Youth Camps Canada

Course Instructors

Melisa Yestrau: Director, Science Venture, University of Victoria.
Robin Bowman: Associate Director, SportRisk
Alison Fisher: Camp Director,  Recreation Services, University of Regina
Jenifer Spencer:
 Manager of Outreach, Actua

Course Goal

This online course is designed for all campus personnel who have direct responsibility for Youth Camps. The primary goal of the course is to provide Camp Administrators with the knowledge and skills needed to manage the challenging, multi-faceted (and high risk) Youth Camps program — irrespective of the type of camp being planned (recreation, science, arts, sport, etc.).

Course Description

The Standard of Care required for youth camps is very high — mostly because you are dealing with minors.  Hence this course will focus on how to develop an operational ‘framework’ to help you organize and manage safe Youth Camps.  While some of the risk management issues discussed are identical to those handled on a day-to-day basis in other Campus Recreation programs, many issues are unique to Youth Camps — e.g. residence camps, camp counselors, employee background screening, medical screening for allergies, behavioral issues.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Develop a framework to effectively manage Youth Camps.
  2. Assess current and future camps from a risk management perspective.
  3. Assess appropriateness of facilities and equipment for camp activities.
  4. Learn the importance of supervision ratios and lesson plans.
  5. Determine which staff to hire and what qualifications they need.
  6. Learn the importance of employee screening and training.
  7. Implement an effective medical screening program for camp participants.
  8. Develop an effective Youth Camps Handbook for staff.
  9. Communicate effectively with your key clients — the parents.
  10. Understand the key risk management issues impacting Youth Camps.
  11. Learn the key areas to address if your camps offer Day Trips.
  12. Develop plans and strategies to deal with campers exhibiting behavioural issues

Course Length

This is a 4 week course. Course work and assignments should take approximately 5 hours per week.

Course Features

  • Online format means students work at their own speed, in their own time
  • Webinars used to deliver online ‘lectures’ – also incorporate student Q&A
  • Small class size maximizes class interactions
  • Course participants establish a network with colleagues from across Canada
  • Results-oriented assignments are based on real department situations
  • ‘Certificate of Completion’ issued to all participants who successfully complete the course (you must complete all assignments and projects).

Course Text

There is no course text, however we highly recommend the ACA book ‘Basic Camp Management’. Comprehensive reading materials and resources are provided.

Who is Course aimed at?

The course is aimed at full time professionals who are looking to implement a simple, practical and doable Youth Camps framework — or are seeking ways to improve and better manage their current program. Content is applicable for professionals new to Youth Camps and also staff who have previously managed Camps. There will be extensive networking opportunities, with ‘real’ project assignments being geared towards Youth Camps issues specific to your campus.

Click here for Course Outline

Next Course: Feb 4 – March 1, 2019

Maximum course registration: 20

Register now to secure your place!

Fee: $495 CAD  (for non-CURIE members)

(CURIE schools: contact Ian McGregor directly at   Please indicate that you are interested in registering for this course: Free to CURIE member schools).

The Sports Club class has been a jewel. I have learned a lot of information about my own sports clubs program just by taking this course. It has shown me some gaps in my training, our staff’s training, as well as our program. It has also showed me that we are not alone in our concerns and problems!

Liz Henry

Asst. Director of Sports and Rec Clubs, UCSD

For more information on our Online Courses,
contact us now!