Grow Your Outdoor Business
The consultant you select to help grow your outdoor business requires in-depth knowledge, hands-on experience, and an aptitude for innovation, service delivery and client-focus strategy. And a good pair of boots!
In today’s rapidly changing world, progressive leaders are looking for new ways to engage clients and reimagine how their organization can achieve greater social impact. With decades of innovation experience and a fresh perspective, we’ll help your team identify new ways to reach people, and create new and improved outdoor experiences.
- Best Practices and Quality Enhancements
- Policy Review and Development
- Risk Assessments
- Staff and Volunteer Orientation and Training
Facility & Operations
For the camp operator or adventure outfitter, facility design and operations play in harmony with the outdoor experience. Leveraging our experience in design, construction, and operations, we offer a variety of consulting and business solutions to your operational challenges.
- Facility Design Concept and Development
- Operating Standards, Review & Audits
- Financial Modelling
Recruitment & Retention
Recruitment and retention of participants can be a significant investment of time and money. Effective targeted plans are critical. We will review or develop your strategies and tactical plans through a lens of best practice, competitive positioning, and cost effectiveness.
- Research Initiatives
- Integrated Marketing and Communications
- Cost Effective Recruitment Tactics
- Employee Recruitment Plans
Measuring the experiential impact on participants is critical for executing relevant programs, continuous improvement of service, and ensure a healthy connection is made with the natural world. We’ll provide operational reviews, program audits, and conduct participant feedback loops. Such findings can inform your future staff training, marketing plans, programs execution, and client engagement.
- Client Program Innovation, Design, Evaluation
- Operating Standards, Review & Audits
Keith Publicover has over 20 years dedicated to progressive executive management of youth camps, adventure tourism, outdoor and environmental education organizations; and has successfully led camps through past economic downturns and challenges. Review his outdoor sector contributions below.
Professional Contribution Highlights
YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) – Developed a Business and Financial Model, aligned with the conceptual framework (below) proposed for a new youth camp/outdoor and environmental education centre (Camp/OEE) located in the Torbay region. The Business and Financial Model proposed four strategic business units; including their revenue forecasts, product mix, client occupancy blocks by season and program, cost-centre models, market pricing options, marketing strategy, and recommendations vetted across the province’s nonprofit sector.
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 land use installations for a lodge/dining hall, learning commons, camper and employee residences, health/wellness centre, administrative space, adventure course, out-trip centre, physical plant building and waterfront facilities. Framework document was vetted across the provincial market and received positive response for its innovation, integration of education curriculum, and the redefining of 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 product and facility reviews, population data analysis, examinations of pricing models, examinations of camping and OEE national and provincial trends, and interviews with over 20 industry professionals and camp operators.
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, and steps off to serve 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 for children and youth living with chronic health conditions and other life challenges.
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.
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 multi-seasonal camps, including lead on construction of two camps (Onondaga Farms, Kentahten), designed and developed the Youth Development Leadership and National Community Partnership Program. Onondaga Farms (ON), the Foundation’s first farm and environmental education centre (2002) brought together responsible land-use conservation and protection on 400-acres with experiential farm education, outdoor adventure programs, school-based curriculum and early-adoption of innovative digital blended-learning. Marketing strategy, fundraising campaign, and store-owner engagement of Tim Hortons Camp Day. Camp locations: Alberta, Ontario (2), Quebec, Nova Scotia and Kentucky. *Formally named the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation
Former General Manager 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. Camp Pine Crest, located in Muskoka Region of Ontario, is a 650-acre mixed forest with geological and environmental features, nestled along three lakes. The YMCA camp supports protection of nature space and provides access for children and families to learn in and about the outdoors.
YMCA of Greater Toronto, directed research team for day camp and child care curriculum/program development.
As a former camp director, Keith has successfully led camps through past economic downturns applying dynamic recruitment tactics, improved operational delivery, and retooling programs and financial models.
Former General Manager of Camping and Youth Development, 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%. The 20-acre facility, nestled on the shore of Belleisle Bay, New Brunswick, has a rich history as the leading youth summer camp in the province.
Former Director, Community Youth Programs and Teen Leadership Programs, YMCA of Greater Saint John (included city-wide sports, arts, and outdoor education day camp management)
Former Summer Camp Director, YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth (Big Cove Camp). Joined the team responsible for camp’s re-opening after a 4-year closure, design and execution of all programs, and re-building camper enrolment. Previous roles included counsellor, Out-tripping Director, and Leadership Development Director. Canada’s oldest summer youth camp is a 120-acre property located on the Merigomish Harbour, Nova Scotia.
Keith 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.
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.
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, including camps: Queen Elizabeth, RKY, Davern, Belwood, Ki-Wa-Y, Kitchikewana, Wabanaki, Wanakita, and Ottawa Outdoor Centre
Ontario Camps Association, Former Board of Directors member, (Chair, Standards and Marketing Committees), Camp Operations Peer Review Auditor, including camps: Kilcoo, Walden, Onondaga, Couchiching, Oconto, and Maple Leaf. Served as a volunteer speaker at numerous Annual OCA Conferences
“His unique experience is invaluable to the development of the camping industry and contributes to the growth of our future leaders. “Maya Stern, Camp Quality Canada
YMCA International Outdoor Education and Experiential Conference – planning committee, speaker
Camp Quality Canada – guest presenter and facilitator for their 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