To join CISV Ottawa or renew your membership, sign up online. Contact the Membership Coordinator if you have any questions.

Benefits of Membership

Membership in the Ottawa chapter entitles family members to:

  • participate in local and national mini-camps
  • participate in Junior Branch (JB) activities
  • apply for international programs
  • apply for a leadership position
  • join the Adult Board or JB Exec
  • receive information by email and web updates
  • receive the chapter handbook as well as relevant program handbooks

The chapter is run by volunteers who make up the Adult Board and the JB Exec, both of which hold monthly meetings. Involvement at both these levels typically lasts from two to five years. The JB publishes news updates, and a chapter newsletter is issued at regular intervals throughout the year by the Adult Board.

CISV Ottawa Membership

Memberships are valid from September 1 - August 31 and are renewed annually. Membership types include:

  • Family: $130
  • Individual (for people 18+): $50
  • Volunteer (for adult leaders and volunteers): $25
  • Trial* (good for three months of local chapter events or one JB mini-camp): $0
  • Affiliate (for members from other CISV Canada chapters): $0
* Program applicants and returning members must have a full membership.

Non-members are welcome to come to a JB activity once without being a member and still be covered by our insurance. This does not apply to mini-camps. Mini-camp participants must be CISV Ottawa members (of any type, including Trial or Affiliate, listed above) in order to be covered by CISV Ottawa's insurance.

Family Commitment

CISV Ottawa counts on the involvement of parents for successful local, national, and international programs. This includes one or more of the following:

  • become a member of the Adult Board
  • host delegation meetings
  • provide homestays of one or two nights for international delegates
  • submit required paperwork by the deadline
  • understand the goals and philosophy of CISV
  • promote awareness of CISV in the community
  • support fundraising initiatives

Membership Policies

These policies apply to all CISV Ottawa members.

Volunteer Policy

CISV is a volunteer-run organization. The chapter counts on all of its members to help with chapter activities. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and contribute to making this a strong organization. All chapter members are expected to complete and submit the Volunteer Agreement as part of the membership application.

Privacy Policy

The personal information collected is shared only on a need-to-know basis within CISV locally, nationally, or internationally, as well as with partner organizations in order to communicate with members, report on membership issues, provide liability insurance, ensure members' safety, and run the organization. Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. Personal information must be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes. Personal information shall be protected by security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.

Risk Management Policy

As an organization working with youth, CISV has the health, safety and well-being of its participants and volunteers as its highest priority. In the interest of our goals of building cross-cultural understanding, we try to provide an environment where participants can be free from worry about basic concerns of health, safety and legal issues. CISV has well-developed risk management procedures to provide active and continuous oversight of all CISV activities so as to reduce risk to our participants and to our organization. Risk is managed by being pro-active. Our risk management policies ensure that CISV complies with all chapter, national and international CISV rules, as well as all local and national laws and rules, in order to reduce the possibility of legal action or negative publicity.

Use of Images, Art or Written Work Policy

I agree that CISV may use and publish photographs, artwork, and written work as well as video and audiotape created as part of participation in the CISV Program. CISV may use these items in the production of educational or promotional materials including web pages. These items may be used and published with a child's first name (or nickname), age, and nationality. Unless my specific parental consent is obtained, children will not be identified by full name.

Legal Release & Responsibility to Pay for Damage Policy

I understand the nature of CISV activities and I consider the participant to be capable of taking part in them. I agree not to make a claim or file a lawsuit against CISV if the participant is injured while participating in CISV programs, unless there has been gross negligence on the part of CISV. I understand that CISV participants are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with local laws and CISV rules. I also agree to pay for any damage or injury caused by the participant. Although the health and safety of all CISV participants is of great importance to the world-wide network of volunteers that make the CISV program possible, CISV Ottawa cannot guarantee that other CISV chapters can accommodate all health issues that participants may have, such as anaphylactic allergies or wheelchair accessibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CISV?

CISV is a non-profit, non-government, non-religious organization that was developed in 1951 by Doctor Doris Twitchell Allen. The aim of CISV is to promote peace through education and understanding through a variety of programs both locally, nationally and internationally.

What are the goals of CISV?

The goals of CISV are:

  1. To give individuals opportunity to learn to live peacefully with many nationalities. CISV seeks to achieve this goal by conducting educational programs and activities. These programs and activities are designed to achieve one or more of the following specific goals:
    1. That individuals will make close friendships around the world, that is, that countries will become known to them in terms of close friends rather than as abstract places on a map, or as stereotypes built from ignorance or limited experience.
    2. That individuals will become aware of basic likenesses of all humans, and at the same time that they will come to know and appreciate differences.
    3. That individuals will acquire an active desire for world peace and a desire to work for it.
    4. That individuals will acquire skills of communication with individuals and with groups, even when many languages are represented and when no common language exists.
    5. That individuals will acquire skills of administration and organization.
    6. That individuals will develop personalities that are essentially free from barriers, for example, essentially free from the barrier of prejudice.
  2. To contribute, through research, to a science of international relations.
  3. To cooperate with other groups having similar purposes (Constitution, 1996).

What programs does CISV have?

CISV has a variety of international, national and local programs. The international programs listed here are open to people aged 11 and older:

What is a Junior Branch?

A Junior Branch (JB) is a group of young local members, typically aged 11-25, who are developing intercultural skills, such as awareness of international matters, global environment and social sensitivity, through educational and social activities consistent with CISV's goals. These young people act as a link between other CISV program and activities, and often work together with like-minded organizations (LMOs). The Junior Branch organizes their own programs and activities on a wide variety of themes.

Although they constitute an integral part of the Chapter, Juniors are encouraged to assume administrative responsibility and to be self-governing. International Junior Representatives (IJRs), are elected at the time of CISV's Annual International Meeting (AIM). IJRs inform, coordinate and support all Junior Branches worldwide electronically, enabling them, if they so wish, to focus their activities around themes decided at Regional Meetings or the annual International JB Conference (IJBC).

In Ottawa, the Junior Branch Board coordinates and plans mini-camps as well as local activities for the JB members to attend. All juniors are encouraged to attend JB activities and mini-camps!

What is a JB Meeting?

JB Meetings are generally hosted once a month. They are designed to get the JB Exec, and any other JB Members interested in attending, together to plan upcoming activities and mini-camps.

What do all those letters mean???

Here are some CISV acronyms:

  • AIM = Annual International Meeting
  • ARM = America’s Regional Members
  • CISV = Children’s International Summer Villages
  • IC = Interchange
  • IJBC = International Junior Branch Conference
  • IJR = International Junior Representative
  • IO =International Office
  • JB = Junior Branch
  • JBB = Junior Branch Board
  • LMO = Like Minded Organisations
  • MWM = Mid Way Meeting
  • NA = National Association
  • NJR = National Junior Representative
  • IPP = International Peoples Project
  • IYM = International Youth Meeting
  • ReCos = Regional Coordinators

What will my child be doing/learning?

While involved with CISV, your child will be learning to integrate with their peers both locally and internationally. They will be participating in activities designed for their age group to teach and to simulate world issues. Discussions will be held on the activities to debrief emotions or ideas that were generated during the activity.

Activities are not all heavy brain-thinking activities. We do like to incorporate lighter activities to allow participants to run around and be kids. These activities are usually team building or trust building activities.

I am not interested in traveling, can I participate locally?

CISV’s Mosaic program is the perfect opportunity for chapter members to participate locally within CISV. Each year the Mosaic committee determines a theme for the chapter to follow. They then plan a handful of events for the chapter to participate in throughout the year. These activities may be held in conjunction with a like-minded organization.

Families who are not interested in traveling may also chose to participate in local Junior Branch activities, mini-camps, or become a part of the many CISV committees.

Is there a cost to participate?

Yes. Each program has a program fee that the delegate is responsible for paying. Personal airfares, travel outfits, vaccinations (if applicable), delegation supplies and costs incurred by the leader are all apart of the delegate’s responsibility. Costs incurred for the delegation and by the leader are split evenly amongst all delegates in the delegation.

Can you still be in CISV if you don't have money to travel?

Yes. CISV Ottawa hopes to host a Mosaic activity this year. All chapter members are strongly encouraged to attend as it will be lots of fun and aim to make a difference in the community. The event will be family oriented and free of charge or have a low cost to cover any expenses incurred to run the event.

CISV Ottawa also hosts a minimum of two mini-camps per year for JBers aged 10 and older. Online registration for these mini-camps is available a couple of weeks prior to the camp. The chapter, as well as the JB, host a variety of activities throughout the year.

There is an affordable National Camp held every summer.

What kinds of activities do you do in CISV?

CISV Ottawa hosts a variety of activities ranging from running games, cooperation games, trust games, simulation games and light-hearted activities.

What is a simulation activity?

A simulation activity is one in which participants role play to help learn about a world situation. These activities are highly researched prior to being conducted. As they often touch on world situations, these activities are always debriefed to ensure that no one is upset upon the completion of the activity.

What issues do you talk about in CISV?

CISV discussions cover all sorts of issues including poverty, race, war, current world events, prejudices, the media, and ethics. Discussions are geared toward the age group that the activity or program is being held for.

How many meetings/mini camps can you go to before you have to join CISV?

Those interested in CISV may attend one mini-camp OR activity prior to becoming a member. This is due to our National Insurance Policy.

What is a mini camp?

A mini-camp is a program organized by a local chapter with the intention of simulating what it would be like to spend time at a national or international CISV program. In Ottawa we typically have two a year for those aged 10 and older. They are one weekend in length and are a wonderful chance for CISVers, new and old, to experience CISV in their own backyard.

How can parents participate in CISV?

There are many ways for parents to get involved in CISV:

  • Join the adult board and help the chapter grow
  • Participate in CISV events just as often as their children. Mosaic events are family oriented in hopes that the whole family will attend to learn about the local community as well as CISV.
  • Attend the various family oriented activities (dinner dance, open house, silly chile, going away party, etc.) throughout the year for both members and non-members to attend.
  • Assist with kitchen duties at mini-camps.
  • Volunteer to help when our chapter hosts a program here in Ottawa. Parents are needed for tasks which may include making phone calls prior to the camp starting, doing laundry for the participating delegates, providing homestays to delegates, and helping with meals at the camp.

Our family doesn't have a lot of extra money for travel - how can our family participate?

Low income families are also encouraged to participate in CISV by participating in  Individual and delegation fundraising opportunities.

How much does it cost to join?

CISV requires that you become a member of CISV Ottawa in order to participate in activities. To join CISV Ottawa or renew your membership, sign up online. The membership application includes CISV Ottawa membership policies if you have any questions.

Family memberships are $130 and individual memberships (for students, young adults living on their own, or Seminar Campers paying their own way) are $50. There is a volunteer membership of $25 for leaders and volunteers for mini-camps and homestays

How much does it cost to do an international program?

International program costs vary depending on which program you are attending and where the program is being held. Please refer to our Program Fees Policy. If you need additional information, you can contact the Program Coordinator) for more information on specific programs.

Is international travel a requirement in CISV?

No. Your family may chose to participate only in local or national events. There is never any pressure to participate in any program.

How will my child benefit from involvement in local chapter activities?

CISV participants benefit in a variety of ways from being involved in CISV. One key benefit it that participants gain experience as leaders within the organization and can then take their leadership skills to outside groups to further develop them.

CISVers also develop friends locally, nationally and internationally. Participants are introduced to the world around them and begin to see the rest of the world in a different perspective.

What kind of local activities are there and how often would the kids get together?

Generally speaking, the JB likes to hold activities or meetings once a month, or every second month.

Activities can range from baking cookies to deliver to a shelter to dancing to collect money to donate . Anything is possible depending on what the chapter’s theme for the year is.

JB Meetings are generally more business oriented and have members of the JB Board working to prepare camps and activities for the rest of the chapter. Although the name of the game is to complete some of the chapter’s business, everyone is welcome to attend a JB Meeting.

My child doesn't know anybody else in the organization and is reluctant to get involved.

Not a problem. Often when kids arrive for their first camp they feel a little uneasy about being away from home for the weekend. More often than not, this feeling dissipates quickly as your child meets the other kids at camp and meets some new friends.

How can parents get to know about the curriculum and program so they would feel comfortable getting their kids involved in CISV?

This website has all the information you need. However, parents are more than welcome to contact our Membership Chair to find out information on CISV and what it involves. If you do not know anyone who is currently involved in CISV, any of our adult board members will warmly welcome questions.

You can also Google CISV to find a variety of information. You can visit our national and international sites to find out everything you need to know about CISV:

Online registration is available for CISV membership and activities. Before registering you need to log in to this site.

Log in

  • If you are new to CISV Ottawa, sign up as a New User and check off Register New Family. You will then receive an automated email with your password. Note that this person will be the main contact for your family, and must be an adult aged 18+.
  • If you are a returning family, the main contact must log in to register. If you don't know your login and/or password, use Password to retrieve them.


Once you are logged in, go to the Registration Page. You will see a list of all programs that are currently available. If you are a new family, you will be prompted to complete your contact information when you first log in. The main contact (adult aged 18+) must enter contact information for each family member, as well as a non-family emergency contact.

The Family Members section lists the members of the family. When this information is complete, you can apply for membership, then register for camps or activities. Note: Although any family member can have a site account, only the main contact has the ability to register.


When a member is registered for a program, the Medical Info section must be completed. This includes the participant's age and health card number as well as details on medical conditions, dietary restrictions, and behavioural considerations.

If you have questions about the online registration system, please contact the web administrator. If you have questions about the programs, please contact CISV Ottawa Info.

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