The Mikey Network is Working with OCA To Make Going To Camp Safer and More Worry-Free

Mikey Network press release



Sending your kids to camp is an annual experience for many Canadian parents. At the same time they can’t help but worry about them being away – often out in a rather remote location — and how long it might take an ambulance to arrive if a medical emergency should happen.

Now the Ontario Camps Association and The Mikey Network have come together, and are working to bring more peace of mind to the camping experience for everyone.

Each is an organization that cares about the health and welfare of our children and our community, and now they have announced a new initiative to help place MIKEY defibrillators in camps across Ontario. As part of the Mikey Young at Heart program, The Mikey Network is now making AED defibrillators available to all OCA member camps at a special reduced price.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the OCA to install MIKEYs across the province’s summer and year-round camps, all while providing greater peace of mind to campers, parents, administrators and staff,” said Eva Szypulska, President of The Mikey Network.

“After seeing a close friend pass away from Sudden Cardiac Arrest, we made a pledge to provide the Canadian public with the necessary tools to save lives. This announcement moves us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

Heather Heagle, Executive Director of Ontario Camps Association, is equally committed to the program. “Our member camps are each unique, and together they serve a diverse community,” she says. “But they are all committed to providing the safest and happiest camping experience possible for Ontario kids, and having a MIKEY at each camp will help us achieve just that.”

Andrew Martin, Owner-Director of Camp Can-Aqua, is ahead of the curve and already has a defibrillator at his camp on the shores of Beaver Lake in Cardiff, Ontario.

“Camp Can-Aqua has been fortunate enough to have a MIKEY AED on-site since 2010,” says Martin. “As standards pertaining to CPR continue to change and evolve to include the use of AED’s, having the unit on hand was an essential step in managing our health and safety protocols. It also provides staff and parents with peace of mind in knowing that if anyone within our camp community suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest, we have the tools readily available to assist.”

“In addition to staff being trained on the proper use of the AED, Can-Aqua now teaches campers enrolled in certain swim training levels how to follow the systems clear and simple steps. AED training and awareness is something we think all organizations should be actively taking part in.”

Although, thankfully, Camp Can-Aqua has never needed to use the unit, they feel better knowing it is ready and on hand should an emergency arise.

Founded in the 1930’s, the Ontario Camps Association is dedicated to enabling children to learn new skills, make new friends and have fun in a safe, healthy and caring environment. The association has more than 600 members, including over 400 unique Ontario camps that are large and small, co-ed or single gender, located in remote settings or downtown buildings, use rustic or modern facilities, offer specialized or general programs, and serve a broad spectrum of special needs.

The Mikey Network was founded in 2003 after the tragic passing of Heathwood Homes partner Michael Salem. His passing could have been prevented if there had been a defibrillator nearby and so, compelled by the astounding number of tragedies that occur at home or in public places because of the lack of available defibrillators, Heathwood decided to take action and establish the charitable organization.

Over the past decade, The Mikey Network has raised more than $3 million by placing over 1,600 MIKEYs in public places across Canada. The foundation has also helped train 12,000 people in CPR/AED and saved a total of 23 lives to date. Now, thanks to The Mikey Network and OCA, the beat goes on…and will continue to do so at camps across Ontario.


For information, contact:
Miriam Lash
The Mikey Network

Download Mikey Camp Press Release – PDF