"My husband and I are beyond thrilled with the experience our son Lucas had at CYL camp. He came back more confident, willing to try new activities and open himself to new possibilities and adventures. He has even accepted spending the weekends with me exploring new places around Ontario; unheard of before he went to camp! Connecting with peers his age, from other cities and away from video games and other electronic distractions, made a huge impact in his life and brought him so much needed joy. We cannot thank Co-operators enough for their sponsorship, and to Carol and her team at CYL for the leadership during the program. Lucas is really looking forward to coming back next year."

Participant Parent - 2022 CYL Program


"Learning to improve knowledge and skills is a passion of mine. In cooperatives, my field of work, this certainly applies, thanks in part to Canada. My participation therefore, in the 2020 CYL Virtual Camp was not accidental. For years now, I’ve had great admiration for the emphasis and effort placed by Canada in solidifying and promoting the importance of the cooperative model of business. Accordingly, a prompt yes was given to Carol’s invitation to participate in the 2020 virtual CYL, and oh how privileged we felt!" (Read the full testimonial).

Paula Williams - 2020 Virtual CYL Participant


"I love CYL so much. It was the highlight of my year last year and will probably be again this year. The people I've met and the things I have learned at camp has changed my life for the better. I find that when I'm at CYL I am the best version of myself and that is thanks to you, the other facilitators and all the other participants. CYL is the most positive, non-judgmental, and inclusive place I've ever been and the environment created by the people there allows me and empowers me to just be myself.

The marketing plan project was so much fun. It gave me and my group a huge creative outlet as well as the opportunity to showcase everything CYL has taught us, build on our public speaking and presenting skills and above all, to learn so much more. I could go on forever talking about how amazing this week was and how much I learned, laughed and had fun!

Thank you for all you do. It really does change peoples lives. I know I will never forget my time at CYL and that I will probably end up choosing co-op business as a career path. Carol, the other facilitators and the program of CYL has inspired me to use my life this way. So thank you again and if there are any other opportunities you know of that could keep me involved with co-ops, I would love to know about them."

Ebony Fernando - 2019 Senior Participant


"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 & current CYL Program Director


“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