All children should have the chance to experience the beauty of the natural world – to swim in a lake, paddle a canoe, sit by a campfire. Every year, almost 400 children and youth aged 9 - 16 attend two weeks of summer camp at the picturesque 88-acre camp near Perth. The skills learned year after year help build confidence, resilience and optimism.
Skills Through Arts and Recreation (STAR) programs engage children and youth aged 6-17 in activities that include opportunities to participate in a variety of experiences. After-school and weekend programs like art, soccer, cooking and music are offered at three local community centres.
Our Leaders in Training (LIT) program offers opportunities for youth aged 13-18 to meet in a safe space that promotes positive social learning with trained mentors, and encourages meaningful goal setting to help each participant realize personal success.
Transformative Recreation® is our unique way to engage kids in having fun, but also a powerful way to help them develop the values & skills that will help them to change the way they look at themselves, their relationships & the world around them.
A young Ottawa judge believed that the direction of a boy’s life could be diverted through a positive camp experience. Instead of punishing delinquent boys, he offered them an escape from the city and a chance to learn about the outdoors, friendship and responsibility. Judge John F. McKinley envisioned a retreat for these boys, away from the hot city streets, whose secret of success would be in “giving the boy responsibility, handling him with friendship, teaching him the general principles of good citizenship and doing so with the help of the open air.”
Dr. Dan Offord became Camp Director. Christie Lake Kids programs were largely developed under the guidance and direction of the late Dr. Dan Offord, renowned child psychiatrist and founding Director of the internationally recognized Offord Centre for Child Studies located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Before his passing in 2004, Dr. Dan, as he was affectionately known, was volunteer summer camp Director for 47 years and co-director of the pilot PALS program in Ottawa that led to the development of the Christie Lake STAR program. In 2001, Dr. Dan’s work in research, at Christie Lake Camp, and as an advocate for all Canadian children earned him the Order of Canada.
A STAR was born. The STAR (Skills Through Activity and Recreation) program offered skill development opportunities at inner-city community centres to both boys and girls from low income families. The founders of Christie Lake Kids always intended to keep in touch with campers throughout the year. But winter get-togethers were sporadic through the 1940s and ’50s. In the ’60s and ’70s, a modestly funded Winter Program was formalized, and began to incorporate Dr. Dan Offord’s structured skill development that was becoming the basis of the camp program. Brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbours of our summer campers became involved.↑ Back to top
Our Board of Directors
Christie Lake Kids is delighted to benefit from the professional and personal contributions of a dedicated and hard-working Board of Directors. These committed community leaders bring wisdom, business acumen, contacts, vision, and hard work to the table. Thank you to our Board and committee members. You make us immeasurably stronger.
Vice-President and Chief Information Officer, NAV CANADA
Claudio has an extensive background in the high-tech industry and diverse experience developing and implementing strategic initiatives to increase the effectiveness and contribution of IT solutions within a variety of organizations. At NAV CANADA, Mr. Silvestri oversees all IT functional services, business applications, infrastructure and data communications networks, as well as information technology security and IT governance. In addition to his role as Chair of the Board of Directors, Claudio serves on the Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors.
Until his retirement in 2017, Owen was Director, Engineering and Asset Management, Hydro Ottawa. His professional life as an engineer in the electrical utility industry spanned more than three decades and many technical and management roles but none more rewarding than his contributions to building Hydro Ottawa's award-winning community investment programs, especially its partnership with Christie Lake Kids. Owen is currently the Chair of Christie Lake Kids' Communications Committee.
Controller, La Fromagerie CoopÃ©rative St. Albert Inc.
Carla completed her Bachelor of Commerce at Concordia University with a major in Accounting, and she has been a member of CGA Canada since 2012. Over the past decade, she has gone from being General Accountant / Assistant to the CFO at Utex Fashion Group, to Staff Accountant and then Manager, Acohar Business Management Services and Bookkeeping, both at Andrews & Co. Chartered Accountants.
Chris has 35 years' experience in the high tech industry and is the former President and CEO at Vangent Canada Inc. Chris has served on many private and public sector boards, including Ottawa Youth Justice Services Network, United Way Impact Council on Children and Youth, and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Allocation Group. Chris's other accomplishments include co-founding the Terry Fox Run in Ottawa. He is a recipient of the United Way/Centraide Volunteer Services Award, Caduceus from the Canadian Cancer Society, the City of Ottawa's Civic Appreciation Award, and the Mayor's Volunteer Service Award.
Eileen is a native of Ottawa with 33 years of experience in the Public Service of Canada. Prior to her retirement in 2014, Ms. Boyd held the position of Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Senior Personnel) in the Privy Council Office, responsible for supporting the government in the recruitment, retention and development of senior personnel. Her public service career also included positions in the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Office of the Auditor General, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General.
Vice-President Operations, David Burns & Associates
Jennifer brings 15 years of progressive experience in education, financial operations and business management. She is currently responsible for overseeing all the firm's operations, securing numerous key clients in a variety of sectors. Jennifer holds a Master's Degree from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Dalhousie University. Jennifer's outside interests have focused on supporting children. Jennifer is currently the Chair of Christie Lake Kids' Human Resources Committee.
Inspector in the Criminal Investigations Directorate, Ottawa Police Service
Tim has been a member of the Ottawa Police Service for 30 years. Tim is a results-driven leader with a strong background in organizational change, police operations and investigations, and strategy development. Tim's community engagement and volunteer work have included coaching youth sports, working with Candlelighters, the Snow Suit fund and the Union Mission. Tim is currently Chair of Christie Lake Kids' Program Committee.
Network Operations Manager, Enbridge Gas Distribution
Mike has been with Enbridge for more than twenty years. In his current role, Mike is responsible for pipeline pressure control and gas measurement for the Eastern Ontario region of Enbridge Gas Distribution. Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography at Carleton University, specializing in Geographic Information Systems. Mike worked for nine summers at the Boy Scout camp on Christie Lake, and understands how a camp program can make a difference in a young person's life.
Senior Vice President, PCG, Financial Advisor, McGann Financial Group, Raymond James
Mike has worked in the financial industry since 1991. He takes great pride in looking after his long-standing clientele. Mike was born and raised in Ottawa and has never dreamed of calling anywhere else home. He has always been a generous donor to various programs that help change the lives of people in this community.
RBC Sr. Director Advisor Enablement Retail
Ann has been with RBC Royal Bank for almost 30 years and her background includes Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Regional Vice President in Ottawa and is currently the National Sr. Director Advisor Enablement Retail Banking. Ann is has been involved with many different associations including Junior Achievement, Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa, Minor Hockey Association's, Parent Council and coaching baseball. Ann is currently the Chair of Christie Lake Kids' Audit and Finance Committee.
Vice President, Tamarack Homes
Scott is Vice-President of Tamarack Homes, part of the Taggart Group of Companies, a family business started by his grandfather in the 1940s. Scott is proud to continue the Taggart Family tradition of dedication to community building through his work with Christie Lake Kids. Scott studied engineering at Queen's University and after graduation moved back to Ottawa to join the family business. Since its inception in 2012, Scott has served as Chair of the annual Gala â€œAn Unlikely Pairing: Adventures in Food Trucks and Fine Winesâ€.
Chief Development Officer, Ottawa Community Housing
Cliff has been involved in the housing and construction industry for over 30 years. At OCHC he is responsible for the preservation and capital repair of the 15,000 existing housing units as well as the revitalization of the housing portfolio through a strategy of redevelopment and new construction. Cliff was drawn to CLK by seeing first-hand the direct and significant impact that agency had had on the children and families within OCHC communities.↑ Back to top
Current research shows that 15% of children and youth in Ottawa live in a low income household, which amounts to over 32,000 young people across the city. Registration fees, equipment costs and transportation needs make recreational programs and services inaccessible. Children and youth from these families miss the benefits of developing strong physical, social and character skill sets. We want to help these young people build essential skills and become more resilient - capable of coping and learning despite adversity in their lives.
Transformative Recreation® (T-REC®) is our program model, guiding all of our efforts as we encourage our children and youth to build resiliency and realize success on their own terms. T-REC® is founded on a mixture of best practices in the field of social recreation, as well as the lessons of success derived from over 95 years of serving the Ottawa community. Our programs focus on developing physical, social and character skills, with the intent of developing four key outcomes:
Program and equipment costs are free to our participants, and programs are offered in their neighbourhoods or transportation is provided.
Program staff are actively in contact with each family prior to every program, and take any action needed to ensure that children and youth return to our programs week after week, and year after year.
In addition to promoting physical skill development, program staff and volunteers act as positive mentors to assist children and youth in building strong social and emotional capabilities.
We evaluate our programs after each term to establish program quality, program engagement and accomplished skill development. We use multiple evaluation tools to engage children, youth, program volunteers and staff to elicit meaningful feedback. The results demonstrate that our T-REC® programs are operating at a high level of quality and creating opportunities for long-term, transformative skill development.
BY THE NUMBERS
Christie Lake Kids collects in-depth household data, to better understand and support the individual needs and strengths of children in CLK programs.
76% of CLK families have an annual household income of less than $25,000
Average family annual household income in Ottawa - $86,000
90% of children attending STAR programs live in subsidized housing
324 children in STAR programs
360 children in summer camp program
200 children in weekend camp programs
+40 youth in Leaders in Training Program
924 children & youth served
Christie Lake Kids is fortunate to have two exceptional role models who inspire our children and youth. Segun and Alex bring their STAR power, their motivational stories and their profile to the CLK community and beyond.
Segun Makinde - Olympic Track and Field Athlete
Segun is a Nigerian-born Canadian Track & Field athlete competing in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m events, and is the oldest brother of three. He is a 2012 Olympian, 2013 IAAF World Champion Bronze Medalist, 2-time World University Games competitor, and 2013 Francophone Games double gold Medalist.
Segun currently lives and trains in Ottawa and while away from the track gives back through volunteer work and speaking at local schools and events. His aim is to inspire and influence the next generation to be great in all they do and say.
Alex Mateas - Offensive Lineman for the Ottawa RedBlacks
Alex Mateas was the first overall 2015 CFL draft pick, and currently an offensive lineman for the Ottawa Redblacks. Originally from Ottawa, Alex grew up playing every sport he could, soccer, basketball, volleyball, judo, weightlifting and eventually football.
"I attribute a lot of my success to the role models I had as a young kid in sports. The after-school, weekend and summer opportunities that I had taught me how to work in a team, set goals, and work hard to accomplish those goals.â€
At 12 years old, I came to Christie Lake Camp for the first time at the urging of my mom, a single parent of 6 children. I stayed involved at camp as a Junior Staff member, then counsellor, leading to several Senior Camp Staff positions.
Eager to stay connected with some of my campers, I then began volunteering in CLK's Leaders In Training Program in the city, where I had a chance to mentor many of my former campers through their teenage years. I am now a College & University graduate and continue my involvement with Christie Lake Kids as a volunteer in the STAR Art program.
Christie Lake Kids programs give kids a chance to try things they otherwise would not know existed, to be inspired by people they otherwise would not meet, and to dream of things they otherwise thought would be impossible.
Join our email list! Stay up to date on our latest research and impact in our community.