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How it all started

The Marc Cooper award was created to further extend the legacy of one of the Canadian camping industry’s most passionate, giving and dedicated contributors, Marc Cooper.

Marc was a long-time camper, counsellor, director at Camp Tamarack in Ontario and lover of camp. His energy, creativity and excitement about welcoming people into his camp’s community were second to none. Marc became a close friend to Camp Canada, attending job fairs overseas to find the most suitable staff for his camp, providing mentorship and guidance to Camp Canada team members and simply taking the time to call, check in and develop meaningful professional relationships with the Camp Canada team.

Marc’s dedication to Camp Canada was exemplified when he lost his Camp Canada (then called NYQUEST) Nalgene water bottle in a dumpster. He called the Camp Canada team in a panic and then spent a good portion of the day trying to find it and fish it out of the dumpster with a long stick. He proudly announced to the Camp Canada team when it was back in his possession :-)

Marc was also a steadfast advocate for proactively addressing mental health issues and breaking down the stigma of talking about mental health. Marc “Wow’d” everyone he came in contact with. His zest for life, his unique approach to camp programming, and staff training and his ability to find joy and entertainment in even the mundane was an inspiring gift that he gave to many.

2022 Nominees and Winners

A tribute to Marc Cooper

In tribute to Marc’s life, his impact on Camp Canada, its participants and his phenomenal contributions to the camping industry, Camp Canada has created its first ever annual award, which will be given out in Marc’s name.

How it works

Camp directors and/or members of a Canadian camp’s leadership team will use the following form during the summer to nominate as many first time Camp Canada participants, and up to two past first time Camp Canada participants, who have gone above and beyond in the following areas that exemplify some of Marc’s key characteristics that he brought to the camping industry:

  • Inclusivity and welcoming: A staff member who has gone out of the way to include others from diverse backgrounds, helping them feel supported, cared for and welcomed. This individual has placed a specific emphasis on seeking out campers or staff that may have trouble fitting in and the nominee has found ways for them to feel included, feel special and feel at home.

  • Creativity: Sharing a passion for art and other creative ways of self-expression within the camp community and using art, creative programming and other methods of self-expression to communicate, share and impact others in a meaningful way. All nominated individuals will have the opportunity to formally accept the nomination and optionally submit any supplemental materials to support their nomination.

A select number of applicants will be chosen as the award recipients and prizes and certificates will be presented at a virtual award ceremony.

A donation will be made by Camp Canada on behalf of all nominated recipients to the Marc Cooper Memorial Fund.

Nomination form



Ready to nominate someone?

The Marc Cooper Award