How-to: Certification Courses

There are a number of courses available in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island that are highly beneficial for summer camps and those seeking to work at a camp. The following outlines both the CANSPEI and our partner vendors' Spring 2014 Training and Education courses:
  • There is still time to register for the Paddle Canada is offering a Lake Tandem Canoe Introductory Course from May 2-4 at the Big Cove YMCA Camp. Click here for a Google map. Deadline for registration is April 26TH. Please contact Chris Falcioni at for more details and to register for this course. The CANSPEI Member Camps' cost per person is $150.00, which includes accommodation and meals. This is a great introductory course for beginners and for those with paddling experience who are looking to improve on their skills!
  • AND in early June, the CANSPEI Camp Canoe Instructor Certification Course is being offered. If your camp is running a canoe/kayak program, this is the course (or a similar such one) your Camp will need to have at least one of your camp staff certified, to be in compliance with the New CANSPEI Accreditation Standards. This Course will run from May 30 to June 1, starting at 7:00 PM on the Friday; location is at the Johnston Christian Camp. Click here for a Google map. Our Association Members' cost is exceptionally attractive, at ONLY $100.00 per person which includes the two day accommodation and food cost - WOW! The non-Member cost is $300.00. Registration Deadline is May 16TH . Click here for a PDF of the Registration Form. And to learn more about this course email Derek anytime at or call him at 902-220-0346.
  • And there is still time to register for the Wilderness Remote First Aid (WRFA) Red Cross Certification Course again being offered this spring, from May 2-4 at the Big Cove YMCA Camp. Click here for a Google map. If your Camp is planning to offer Out-Trips next summer, that are more than 30 minutesby motor boat or vehiclefrom your main camp site/base or Emergency Medical Services, one of your Camp staff needs tobe WRFA Certified (or similar certification), to be in compliance with our New Accreditation Standards. As a Camping Association Member, your Camp staff can attend this course at a significantly reduced price of $230, which includes both the HST and the food and accommodation cost for two nights, as compared to the non CANSPEI Member price of $310. Click here to go to the Red Cross & Spiritus WRFA Course website for more information. And for a PDF of the Registration Form, just email Spiritus by clicking here. Then, please email Derek at with the names of your Camp's staff that are attending the Course, so he can provide those to the Red Cross trainer so that your camp staff will only be charged the $230 cost.
  • There are still a few spots open for the Challenges Unlimited Level 1 high ropes certification course at the Tim Horton Children's Camp from May 11-15. The cost of the course is $990, which includes meals and accommodation. You can register online here. Please email Carolyn Carson at for more information and to book your accommodation.
  • A one day High 5 Certification course, in working and mentoring youth mentoring best practices, is being offered by CANSEI on May 17 at Camp Tidnish. Click here for a Google map of the location. Please email Patti Sampson at to learn more and to register for this course. The Association Member Cost is ONLY $35.00 per person, which includes your text book! What a fantastic opportunity to have your camp staff trained in THE recognized standard for working with youth! The non-Member cost is $100.00. Registration deadline is May 9.


AND for more information about other great training offered by our vendor partners, click the course titles below get more information and learn where and how to attend these courses.

National Lifeguard

There are lots of opportunities for people who are certified lifeguards, including jobs at camp! Interested in finding out how you can become a National Lifeguard? The information you need is available on the website of the Lifesaving Society, Nova Scotia branch. They say:


"Lifeguards are more than just good swimmers. They are water rescue professionals trained in emergency care. They prevent accidents. They identify hazards and determine safe practices. They educate the public about the hazards and risks associated with aquatic activities and how to be Water Smart®. And they are trained to spot potential trouble and intervene before it becomes life-threatening. "Lifeguarding is a fun, exciting and rewarding job. Lifeguarding is also a job that carries enormous responsibility. Which is why lifeguards take courses and train hard for events they hope will never happen and which they work hard to prevent. "Guards take continuous training to keep their skills, knowledge and fitness sharp. They are required to keep other important certifications such as CPR and first aid up to date. Some are trained in advanced treatments like using oxygen or in the use of specialized equipment like defibrillators and personal watercraft. "National Lifeguard Service (NLS) certification is the standard for professional lifeguards in Canada. The Lifesaving Society certifies 25,000 NLS guards annually. But before you apply for National Lifeguard training, you must complete many hours of preparation in the Society's lifesaving programs. "Take this on-ramp for a lifeguard career: learn lifesaving in Swim Patrol and then earn the Bronze Star Award. Now you're ready for Bronze Medallion and Emergency First Aid. These certifications are prerequisites to Bronze Cross which you need before taking National Lifeguard when you turn 16." Visit their website here for more information on taking courses.



Canoe Instructor


If you are interested in becoming a certified Canoe or Kayak Instructor, you want to head over to Paddle Canada's website to find out what courses are available in your area and when the courses are offered. They offer courses in canoeing, river kayaking and sea kayaking. Course availability varies so be sure to check back frequently or contact them. If you are in Nova Scotia, you can also contact Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia for information about instructor courses.



Food Handling


When working in the kitchen at camp and cooking large quantities of food for a lot of hungry campers, safety is of the utmost importance. You want to be sure you know the best food hygiene practices and the safest food handling techniques. The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture (look for Application Process) and the Prince Edward Island Department of Health and Wellness offer courses in food handling and food safety that are an asset to camp kitchen staff. Contact your provincial department or visit their website to inquire about course costs and scheduling.