We know we have the best staff... so how do we hire and keep such wonderful people? We select our candidates for their enthusiasm, leadership qualities, maturity, and commitment to the values of Camp Ouareau. All staff members are able to carry on a conversation in either French or English, but are also dedicated to improving their language skills at camp, just like our campers.
They are a mix of former campers who have gone through our two-month CIT (counsellor-in-training) program, and young women who have been brought in for activity expertise, fresh ideas, and experience. Every new staff member goes through a multi-stage interview process, and every returning staff member is re-interviewed each year.
Our director, Gabrielle, does leadership training year-round outside of Ouareau, and brings that passion and fresh ideas to our staff training program. All staff members go through an extensive training period at camp before we open for the season. They'll go over routines and procedures, learn about camper care, and prepare their activities and events for the summer.
The training period also gives our staff a chance to work together as a team before the campers arrive, so that they will be at their very best when taking care of your campers! We continue staff training throughout the summer, with workshops and skill refreshers on a weekly basis.
Coached in Communicating
In progressing from camper to CIT to staff member, we begin to hold our Ouareau girls to a higher standard of communication and problem-solving skills. To allow them to be able to coach their campers in using DARE and other communication tools, we coach our staff to become more aware of their feelings and needs and more comfortable communicating those to their peers and supervisors.
As well, our staff have a solid support system throughout the summer with frequent scheduled times where counsellors reflect on their campers' experience. This support system has aided them to not only do a wonderful job with their girls, but also to accomplish goals of their own.
Meet our directors
Jacqui & Gabrielle are both heavily involved in the international camping community and leadership development in & outside of that community. It has been their mission to provide a camp that best serves the emotional well-being of girls. Camp Ouareau has been family operated for nearly 15 years.
Jacqui began working at Ouareau in 1975, and has been the director of Camp Ouareau since 1994. Jacqui and her husband, Don, became the owners of Ouareau in 2002; they have worked diligently to develop programs and activities while maintaining Ouareau’s traditions. In 2009, the Quebec Camping Association awarded Jacqui the Honour Award, which recognizes her exceptional contribution to the camping community and her commitment to Camp Ouareau. Jacqui’s lifelong camping experience has enabled her to contribute to the international camping world; she has been on the boards of the Quebec Camping Association (ACQ), the Canadian Camping Association (CAA), and the International Camping Fellowship (ICF). Part of Jacqui’s camp philosophy is building a partnership between parents and camp so that every camper’s experience is positive and unique.
Gabrielle "Gabz" Raill
Gabz’ energetic personality keeps camp exciting, from creating new games to teaching a camper how to roll a kayak. Gabrielle Raill is now one of the directors of Camp Ouareau, and has been a staff member at Ouareau since 1996. In 2007, the Ontario Camping Association (OCA) honoured Gabz with the Ron & Mickey Johnstone Youth Leadership Award. Gabrielle has volunteered her time to work with the Quebec Camping Association (ACQ) and the International Camping Fellowship (ICF), and for World Camps’ Camp Sizanani in South Africa. She is currently the Canadian Ambassador Representative for the ICF. She collaborated with Dr. Raye Kass of Concordia University on a team-building program for NASA astronauts. Gabrielle holds a B.A. in Human Relations from Concordia University, and a certificate in Recreation from Humber College.