Executive Summary -Charter Review Committee Report

(Updated Sept. 18, 2022)


Delegates at the 2021 Unicamp Annual General Meeting (AGM) voted to form a committee to review the Unicamp charter created in 1969. A charter is a key governing document that identifies the characteristics of a corporation such as its name, charitable purposes and other financial and legal powers and authorities. 

Review of Original Charitable Purposes

A committee composed of congregational delegates, the Unicamp Executive Director and Board 

President and the Executive Director of the Canadian Unitarian Council have met regularly since the AGM. The committee focused its work on the charitable purposes of Unicamp, which describe the aims the organization was created to achieve. The original and current statement of purposes (objects) of Unicamp found within the charter are: 


For the following objects, that is to say:

  1. To organize, operate and maintain camps with related services for Unitarian religious training of children and to provide, operate and maintain facilities for church and leadership conferences and seminars.

After deliberation, we concluded that the original charitable purposes are outdated and do not adequately reflect Unicamp’s current programs and activities as a religious charity. The charitable purposes needed to be updated.

Updating Unicamp’s Charitable Purposes

We reviewed the legal requirements for charitable purposes, which are regulated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA).  We reflected on how Unicamp has evolved and the ways in which Unicamp’s programs and activities fulfill or aspire to fulfill, the charitable purpose of advancing religion. The following statement was the result of much deliberation. There are three proposed charitable purposes, following the introductory statement. 

The statement of purpose of Unicamp of Ontario is to operate a Canadian Unitarian Universalist (UU) campground and Spiritual Retreat Centre for UU’s, member congregations, and the general public of all ages to:

  • Provide camps, programs, services and gatherings, that advance Canadian Unitarian Universalist principles, engage in religious exploration, and build a welcoming, inclusive, multigenerational, community;
  • Nurture leadership and life skills by offering programs and opportunities to children, youth, and adults through grounding learning in the Canadian Unitarian Universalist Principles;
  • Engage people in practicing environmental stewardship and living out the Canadian Unitarian Universalist principle of respecting the interdependent web of all existence. This will be realized through: education, conservation, and the enhancement of Unicamp’s natural habitat.

Community Engagement Process

We obtained feedback from the Unicamp community on the proposed charitable purposes through focus groups representing diverse perspectives and an on-line survey. We expect that the report, including the results of the community feedback, will be available by the end of 2022. It is expected that the work to update Unicamp’s charitable purposes will continue in 2023.

In faith,

The Unicamp Charter Review Committee Members

Dianne Heise, Committee Chair, Grand River Unitarian Congregation Delegate

Ed Bennett, Grand River Unitarian Congregation Delegate

Aukje Byker, Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough Delegate

Terri Marks, Unicamp Board President 

Lauren Renzetti, Neighbourhood UU Congregation Delegate

Yvette Salinas, Unicamp Executive Director 

Lorna Weigand, Don Heights Unitarian Congregation Delegate

With contributions from Vyda Ng, Canadian Unitarian Council Executive Director and 

Kitty Corbett, Unicamp Evaluation Advisory Group