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Stu Speaks


Sat, 2009-01-24 16:27

Today is an important day, the most important day, in fact thinking about it right now, I believe this is the most important day of my life. Sure, there have been days that stand out as spectacular, even life changing, but today has to be number 1.

I am sure at this point you are wondering what I an talking about? Stu what’s happened? What is the big news? Did you win a lottery? Did someone donate 1 million dollars to camp? Did Jennifer Aniston ask you out on a date? Were you named Time Magazines Person of the year?


Long time

Fri, 2009-01-16 03:39

It has been a long time since the last blog… I have been busy. Trying to get my year started and create days full of accomplishment and joy. Life has a way of pushing you, giving you a challenge here and there to see if you’re on the ball or if you are missing the point.

The still pond

Wed, 2008-12-31 13:44

When I was a child I used to live by a giant pond. It may have in reality, been a tiny pond but as a small boy it seemed giant. I used to wade in knee deep and catch frogs and bring them home to keep as pets only to be told to release them later by my parents. There was a big old apple tree that we used to climb and rip off the crab apples and see who could throw them the furthest, if you hit the pond you were king. Then there were those days when you would sit by the waters edge and be in harmony with the crickets, the bull frogs and the birds.

Colours or colors

Mon, 2008-12-29 05:31

I am reading a book to my daughter, she received it from her Grandma for Christmas. She asked me to read it to her, not because she can’t read but because I believe she feels it will ensure that we can spend more time together. I am more then happy to do it. Although I find myself sometimes putting her off… I guess it’s because I think there is something else I should be doing. In reality though what could be more important then spending time with my children? I learned the value of not being a “commercial dad” a long time ago.

What's important?

Fri, 2008-12-19 12:14

Dream - Dare - Do. These are the pillars of YLCC, the summer camp that I run in Ontario, Canada. The idea is to truly dare to do the things that you dream about. To many of us waste time doing what’s not important. I find myself sometimes using a game on my iPhone for 30-40 minutes before I realize that I have just wasted my valuable time. Focusing on what’s important in our lives os SO important.

Now you see it

Wed, 2008-12-17 13:31

I went to the mall the other day and was doing a bit of festive shopping. I stopped in at one of my favourite shops. Teaopia! I was chatting with the manager and she made a comment to me that ressonated with me for a while. She told me the story of when she was a little girl and would go walking in the woods with her father. One day he asked her, “Can you believe all the mushrooms that grow in the forest?”. She responded, “I don’t see any mushrooms?”. At which point he pointed them out to her as they walked.

Tis the season

Mon, 2008-12-01 16:39

December is here and with it comes for most the celebration season. There are many religious holidays that are celebrated at this time of the year. It’s also the time of the year where we celebrate with family and friends. Eat food and share gifts. The gifts can come in the form of something purchased from a store or they can appear in the form of a visit from a friend or a card in the mail. It truly can be the most wonderful time of the year.


Thu, 2008-11-20 20:01

It’s hard to guess if the new President-Elect will be as great as many people believe that he will be. It’s hard to predict if he can or will bring great change to the United States and the world. There is no way to say if he will be “successful”.


Thu, 2008-10-30 23:43

It was the worst weekend of my life. I had been ripped apart. My soul stepped on and trampled. I was week and down. I had just received the worst news of my life. There was nothing that seemed to matter anymore. The questions, the sadness. People say they understand but they don’t.

People say to you, “It’ll be ok!”

It won’t.

Life was swirling, turning black. Anger was rising, rage as red as the centre of the sun. How would I get even, how would I make it right? Who would pay for my sadness. How could I get anyone to understand?


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  • Student Conferences

    We brought 40 students, mostly juniors, and the layout of the conference space and dorm space made our staff feel comfortable with supervision. The college also made it super easy for meals - everything was in the same complex. I HIGHLY recommend trying out this conference for those schools who haven’t yet. Top notch leadership experience!

    ~Bob Kline - Teacher - Huron Heights Secondary School, Kitchener, ON
  • Student Conferences

    Thanks so much for an amazing conference. We’re already looking forward to EOSLC 2018!

    ~Riley McMullen - Tagwi Secondary School - Avonmore, ON
  • Student Conferences

    I want to thank you for giving my students the opportunity to attend EOSLC!! On the drive home, they were discussing how wonderful the speakers were, and the spirit leaders, and the venue, and the whole experience!!!

    I know they have taken with them new insight as to what it means to be a leader! I thank you for that! You must be so proud to have so much positive influence on the youth of tomorrow.

    Thank you, thank you!!

    ~Jennifer Neville -VALOUR SCHOOL - Petawawa
  • Training Centres

    We had such a great time! Your camp is aMazing. The students loved it, and did things they never thought they would have! The slide show at the end was the cherry on top!!!

    ~Amanda - Teacher - Huron Heights Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Student Conferences

    OSLC has played a pivotal role in the growth and development of our Student Activities Council leadership group over the 10 years we have been attending. The chance to get away together, bond as a group, meet other awesome leaders and advisors from across the province, and be challenged by some of the best speakers in the world has made a huge impact on the enthusiasm and effectiveness of our leadership program.”

    ~Jeff Gerber, Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School, Baden, Ontario
  • Training Centres

    “Just want to thank the Pigeon Lake YLCC staff for another wonderful experience. My Grade 7 class just returned from their overnight with smiles on their faces and singing ‘pizza man’. I have taken a group for a number of years now and I never tire of the experience. YOU rock!”

  • Youth Camps

    “Thank you Stu and Ornj and the AMAZING counsellors and staff for making the past two weeks amazing for Noah. He sobbed when we left, and can’t wait to return. He showed me his journal and we compared it to last year’s - what a difference a year makes.”

  • Youth Camps

    “Nothing makes my heart sing more, than to see my kids having the most amazing life experiences together. YLCC makes this happen every year. Pure Gold. ‘Thank You’ can’t really cover it …”

  • Youth Camps

    “Thank you for the best summer I have experienced to date. YLCC taught me how to embrace my values and to express opinions. The entire camp and amazing staff believed in me achieving any goal I were to set. “

  • Student Conferences

    OSLC to me is family, period.

    ~Hayley Press
  • Student Conferences

    OSLC showed me through the people I met what it was to be a better leader by how you act and what you do.

    ~Ben Arnold
  • Student Conferences

    OSLC is an experience where you can literally go and see 1000’s of other teens that have the same desire as you to lead and make a change in the world. The energy is electric, the movement is massive and the memories are completely unforgettable. The experience is one you fully cant understand without going there, there is an indescribable and irreplacable feeling that is created there, and it sticks even after you leave.

    ~Brittany Roney
  • Student Conferences

    OSLC changed my life. I have never felt so alive in my entire life. I met so many people who I will be life long friends with. The energy is amazing and the inspiration is indescribable.
    If there was one memory I could remember it would be OSLC.

    ~Maddison F
  • Student Conferences

    I don’t even know how to begin or where to start telling you how amazing OSLC was and how amazing and incredible you are! This event was truly life changing for me and my council, thank you so much for this, for OSLC and for you. You are truly an inspiration and have shown me so much and have lit a fire inside me.

    ~Joshua McCallum, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, Strathroy, Ontario
  • Student Conferences

    I have been bringing students to the Ontario Student Leadership Conference for over 10 years. Our students clamour for a spot at the conference because they have heard about it and want to be a part of it. They always come back from the conference excited and motivated to make positive changes in our school and community. The speakers are always world class and the workshops inspire and educate the students, I look forward to being part of this incredible conference for years to come, keep up the great work.

    ~Kyle Pope, Oakville Traflagar High School
  • Student Conferences

    This conference consistently fosters, in the students who attend, a sense of community in leadership that I’ve yet to see generated to this degree anywhere else. Former students have told me, years later, that the OSLC was the highlight of their high school experience. I believe them.

    ~Ross Thomson, Craig Kielburger Secondary School, Milton, Ontario
  • Student Conferences

    I have been attending OSLC a number of years with our Students’ Council Executive. There is no other opportunity that I am able to offer my students that leads to such enthusiasm and ideas for the school year. Many of my students have worked as Spirit Leaders at the conference, and more than once students have told me how OSLC has changed their life. On top of that, OSLC is one of the very few conferences that allow for PD for staff members who work in student leadership. More than once I have had my own commitment to student leadership refreshed through workshops at OSLC.

    ~Tanya Lacey, McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, Ontario
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye