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September 8, 2020
As a past Participant and/or Facilitator, you are receiving this first-ever newsletter created specifically for our CYL Alumni! We hope that you will enjoy it, and future editions, but please feel free to unsubscribe using the link at the end of the newsletter if you do not want to recieve these emails moving forward. 
The Co-operative Young Leaders (CYL) program was born in 1967 to engage youth in the co-operative way. Since its inception, over 3,300 youth have participated in the series of week-long summer camps! They learn and engage with the international co-operative principles, practice communication and leadership. Overtime, the CYL program and the co-operative sector have evolved, as has the rest of the world. So, let’s rewind see what the world looked like the year that CYL was born...
CYL Rewind

In 1967, the world was much different. The prices of food and gas, the co-operative sector, popular music and many other things were not like they are today. Let’s take a look at what things looked like in Canada in 1967, the year CYL began!

In 1960, average personal income was $1,672 a year vs. $52,600 a year in 2019.
  • Milk cost 24 cents a quart vs. $2.92 today
  • 55 cents for a dozen eggs vs. $3.37 today
  • Gas was 0.32 cents a gallon vs. $4.65 today
  • The average price of a house in Toronto in 1967 was $24,078 vs. $989,218 today
There were also some significant events that occurred in the co-operative industry that decade:
  • In 1967, the Co-operators approved their new $1 million, nine-storey, office tower at Priory Square on MacDonnell Street, in Guelph ON
  • In 1960, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative was recognized as a pioneer in the production of yogurt
  • Some of the earliest housing co-operatives in Canada were student co-ops that began in the 60s
The top 3 singles in 1967 were:                                               
  1. The Letter - The Box Tops
  2. To Sir with Love – Lulu
  3. All You Need is Love – The Beatles
CYL’s Most Recurring Facilitators
Every year, approximately 30 individuals volunteer as facilitators at the Co-operative Young Leaders summer camp. Every person that has dedicated their time to this program has made a difference for participants, the camp and the co-operative sector. We want to shine a light on the individuals that have dedicated numerous years as a facilitator at CYL. Here are the top five, followed by the runner-ups:
  1.  19 YEARS – it's a tie between Michael Barrett and Craig Steven
  2.  13 YEARS – Jeff McCallum
  3.  12 YEARS – Carol Fleming
  4.  10 YEARS – Celine Carrière and Sonja Carrière
  5.  9 YEARS – Sara Bertens and Joe Giasson
  • 8 YEARS – Danny Luceno and Erin Lundberg
  • 7 YEARS – Candice El-Kholy, Tanya Gracie and Yee-Guan Wong
  • 6 YEARS – Eddie Sauve, Kelsey Nash Scobie, Krista DeGroot Wydeven and Scott Piatkowski

New CYL Alumni Group

We are pleased to announce the creation of our new CYL alumni group! The alumni group has the ultimate goal of helping you build new connections, memories and relationships with people from the co-operative sector. As a member of the alumni group, you will receive updates about CYL, have opportunities to join CYL committees, contribute to the alumni newsletter, attend a CYL reunion, connect with facilitators from you camp experience in a Facebook group and so much more. It’s not too late to join the alumni group, if you’re interested in participating, click the button below! 
Join the Alumni Group
CYL Photo Flashbacks
The New Home of CYL

Nestled away in 98-acres of Carolinian forest, a retreat for those inspired by co-operation, sustainability, learning & leadership. The Co-operative Education Centre was created with a simple goal in mind: to provide co-operators, community leaders and changemakers with an inspiring and serene space to create and collaborate. Located near Aylmer, Ontario at the Gay Lea Dairy Museum, the C.E.C. is an ideal venue to host workshops, retreats, overnight camps, conferences and celebrations, with features including: 8 cabins, up to 6 guests per cabin, communal hall for workshops, talks & screenings, outdoor event tent for 100+ guests, commercial-grade kitchen, sound system, LCD projectors and screens, breakout meeting rooms, walking trails throughout the grounds, large open fields for team challenges & games.
For more information on the C.E.C. and Gay Lea Dairy Museum, visit them online
The Co-operative Education Centre (CEC) Tour 2020
Annabelle's 2020 CYL Summer Experience
Check out Annabelle's 2020 CYL Summer!
The Director's Corner

When I think of CYL, I cannot help but smile. I get warm fuzzies reflecting on my time in the program as a participant (1999-2001), facilitator (2003-2012), Program Coordinator (2005-2007) and Camp Director (2008-2010). 
As a first time participant, I remember feeling so anxious the closer I got to camp. I had no idea what to expect, no idea the profound impact that this program would have on my life. I went from being hesitant about approaching the facilitators and entering the facility to devastated that I had to leave just a week later. I am not alone.
So, what is this CYL magic that draws us all in and keeps us all wanting to come back for more? For one, it is the courageous individuals that enter as strangers and leave as friends. Additionally, it is the barriers that we break down and the masks we leave behind as we begin to realize that we can truly be ourselves in this safe space, where we will not only be accepted but encouraged and celebrated. Furthermore, it is finding power in working as a collective instead of having to stand on our own as an individual. 
For the first time in my life at Talking Stick, I felt truly heard; I felt seen. The Talking Stick has given voice to so many. It is powerful, validating, unifying. The CYL Program also empowers participants through challenge by choice; each activity you encounter allows you to go as far as you feel comfortable… and then hopefully one step further, stretching your comfort level and experiencing personal growth. You learn to trust in others through the various activities and to know they have your back. Each participant and facilitator is strengthened by putting their trust and belief in others and in themselves.
Most of all, CYL is about the incredible people. 
If you haven’t had an opportunity, please join me in sending gratitude to the incredible people (past and present) who make this program possible:
  • The OCA board and staff;
  • The dedicated volunteer facilitators;
  • The program sponsors;
  • The courageous young people who decide to take a risk and participate. 
Thank you! Thank you to all of you for your contributions and for investing in our youth, helping us to discover more about ourselves and about co-operation.
I encourage each of you to continue to participate in the co-operative sector, whether it be through membership, employment, and/or serving on the board of directors; incredible opportunities await you!
I will leave you with a quote that reminds me of the warm fuzzy feeling I get when thinking of the people I have met at CYL: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you say, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. - Maya Angelou
Never forget those warm fuzzies, the amazing connections, and the lifelong takeaway of considering people over profits when making your decisions in your career and in life.
Sonja Carrière
CYL Camp Director 2008-2010
Follow Us on Social Media!

Follow us for more camp memories, CYL updates and more fun information you don’t want to miss by clicking the buttons below! You can also follow us on TikTok, by searching for @cooperativeyoungleaders
For all your program inquiries, contact:
Tel: 519-763-8271 ext. 25

A donation to the Bernie Daly Memorial Fund, or the Dorothy Watson CYL Bursary can go a long way in helping send a youth to CYL who  may not otherwise have the means to go. Please consider supporting one of these initiatives, and give a kid the summer camp experience of a lifetime! 
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