – 2:30 p.m. Session C Workshops
2:45 – 4:15 p.m. The 8th Annual Lärande Loppet!
5:45 – 6:45 p.m. Dinner
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Keynote Presentation
8:00 – 8:30 p.m. President’s Wine and Cheese Reception
8:30 – 10:30 p.m. Live Entertainment
11:00 – ? Campfire, Late Night Snack and Astronomy option
SUNDAY, January 19, 2020
8:00 – 8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Session D Workshops
10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Session E Workshops
12:00 – 12:45 p.m. Lunch, Invitation to COEO’s 48th Annual Fall Conference and Safe Journey Home!
The Trading Blanket
Now an annual MPWW tradition! To participate in the Trading Blanket activity – bring items to trade! Each participant brings 1 to 3 items they would like to trade. The items should be something of utilitarian value or beauty. The items should be functional and something you are willing to give up. A blanket is placed in the middle of the room. All participants start by sitting around the blanket, with their trade items sitting on the floor in front of them. Participants may circulate around at first to see what items are up for trade. When the trading begins, one person volunteers to put their item in the middle of the blanket. Anyone wanting the item can move their trade items forward in offering. The owner of the original item examines the goods offered for trade, and decides whether to make a trade or not. If a trade is made, there are usually pleasantries exchanged, and the group moves on to the next person’s item. If no trade is made, the owner will remove it from the blanket, thank those who made offerings, and he/she may consider making a trade later in the evening. Get creative! Items we’ve seen on the trading blanket range from homemade preserves, to traditional tools, unwanted clothing (still in good shape), rides home, works of art, jewelry, nature artifacts, and books. The blanket trading can go on for a long time, so participants are encouraged to limit the items they offer for trade, and come and go as they please. Participants have found these interactions much more meaningful than simply shopping for wanted items. Happy trading!
Used Gear Auction!
Have gear that you’re done with, but others may love? Did you get some sweet new outdoor gear this year to replace something well loved? Do you have old camping stuff that could use some TLC or a new loving home? Do you have a pile of “needs repair” gear that you fret you will never get to? Bring your old/well-loved/no longer needed by you gear to donate to our used gear auction, allowing other outdoor enthusiasts to continue the life of your well-loved gear!
Don’t forget to bring some dollars as well so you can bid on some new-to-you gear! This is a great opportunity to fill some gaps in your gear inventory without breaking the bank, plus all proceeds are going to the COEO Conference Bursary Fund!
Get ready to stomp your feet, spin your partner, do-si-do around the dance floor on Saturday night. We’re very happy to be welcoming back Kim Sedore and the Happy Campers, accompanied by the smooth calling of Mr. Walt “don’t call him square…dance” Sepic. In the mood for something a little less aerobic? Well, bring your banjoes and guitars to join in the fun, accordions and harmonicas are welcome too! There will be a campfire all night with lots of jammin’ potential.
Indigenous Knowledge Keepers at Bark Lake
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 Winter 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 participating in many aspects of the 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.
A Brief History of Make Peace with Winter
The very first Make Peace with Winter gathering took place at the Leslie M. Frost Centre in Dorset, Ontario on the weekend of February 1-3, 1980. The conference was a cooperative effort between the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario and the Ontario Teacher’s Federation and was billed as an event primarily for teachers (K-13). The conference took place annually for many years afterwards, but then during the mid to late 90’s was only offered sporadically, and then eventually vanished from the COEO calendar in 2004. Through determination and hard work this once beloved COEO retreat-style conference has returned. Deb Diebel, COEO Past Presidemt was instrumental in reigniting the Make Peace tradition when she and a group of colleagues from the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre hosted Make Peace with Winter in January of 2012 on the Bruce Peninsula. This collage is a collection of various Make Peace with Winter advertising and posters that were used throughout the 80’s and 90’s.
Each year the COEO Board of Directors sets aside funds for two individuals who require financial assistance in order to attend our MPWW conference. Those wishing to apply for this must submit a letter to Kyle Clarke at email@example.com with the requested amount and a rationale by December 1, 2019. Bursary applicants will be informed by December 10, 2019 as to whether or not they have received funding.
Are you planning to attend the upcoming MPWW conference as part of group of six or more? Student group discounts are available. Contact Kyle Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Registration is now open!
Regular and Organizational Members $230 (Early Bird Rate) $260
Student and Retiree Members $200 (Early Bird Rate) $230
*Membership: Registrants for the 2020 COEO MPWW 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 December 15, 2019 – to qualify, you must register online before December 15, 2019 or mail-in your registration form and payment postmarked on or before this deadline.
Have you seen the OFFICIAL 2020 MAKE PEACE WITH WINTER 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!