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Governance and Management

The governance and management of our association is guided by the by-laws of our association. If you would like to read the CANSPEI by-laws, click here for a PDF copy.  In addition to our by-laws, the operations of our association are also guided and regulated by our equity and harassment policy. Click here if you would like to see a PDF copy of that.


In our association, the board of directors acts on behalf of the membership of the association and does the work of the association between the annual general meeting (AGM) and any special meetings of the members.


Any member of the association is eligible to be elected as a director of the association.  At the AGM, the nominating committee presents a slate of directors and officers to the members for election by those attending the AGM. The deadline for director nominations is usually the end of April, in time for presentation at the AGM (which is usually held in mid May). Both the notice of the AGM and the call for nominations is posted on the association’s website and in the association’s newsletter in either late March or early April of each year.

Becoming a director of CANSPEI can be a highly rewarding, exciting, and fulfilling experience.  As a director you:

  • have the opportunity to be part of a team of top leaders

  • are kept up-to-date on the latest developments and best practices in the camping community

  • have the opportunity to participate in the shaping of long-term strategic planning and policy development of CANSPEI

  • get to enjoy the collegial fellowship of our board.

If you would like to nominate someone to be on the board of CANSPEI, you can do so by filling out the nomination form here.


The following are the directors of the association for the 2021-2022 fiscal year as elected by the members at the 2021 annual general meeting:

  • Amelia Campbell – Associated with Camp Keir

  • Mat Whynott - Associated with Sherbrooke Lake Camp

  • Lara Abramson

  • Donna MacPherson – Easter Seals Camp Tidnish

  • Russell Prime – Associated with Johnston Christian Park

  • Tiffany MacInnis – Brigadoon Village

  • Matt Sheriko - Camp Triumph

  • Janice Noble - Camp Kidston

  • Julia Lawrence - Sherbrooke Lake Camp


The officers of the association are members of the board of directors who have specific titles and responsibilities. The officer titles are: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Past President(s).


The following are the officers of the association for the 2020-2021 fiscal year as appointed  by the members at the 2020 annual general meeting:

  • Mat Whynott – President

  • Donna MacPherson - Vice President

  • Treasurer – Amelia Campbell

  • Secretary – Jules Lawrence


For more information on becoming a director of the board and what the director duties responsibilities are, please click here.


Much of the work of the association is managed through our Committees. CANSPEI has a number of  standing and/or special committees to facilitate the work of the board and the membership. Committee members meet as often as reasonably necessary to adequately complete their ongoing responsibilities. Committees with members from various parts of the province usually communicate and “meet” on-line, through group email conversations, or conference calls.


For a list of current committees and an overview of the function of each committee (along with the member duties and average number of meetings), check out the lists below. If you would like to learn more about our committees and/or apply to join and work on any of the committees outlined below, simply email any of our committee chairs – just click on their names.

Our standing committees and the 2020-2021 chairs are: 


Our special committees and the 2020-2021 chairs are: 

Awards & Recognition Committee


Committee member duties:

  • Receive award nominations (committee chair will be main contact person).

  • Administer a provincial system of awards and recognition for camps, camp staff, and camp volunteers to promote long-term service and excellence in leadership.

  • Maintain the Betty Campbell Award recognizing exceptional Nova Scotia campers.

  • Vote on which nominee will receive each award based on the specific award criteria.

  • Present awards at CANSPEI annual general meeting.


Number of meetings per year:

  • The awards committee only needs to meet once or twice per year, at least one month before AGM to vote on award recipients.

  • Meeting/communication does not need to be in person (electronic and conference call option available)

Nominations Committee

The members of the nominations committee are usually the past and current president of the association. The following outlines our association’s nominations policy:

The selection of future board directors, officers, and committee chairs will be guided by the following association policies:

  • Support and and maintain the association’s gender equity policy.

  • Seek to ensure that the majority of board is professionally based. Director’s professional backgrounds are ideally senior experienced camp leadership staff or other experienced professionals from such sectors as government, education, medical, legal, social services, financial, human resources, information technology, and public relations.

  • Provide training and mentoring opportunities for younger and less experienced board directors as well as board committee members.

  • Be inclusive of the religious, ethnic, and geographic diversity of our member camps from across NS & PEI.

  • Seek to have all 12 board positions filled by as many different member camps as possible.

  • Foster sound succession planning and training for the association’s officers and committee chairs by encouraging potential future officers and committee chairs to gain significant on-hand experience and in-depth knowledge of all the aspects of the association’s operations, as well as to provide the opportunity for future officers and committee chairs to demonstrate their competencies to the board, by serving on the executive committee and/or on the working committees for preferably 2 years before being considered by the board for the key leadership positions.

  • Foster a more professional implementation and follow-up in the work of the board by asking that our officers and committee chairs honestly be prepared to undertake the time and work load demands (which are significant) of these key positions.


Committee member duties:

  • Seek out and nominate potential board directors to be voted on at the annual general meeting

  • Solicit recommendations for new board directors from the existing board directors as well as from the other members of the association.


Number of meetings per year:

  • One (1) meeting per year at least two weeks before the AGM (held each May). This meeting can be in person or through electronic or conference call option.

Training & Education Committee


Increasing the training and educational development opportunities for the staff and volunteers of our member camps has been identified as top priority by the board.   Information on training courses and learning opportunities for camp staff and camp board directors is regularly posted on our website and in our newsletters which are sent to all our member camps.


Committee member duties:

  • Develop the annual training & education plan for training and providing continual learning opportunities for the camp staff and directors of our member camps.

  • Develop and run a series of educational webinars.

  • Create one or more workshops for our annual general meeting

  • Provide a camp canoe and kayak instructor certification course.

  • Provide a camp low ropes & challenge course instructor certification course

  • Arrange the annual directors forum

  • Committee members may choose to be involved in planning and/or facilitating one or several events.


Number of meetings per year:

  • Depending on how many events each member decides to participate in determine how often he or she will have to meet with other committee members.

  • Meeting/communications are usually on-line through group email conversations or conference calls

  • There will be some instances where members must be physically present.

Membership Engagement Committee


This will be a major committee responsibility for the new strategic plan vision of the association.  Building the awareness and understanding for the importance and value of the association with all our stakeholders has been identified as a key priority by the board.

Committee member duties:

  • Develop strategic PR & advertising for the association.

  • Assist in production of the monthly newsletter by submitting ideas, creating articles, or assisting in layout

  • Set-up and management of promotional events


Number of meetings per year:

  • Newsletter meetings are not necessary; all correspondence can be done via email.

  • There are ideally 6 newsletters produced each year usually 3-4 in the late winter and spring and another 1-2 in autumn.

Grants Committee


Committee member duties:

  • Receive grant applications (committee chair will be main contact person)

  • Be familiar with grant criteria and uphold rules and regulations of the awards program

  • Vote on which camp will receive each award based on the specific award criteria

  • Remain unbiased and abstain from voting if connected to applicant camp

  • Announce camps awarded grants at the AGM


Number of meetings per year:

  • One (1) meeting per year sometime between application deadline and AGM

  • Meeting should be in person but can be through electronic or conference call option if absolutely necessary

Accreditation Committee


Our accreditation committee is perhaps our most “technical” committee. It requires that committee members have the necessary skills and experience background to act as accreditation visitation auditors to assess a camp’s compliance to our accreditation standards.  As such, an accreditation auditor at CANSPEI should ideally have the following background and abilities:

  • Posses a strong educational and/or work experience background as senior camp leadership staff so as to be able to adequately assess camp operations and the required documentation outlined in the accreditation audit documentation checklist

  • Have either received accreditation training by CANSPEI or one of the other recognized PCAs, or have strong prior accreditation audit experience.

  • Become intimately familiar with the CANSPEI camp accreditation standards and the types of documents that are required to be audited accordingly to the checklist.

  • Must have a valid driver’s licence and be able to supply their own vehicle to visit the camps or have a credit card to rent a vehicle.  All travel costs will be reimbursed by the association at the approved rate.

  • Have a clean criminal records check (and vulnerable sector search).


Committee member duties:

  • Become familiar with accreditation standards

  • Track mileage and gas to and from visited camp for reimbursement from CANSPEI

  • Sign a confidentiality agreement

  • Contact assigned camps to make arrangements for visitation audit.

  • Evaluate camps in an unbiased manner

  • Represent CANSPEI professionally and appropriately when visiting camps

  • Adhere to camp rules and guidelines while visiting

  • Visit each assigned camp for at least 4-6 hours (not including travel time) and meet with the camp director/designate

  • Must be able to issue the required camp audit report to the rest of the accreditation committee within a maximum of 60 days of the audit.

  • Participate in continual review and update of accreditation standards


Number of meetings per year:

  • All accreditation visits must be face to face and each committee member can visit between one (1) and four (4) camps per summer depending on how much or little he or she decides to be involved.

  • At least two meetings/communications each year with the committee chair

  • First meeting is to receive visitation assignment, usually in late spring (this can be via email)

  • Second meeting is to make recommendation regarding accreditation/re-accreditation and return standards binder, usually in late summer, early fall (this meeting must be face to face)

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