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CYL FAQ: Sponsors

On this page you will find answers to some common questions regarding sponsorship, participant recruiting and program marketing.

The first thing you'll notice is that CYL has a new logo and a new slogan, "Your First Step To Awesome". What's more subtle is that you'll find us referring to CYL as a youth engagement and involvement program (and not "camp") If you haven't updated your CYL marketing materials in a few years, this might be the time to talk to On Co-op about how to recruit participants and involve them more in your organization 52 weeks of the year, not just one week during the summer.


  • Identify and recruit potential leaders from within your youth membership.
  • Promote CYL as a year-round youth engagement experience (remember: this isn't just a one-week summer camp!)
  • Identify a key staff member who will work with your participant(s) year round to engage and/or mentor them.
  • Allocate the appropriate financial and human resources to support CYL throughout the year.

As the sponsor of a CYL participant, you provide youth with the opportunity to learn more about the co-operative business model, philosophies, and help them to develop leadership and facilitation skills. Your sponsorship is recognized during the week, on the On Co-op website and in the CYL newsletter. Participant sponsors have the opportunity to talk to the participants as a guest speaker, and/ or to send facilitators to CYL.

CYL is a multi-year program with a progression from Junior to Intermediate to Senior. Each session builds on the skills and concepts taught in the prior year. Taking all three years of the program is recommended.

The CYL registration fee is divided into two parts. The largest portion comes directly from a co-op or credit union that wishes to develop, engage or reward its youth member(s). The participant or his/her family also pays a portion of the cost of attending CYL; we have found that this encourages a responsibility to the program. New this year, sponsors pay the full amount to On Co-op, and collect and retain the participant portion themselves.

Is this the year that you send one of your co-op members to CYL? Some of our larger sponsors send more than 30 participants year after year! If you have never sponsored a participant before, try it out. Sponsoring even one participant in CYL is a great investment in youth and your co-op. If your organization cannot afford the sponsorship fee on its own, work co-operatively with another co-op or credit union in your area, or contact your co-op federation.

Sponsors are encouraged to engage their CYL graduates in year-round activities—perhaps they could help with your newsletter, assist with a fund raising event, participate in a members' meeting, or talk about their experiences to your board or a committee. CYL should be considered as part of your co-op or credit union's youth engagement and retention strategy, with funds and resources built into your annual budget and plans.


  • Providing financial and/or human resources to support the operation and delivery of CYL.

As a Corporate Sponsor (also known as a weekly sponsor) your organization financially supports one or more weeks of CYL or other parts of the Program such as printing, design, volunteer facilitator professional development and training, etc. Corporate support keeps overall registration fees affordable, allowing more young people to participate. Your funding supports the infrastructure of the program—curriculum development, staff and facilitator training, accomodation and food—and strengthens the entire CYL organization. You will receive recognition on the On Co-op website, recognition during your sponsored week(s), an acknowledgment in CYL newsletters and other publications, the opportunity to talk to the participants as as guest speaker, and the option to send facilitators CYL during our recruitment drives.


Sponsors may also contribute to a fund that subsidizes travel costs or the fee paid by deserving participants and their sponsors.

You may choose to support CYL throughout the year with fundraising and awareness-raising activities. GROWMARK, Inc., for example, has hosted a CYL bonspiel that raised funds for the program and allowed its staff and guests to participate in a fantastic day! CGI has sent funds to CYL in lieu of mailing holiday cards. Every penny donated to CYL goes towards expanding the program and furthering its development. It's a great investment in youth, communities and the co-op/credit union sector! CYL also encourages organizations to donate to the Bernie Daly Fund which supports CYL.

Individuals and organizations may also donate to CYL through the Bernie Daly Fund (see link at top right under "more information"), or by making a tax-deductible donation to the Ontario Credit Union Foundation.


  • CYL integrates perfectly with your youth engagement strategy, as well the professional development paths of your staff, making it easy to talk about CYL at any time of the year.

On Co-op has material available to help with promotion. CYL has a new look and message, so this is a good time to revisit what you send out to your members, tell your staff and put up on your website.

Our CYL Marketing Package includes many helpful tips and sample text for your newsletters and communications. We have also included a selection of high-resolution photos and a CYL logo for your organization to download. The CYL brochure or postcard are great promotional tools, and the Facilitator Brochure can introduce your organization to the benefits of being a Facilitator. All of these materials can be found under "downloads" at the top right of this page and can be used, distributed or printed freely for promotional purposes. If you want something a little more visual, check out our Prezi, or visit our online CYL album.


Involvement in CYL is a great investment in our youth and your co-op. After the summer ends, find ways to incorporate these talented and enthusiastic young people back into your organizations throughout the year.

  • Designate one key person at your co-op (or branch) to support and mentor your participant(s) year-round!
  • Invite them to write an article for your newsletter
  • have them make an AGM or board presentation
  • use their skills to begin a youth group, committee or board, etc.
  • provide input into developing youth programs, or attracting more youth to your organization
  • have them participate in community events or members' meetings—as a panelist, participant, volunteer or any other suitable role
  • give them a t-shirt and send them out into the community for special events!!!
  • have them participate in credit union day, co-op day, or any other special event within your organization or your community.

The CYL magic should rub off on you too!

The bigger picture for your organization comes from using these young people the other 51 weeks of the year. They have been learning leadership, facilitation, self awareness and speaking skills for seven intensive days at CYL, and perhaps over all three summer programs. They get to practice them in CYL's safe and supportive environment.

Your challenge is, of course, what do with these young people who are turned on to co-ops and credit unions. If you engage them in other aspects of your organization —for example as greeters during credit union day, participants in a staff training or development day, as career day spokesmen, as a junior board member or editors for a youth print or electronic newsletter —you are helping them to further hone their skills, while helping your organization. You get an extra hand for staff or board meetings, or a smiling, youthful face for your organizationIf you want to attract and retain young people, the CYL program should certainly be a lynch-pin in that strategy.

Ultimately, the goal is to develop the next generation of leaders for our system and our movement—to grow our own leaders, rather than importing them from another sector and having to school them into co-op philosophy & practices (grass roots things, of course, that CYL has taught 14-18 year olds for over 40 years).


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