"The Co-operative Young Leaders program has changed my life in ways I never expected. The opportunity to learn from some of the brightest and best of today’s youth has given me a better understanding of the world we live in and the wonderful opportunities we have for the future. I never fail to be amazed by the ideas, the knowledge and the enthusiasm for the co-operative system and all it has to offer. What a really amazing adventure it has been to be able to meet people from all walks of life and all different co-operatives. My life is richer and I feel truly blessed to be part of the CYL program. I can’t wait to meet all of the participants and facilitators for 2019!"

Carol Fleming - long-time CYL Facilitator


“CYL was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I formed lifelong friendships and created memories that will last forever. My experience from CYL camp has helped me improve my confidence, helped me believe in myself, increased my leadership initiative, learn about the Co-operative sector, and overall focus on making a difference and leading by example. I enjoyed my peers that I met at camp and especially the facilitators, everyone was so nice and open. Thank you OCA and Mr. Guido Chezzi for giving me the opportunity to experience this wonderful and uniqueness that CYL Camp has to offer. I look forward to another opportunity to return to camp to further enhance what I learned. I'd like to go through all levels at CYL Camp if opportunity presents, and hope that one day I will become a facilitator for CYL. It is also exciting that CYL Camp will be held at a new location this year. Sincerely thank you for the opportunity.” 

Samantha R. - 2017 Intermediate Participant


“Last year was my second year attending CYL to develop my leadership, co-operative and countless other skills. As soon as school resumed, I became a member of my school’s student council. I am also on a competitive curling team where we work regularly to improve our co-operative abilities so that we may improve as a team in communication and initiative. Before my CYL experience, I was extremely shy, to the point where I even debated going to CYL at all. That week at camp allowed me to gain many friends in the process of learning and experiencing the potential of leadership opportunities. CYL brought me out of my shell and allowed me to experience many great and new things that I would never have participated in if I had not gone to camp. It let me appreciate what it is like when people are put in a leadership role. It also taught me the skills I needed to give back to the community that I have received so much from. Going back to CYL will continue to allow me personal growth in leadership and confidence."

Patrick M. - 2017 Senior Participant



“What a fantastic program! It turned out to be somewhat life changing for our daughter. It’s difficult to believe that a 1-week camp could make that much of a difference. She truly came back from camp a stronger, more focused and confident young lady. It's been really rewarding to see the difference attending the CYL camp has made in her everyday life, and most particularly her school life. Jillian has truly benefitted from her experience with the CYL camp. I believe that her time with the CYL camp helped solidify a strength within her that was there all along. The program activities, exercises and community helped to bring her strength to life. Jillian actively seeks out opportunities to make a difference in her community, and encourages others to do so as well."

CYL Participants' parents


"As a facilitator, CYL continues to fill me with awe as I watch youth transform in one short week. Over the years I have worked with our youth and seen the changes take place; I have seen the unsure step forward; I have seen the loner group; I have seen the uncaring move to compassion, and I have seen the sure add empathy. I go and facilitate and always come away with life lessons taught to me by our youth. It is an experience for our youth and our facilitators." 

Michael Barrett, President and CEO, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative and long-time CYL Facilitator


Check out these videos of past CYL Facilitators...