Student Testimonials

After experiencing OELC I need to thank you from the bottom of my heart for you have truly impacted my life for the better! You all made my experience at OELC such a memorable one. You guys are amazing people that are all incredible at your jobs. I can’t wait to go back to school and literally change the face of my school. And not only my school for I believe that you have given me the skills needed to change the future! One day it will be our generation changing the world thanks to you guys. You are all truly inspiring people that I admire very much.

To the new leaders: Being here is a life changing experience! Enjoy every minute of it. Be open-minded and try new things. Make a ton of new friends and step out of your comfort zone a lil’bit. OELC is a place to become a better leader and grow as a person. Remember you are here for a reason – you are special! Never give up and strive to be always looking for ways to improve. Enjoy!!

Love ~C.M

I would just like to thank you for granting me an OELC scholarship! : )

This experience seriously changed me and taught me so much about leadership, communication, taking risks etc… I met so many incredible people that to this day I’m still in touch with. That was the very best way to start off my 2014 summer, and I cannot thank you enough. I hope that your summer was absolutely great, and thank you very much again.

Sincerely ~A.K

You’re a leader. That is why you are here, be open to change, try new roles and know this is a safe place to step up but back down too. Your group will bond in amazing ways and you will grow if you allow yourself to. Never give up or get discouraged.

This is an amazing place.


I would like to thank you for the opportunity to attend OELC. I found my experience to exceed my expectations. I liked the co-operation with the other students and that they were from so many different places. I learned the importance of optimism and how I need to keep looking at the positive and opportunities in life I have shared with my teachers and my students how great camp was. We developed trust so quickly with one another. I also learned to tuck in you pant legs with around chipmunks! “For all things that we have or ever might, the grandest thing that we will have is one another. Thanks again.


Parent Testimonials

My daughter had an exceptional and truly eye-opening experience at so many levels thanks to your program. When all peer pressures of pre-existing relationships and outside baggage are removed, my daughter felt that all the kids (including herself, of course) were able to dig deep and find their true selves. My daughter told us on the drive home that she learned that there was nothing wrong with her! You can imagine how caught off we were by this revelation. As if that was not enough, these kids were inspired to openly share their vulnerabilities and journey with strangers who, within a short week, morphed into wonderful friendships. I cannot adequately express the tremendous admiration, respect, and gratitude that I feel for what your team selflessly does for children. I wish all kids could experience such a safe haven for learning, self-expression, personal growth, and empowerment.

In fact, I would go so far as to call the experience an awakening. THANK YOU!


I would like express my gratitude for giving Dan the opportunity to attend OELC. I picked him up last night and he was a different boy. He was self assured, confident and powerful. He said he felt completely at home in the OELC environment, and that the other students were like-minded and receptive. He says he “felt” like a leader and was “so good at it”. He has had a rough year of trying to fit in with people who are not like him. He acts and thinks differently from most of the kids in his class, and he knows it. I am thankful that he sees that there is, in fact, a place for him in the world. Once again, thank you.


Our daughter, Maggie, absolutely loved her experience. She kept a journal each day and upon arrival home shared almost every moment of every day with us. Her enthusiasm, energy and personal reflection was wonderful. She commented before going to sleep last Thursday that it was “strange going to bed without a bunk over her head and she felt like a different person now.” I know she grew, as a person in a positive way and that would not have happened without the professionalism and support of your staff. Both of our daughters have had the privilege of attending OELC as grade 6 students.

Thank you for that.

Sincerely ~K.S & J.S

Teacher Testimonials

I teach intermediate PE at Emily Carr PS in Oakville and we had 5 of our students attend OELC athletics course this summer. I held a meeting today with the kids and they couldn't stop raving about it - one said it was "life changing." They have completed bonded as a group. These amazing students will be part of our athletic council executive and will be great leaders in our school. Thanks so much for inspiring them to make a difference.

Cheers ~A.M. Emily Carr Public School, Oakville

OELC is the only place that I have ever been in my life that fosters acceptance of self and others. The unique atmosphere, the incredible staff, and the duration of stay allow each leader to accept who they are, what they have to offer, and teaches them how to use it in the most meaningful way. Whereas other camps focus on improving a specific skill, OELC focuses on improving the person. Just like Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world". OELC makes you feel like you can.

~K.C, Bridlewood Elementary School, Kanata

There isn't a single leader who I have met that has not said that OELC was a life-changing experience. I came to the same realization myself, although from a Teacher Facilitator perspective. Going through all the preliminary team-building, watching the growth through the various Leadership Development sessions, and in general noticing the change from the first day to the last made me realize that this was a very special week in a very special place. As part of our final session, I would tell the leaders in our group to "live leadership".

I wanted them to use the skills they had learned about themselves and others to be better people and to "walk the talk"! I wanted them to think about leadership in their everyday lives - how they interact with people, solve problems, help others and to be the best they can be as individuals. I really believe that the skills they learn, the experiences they have, and the people they meet at OELC go far beyond the simple definition of "leadership".

They are really learning a way of life.

~ B.S, Galt Collegiate, Cambridge

I wanted to thank you so much for your generous sponsorship in sending one of our band students to OELC camp this past June. As soon as Andrea got back from camp, I received a lovely email from her and I would like to share with you a few things that she wrote:

“All of the girls in my cabin were absolutely amazing… I know that we’re all going to be friends forever”.

“The teacher facilitators were all outstanding and very supportive and they all made us feel very welcome”

“I’ve learned that it’s okay to make mistakes it’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to have fun… and I had a lot of fun!”

“I’m crying as I write this, no joke.”

It is wonderful to see this student blossom from this experience. She has gained a great deal of confidence and ease from it. Thank you for providing Andrea with this enriching experience.

~A.S. Riverdale Collegiate Institute

Alumni Testimonials

Kay and I were honoured to be invited and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the experience. We commented that people were obviously enjoying 'being back’. The fellowship was infectious; everyone chatted and exchanged compliments about their experiences at OELC flowed naturally.

Our conversation while viewing the pictures brought back personal memories long buried. My experience in Cabin 6 was reflected by every other participant. Such consistency of program outcomes over so many years is very unusual and highly commendable.

The experience has awakened my love of the Centre and of the special education experiences it provides. Congratulations to staff and the excellent volunteers who were so ready to assist us. After teaching for a whole career I still have faith in our young people. I believe our future is in capable hands.

Thank you this uplifting experience.

Kay and Burle Summers

A heartfelt thank you for the wonderful 70th Anniversary event you hosted today!

Our daughter is a first year alumnus, so we still have a lot to learn about the camp. We were amazed and fascinated by its history and spent a looong time in the Birch building taking in the vintage videos and beautifully curated photo display. What a priceless archive!

We also enjoyed the escape room and loved that it allowed us to spend some time in one of the charming old cabins.

The lunch was delicious and beautifully laid out and during the meal, we had the chance to meet some of the caring staff.

It was a truly lovely day, and a generous gift to all who attended.

Thank you for all the hard work you put into it!

Gayle Hutchings