2019 CYL Program Wrap-up


2019 turned out to be another fantastic summer at the Co-operative Young Leaders camp, with 92 youth aged 14 - 17 completing the program!

The program started off with our Junior A group arriving on July 7, and our Senior group rounding off the program on August 9. With an abundance of planned activities, there was never a dull moment to be had. Here is a taste of some of the activities that all participants took part in from week to week…

The Making Box – Participants started off each week by taking an Improv class with The Making Box, where they learned about positive communication skills and how to accept others’ ideas without agreeing with them - two very important skills for all leaders. It was also a great ice-breaker to get to know one another!

Co-op Snack Shack – Participants formed a “Snack Shack” co-operative and operated the business as its member-owners, selling candy, chips, pop and other camp-worthy treats throughout the week. At the end of each week of camp, they voted on the charity that the money raised by the Shack is going to be donated to. Over the summer, CYL donated over $1,000 to Community Living (Elgin branch), the Canadian Mental Health Association (Mount Forest branch) and the Gay Lea Foundation!

Co-op Principles presentations - Each week, we talked about our seven guiding co-operative principles and participants did a presentation about the co-operative organization that sponsored them to attend camp.

Artwork Project - Participants worked in groups on an artwork project representing our 7th co-operative principle: “Concern for Community.” At the end of the summer, we put all of the weekly artwork pieces together and an artist, Aprylle Martin from Hamilton ON, created our vision for CYL 2019. The completed art piece (see photo above) now resides at the Co-operative Education Centre

Swimming - A definite highlight of camp, participants went to the local YWCA pool in Aylmer each Wednesday for an hour of fun in the sun!

Touring the Dairy Museum – Participants toured the Gay Lea Dairy Museum for a great lesson in co-operative history and madesome delicious ice cream - yum!

Running the camp - Participants were asked to demonstrate leadership skills by running the basics of camp. They formed colour groups responsible for setting up for meals, cleaning up the common area, waking everyone up to start their day at camp, and getting everyone moving to daily events throughout the day.

Committees – Participants formed committees to learn how to effectively run and participate in meetings, share ideas, make group decisions, practice their communications skills and organize activities. CYL committees included:

  • Media Moments – this group kicked off each day by sharing the weather report, what is on the menu for meals, as well as camp and real world gossip! A feet on the street reporter helped our participants improve their impromptu speaking skills.
  • Snack Shack – this group held an initial meeting following Robert’s rules of order and let everyone know the membership share amount, voted on what snacks to buy, and also elected a president, treasurer and secretary. Throughout the week, they held a second meeting with a financial update, and then held an Annual General Meeting and voted on the charity the snack shack money will be given to.
  • Sports/Rules – this group decided what sports will be played throughout the week and were also responsible for setting the “soft” rules of camp and the consequences for breaking the rules. Some rules included wearing your name tag on, not being late for a session or meals, and paying attention during sessions. 
  • Collective Memories – this group was responsible for taking pictures and videos throughout the week of the games, campfires, skits and all of the fun that was had during the week, and doing a presentation on the last day.
  • Artwork Project – this group took ideas from each art piece and put them together to represent their week.

Check out the awesome photo gallery from all the weeks!

Click to learn more about the 2020 CYL program!