Camping, Outdoor and Environmental Education, and Adventure Travel Services
Selecting a consulting firm to assist in guiding your post-COVID-19 re-opening and help elevate your business requires in-depth knowledge, outdoor center experience, and their aptitude for innovation, service delivery and client-focus strategy.
Keith Publicover has a diverse nonprofit and education sector career spanning over 35 years, including over 20 years dedicated to leading youth camping, adventure tourism and outdoor and environmental education organizations. As a former camp director, Keith has successfully led camps through past economic downturns applying aggressive recruitment tactics, improved operational delivery, and retooling programs and financial models.
He is a member of the Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) and the Association for Experiential Education; and holds a Bachelor Arts of Recreation Management, Outdoor Education Specialty from Acadia University.
See highlights of Keith’s professional and volunteer contributions to the outdoor industry below.
- Post-COVID-19 Operational Planning and Design
- Best Practices and Quality Enhancements
- Research Initiatives
- Integrated Marketing and Communications
- Cost Effective Recruitment Tactics
- Client Program Innovation, Design, Evaluation
- Operating Standards, Review & Audits
- Policy Review and Development
- Risk Assessments
- Staff and Volunteer Orientation and Training
- Facility Design Concept and Development
- Financial Modelling
YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) – Aligned with the conceptual framework (see below) for the proposed new youth camp and outdoor and environmental education centre (Camp/OEE), a Business and Financial Model was presented to the executive leadership of the YMCA. The Model provided four strategic business units to drive product development, marketing initiatives, cost models and future business incubation; strategic pricing strategies and market pricing vetted recommendations; and client occupancy blocks by season and program.
Developed a comprehensive Conceptual Framework for the year-round, Camp/OEE including: facility space elements, relationship models, comparable industry design references, and with concepts support learning and client development outcomes. Concept framework recommendations focused on unique, fully-integrated installations for a lodge/dining hall, learning commons, camper/employee residences, health/wellness centre, administrative space, adventure course, out-trip centre, physical plant building and waterfront facilities. Concepts presented were vetted in the market and received positive response for its innovation, integration of education curriculum, and redefining the inclusivity and accessibility for outdoor centres.
Conducted a comprehensive market research assessing the potential for a year-round youth camp and outdoor and environmental education centre. Research comprised of current camp and conference centre products and facilities reviews, population data analysis, examinations of pricing models, examinations of camping and OEE national and provincial trends, and interviews with industry professionals.
Brigadoon Village (NS) Former Board Member and Interim Executive Director – Served on the Board during the first year of operation of the newly constructed camp, served as Interim Executive Director to transition new leadership, implemented a new business model and provided orientation new executive director. Serving all of Atlantic Canada, Brigadoon is a unique overnight camp serving children and youth living with health conditions and other life challenges.
YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region (ON) – Conducted research assessing the competitive market of overnight and day camps in Ontario, market competition review, on-site facility and program audit and provided recommendations to management. Reviews examined Camp Otonabee, Camp Davern and day camps.
Former Executive Director of the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps* (CAN/USA) – led operations of six camps, including lead on construction of two camps (Ontario and Kentucky), developed the inaugural Youth Development Leadership and Community Sponsorship programs. Marketing strategy and fundraising campaign of Tim Hortons Camp Day. Camp locations: Alberta, Ontario (2), Quebec, Nova Scotia and Kentucky. *Formally the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation
Former General Manger of Camping, YMCA of Greater Toronto – YMCA’s Camp Pine Crest, Adventure Trips, and Adventure Centre – directed the camp through a period of cultural change, operational and program transformation, and infrastructure revitalization.
YMCA of Greater Toronto, directed research team for day camp and child care curriculum/program development.
Former General Manager of Camping, YMCA of Greater Saint John (Camp Glenburn, OEE, and community day camps). Led the camp to unprecedented camper registrations and waitlist demand. Development of new program models, increased operating standards, and achieved return rates in campers and staff exceeding 80%.
Former Director, Community Youth Programs and Teen Leadership Programs, YMCA of Greater Saint John.
Former Summer Camp Director, YMCA of Greater Halifax (Big Cove YMCA Camp). Joined the team responsible for re-opening the camp after a 4 year closure. Previous roles included counsellor, Out-tripping Director, and Leadership Development Director.
As a former camp director, Keith has successfully led camps through past economic downturns applying aggressive recruitment tactics, improved operational delivery, and retooling programs and financial models.
Other Contribution Highlights
Inaugural 5-year Funding to develop and provide a YMCA Staff Leadership Bursary Award at Camp Pine Crest. The program awarded eligible staff member(s) of bursaries (up to $1,000) to contribute to their education (e.g. post secondary, technical skill courses, professional development accreditation). Over the course of the five years (2015-2019), six individuals received bursaries. Additional funding was provided to the YMCA Endowment for future bursary funding.
YMCA of Greater Saint John (NB) – Upon request of the camp’s alumni, Keith conducted a facility and program audit of the Camp Glenburn operations, assessed potential risks of relocation to new site, presented findings and recommendations to the Assoication’s Board of Directors and camp’s alumni committee. The audit report informed Board and Alumni strategic development plans for infrastructure investment and new master plans.
Former Member, YMCA Canada Resident Camping Advisory Committee and the YMCA Ontario Resident Camp Advisory Committee responsible for the development of national YMCA standards and best practices, financial and participant measurements, and national peer review program.
YMCA Ontario, Overnight Camp Operations Peer Auditor, e.g. Camp Wanakita, Camp Queen Elizabeth, RKY Camp, Camp Davern, Ottawa Outdoor Centre.
Ontario Camps Association, Former Board of Directors member, (Standards and Marketing Committees), Camp Operations Peer Auditor, e.g. Kilcoo, Walden, Maple Leaf; annual conference speaker
YMCA International Outdoor Education and Experiential Conference – planning committee, speaker
Camp Quality Canada – guest presenter and facilitator for Breaking Boarders program
Oncology Camping Association, conference speaker
International Camping Association, conference planner and speaker
Former Contributing Writer, Camps Canada Magazine
Former Advisory Board Member, Our Kids (Camps) Magazine
Guest Lecturer – Acadia University, School of Recreation Management
Guest Lecturer – Lakehead University, Schools of Recreation Management
Nova Scotia Outdoor Leadership Development Program (NSOLD), Trainee, Outdoor Emergency Response Training | Search and Rescue Training
New Brunswick Camping Association, Board of Directors, former member