57 YMCA staff (Managers and Front-Line) across Canada, met in Toronto to actively participate in the creation and delivery of various skill development and capacity building sessions.

This gathering was the starting point of a multi-year pathway to collaborative learning.

The entire period of April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012 we were engaged in a Federal Government Internships contract period that represented 36 months of stable funding and relative program predictability. This was coupled with a rich 10 year history of program accomplishments and learning’s to build upon. 2009 was a good year for us to launch a multi-phase staff training and program capacity building initiative.

I had a blast creating and leading this three day conference with my National Office team, in partnership with YMCAs across Canada, sponsored by the Federal Government. – Dan Trepanier

  • Phase 1: Pre-Event Planning July to Sept 2009.
    • A series of pre-conference discussions to develop learning modules for presentation at the Toronto event
  • Phase 2: Sutton Place Hotel, Showcase Event, Toronto, Tuesday Oct 6th 2009, Wed 7th, Thurs 8th.
    • Three-day gatherings, to showcase practical ideas, launch innovative peer-to-peer resources and celebrate success stories
  • Phase 3: Post Event Initiatives, October 2009 to March 2010.
    • Ongoing opportunities to adapt, apply, and measure new learning’s within a local delivery site context

Focus – Build Effective Relationships with Mentors – Interns via Branding

This session stream was about; learning to create quality internship descriptions, recruit new Mentors and Interns to participate in the program, and highlight appreciation events. The goals were to;

  • Support the implementation of the 2009-12 ‘Project-Marketing’ Initiative; a collection of marketing solutions through a comprehensive mix of products, resources, training programs and support options available to local YMCAs
  • Develop content, facilitate, and coordinate regular YMCA staff training opportunities such as; Audio-Webinars and conferences
  • Work with the Government to conduct presentations to prospective Host sites (may require travel)
  • Collaborate with others to revise, compile, and develop new recruitment resource materials

Focus – Curriculum Renewal for Participant Outcomes

The session stream was about curriculum development to support a number of participant outcomes, specifically;

Youth are engaged and exposed to a variety of learning activities and environments. Youth experience leadership, service-learning and social development. Youth gain developmentally appropriate; knowledge, skills and attitudes. Youth connect to work & continued formal education. Youth form adult partnerships (Mentor/Intern Relationships, Mentor Training). The goals were to;

  • Develop content, facilitate, and coordinate regular Audio-Webinars for Program educators across Canada
  • Help develop a Program Curriculum Mapping process and ensure curriculum contains participant ownership/contributions
  • Collaborate with others to revise, compile, and develop new Mentor resource materials
  • Moderate a comprehensive program library full of rich content and postings
  • Provide ongoing group facilitation support and mentoring to program facilitators
  • Research frameworks and current/potential suppliers (YWCA-Life Skills, Employability Skills 2000 , Essential Skills, Healthy Adolescent Development Resources, and more)
  • Discover and where appropriate implement the ‘SMART-Board’ Pilot Initiative; a collection of education solutions through a comprehensive mix of technology solutions and learning resources

Participants worked with the my National Office to collaborate with YMCAs across Canada with involvement in the delivery of course curriculum. Curriculum is a unit of teaching that typically lasts the duration of the program (6-9 months), is led by one or more instructors (facilitators, mentors), has a fixed roster of Interns, and gives each learner an opportunity to learn and develop skills. Key focus areas include’ curriculum mapping, integrating a variety of learning formats, adoption of leading edge on-line collaboration tools, and facilitator training.

Focus – The Impact of Emerging Technology, Collaboration Tools on Internships

This session stream was about: The Impact of Emerging Technology and Collaboration Tools on Federal Government Internships. The Goals were to:

  • Discover our involvement in communication, secure information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration on the World Wide. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and applications; such as social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis and blogs. What is the interdependent connection between Web 2.0 and the Project?
  • Examine the various components of Internships such as Version 2.0 of the Online Admin System launch of Version 2.0 of the collaborative content/contact management platform (Wiki)
  • Explore the concept of Digital Story Telling – the use of digital media to tell stories from the perspective of Interns and Mentors. Digital Story Telling can be used within the context of both curriculum and marketing/recruitment.

 Some of the Inspiring Feedback Received!


Diane Lafrance, Senior Program Officer / Agent principal de programme Programme de stages pour les jeunes dans le secteur public fédéral/ Federal Public Sector Youth Internship –
Using technology is an excellent way to collaborate with Project delivery sites across Canada and share information appropriately. I encourage the National Office to continue developing innovative practices and use secure technology solutions to engage youth and program staff. This YMCA approach demonstrates a willingness to involve the ‘Funder’ in a process that gives everyone a chance to contribute content – well done Dan and Team!

Yael Drinkle, Vancouver – Thanks again for the amazing conference. It was so motivating, energizing and just incredible to get to have everyone in the same room and share ideas. You guys did an amazing job putting it all together. And once again, thank you for taking us to Ovo, I’m still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Josephine, Halifax – I want to take moment and say a big THANK YOU to all three of you for making the conference possible. Wow!! what an amazing gathering. The conference was very informative, energetic and enlightening. Oh my, just having everyone together in the same room was priceless. I know it took a lot of hard work and Collaboration to put it all together, BRAVO!!

Diana Demery-Hepinstall, Sudbury – What an amazing experience.  Thank you so much for everything…I have never before been to a conference where the theme was so much a part of the whole.  The incorporation of Cirque was brilliant and ever so relevant.  As I am working on my adventure to Iqaluit I am feeling much better prepared than I had been.  Recognizing the resources that are at my fingertips through collaboration has really inspired me. I’m proud to be part of such a powerful team.