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A Hero's Journey cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-915448-3
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-915446-9
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 296 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-915447-6
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 296 pages
  • Keywords
    • sports camps,
    • Canadian basketball,
    • Olympia Sports Camp,
    • Indigenous lands in Canada,
    • coaching and mentorship,
    • sports psychology,
    • mythology and heroism

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A Hero's Journey
Beyond Little Norway and Olympia Sports Camp
by Chris Dooley

A Hero’s Journey Beyond Little Norway and Olympia Sports Camp is a compiled history of the Olympia Sports Camp in Huntsville, Ontario, through the lens of its founder and inspiration, Dave Grace, the hero of the book’s title. The hero’s journey of the title is Dave Grace’s adaptation of the writings and teaching of philosopher Joseph Campbell. The basic tenet of the Dave Grace’s hero’s journey is that heroes all go through a 12-step journey—from their own comfort zone to the unknown and all its challenges—to a new normal where the hero bestows knowledge learned on others in order to help them on their journey. Dave Grace’s foundational belief is that we are all heroes on our own path and who we become on our journey is more important than the accomplishments we achieve. A Hero’s Journey chronicles the people and places that make up the history of the camp, while also serving as an inspirational guidebook for readers to each become the hero of their own journey. This book also examines the history of the land on which the camp has been built, from its Indigenous origins to the European settlement of the 1800s, and to the use of the land by the Norwegian Air Force during World War II. The book takes readers on a journey through the various stages related to the development of the camp, first established in 1974. The book is built on a collection of stories related to mentorship, sports psychology, and community building, as well as interviews of past campers, coaches, and others with a longtime association with Olympia. With this book, author Chris Dooley honours Dave Grace and the many others who have been integral to the history of the camp and its land.

“The people at Olympia are some of the greatest and most inspiring people I have ever met. Every summer, I witness staff members and campers become a better version of themselves. Olympia facilitates their development into amazing leaders, teammates, and citizens of society by giving them the self-confidence and the right environment to step out of their comfort zone and grow. Getting to work and contribute to this team environment while forming special relationships and bonds has changed my life. It motivates me every day to be better and is why I keep coming back every summer.” —Meredith Bawks, 2021 Head Athletic Therapist "In 2008 I walked into the coaches’ room at Olympia for the first time – and met my father! The pictures on the wall of Norwegian airmen in winter training – that might have been him! It dawned on me that I was standing at the same place where my father had spent many leisure hours on leave from his posting at Little Norway. I have pictures of my dad at Vesle Skaugum. As I arrived at Olympia that day, I saw the familiar Norwegian crest and the quote in Norwegian on the fireplace. I had jumped a generation back. I was reliving part of my father’s youth. Olympia has a special place in my life independent of the story of my father, but for me it can never be “just another basketball camp”. It is the place where I met my father – 15 years before I was born." —Per Toien, Olympia coach, son of WWll Royal Norwegian Air Force veteran “Olympia is so much more than a place of success. Dave wants everyone to connect and have fun. He wants us to be able to explore ourselves. When I was a counsellor here, the message was ‘take the bat off the shoulder’ and to get out of your comfort zone in a one-hour session. Now it’s like he himself is at another level and he’s taking us all with him. Olympia is a place where you are connecting with people. The conversations around camp may be sport-specific or they may be idle chatter but they're not unlike the conversations you have about values in your family. This place defined me as a young child, then as a teenager, and now as a teacher, wife, and mother." —Ainslie Thomson, Coach’s kid, Counsellor, Coach "My Olympia experience led me to play at York University and Maccabi Canada and gave me opportunities I would never have had elsewhere, laying the foundation for my life in basketball, including professional experience in Europe as both a player and coach, and ultimately my founding of Albany Avenue Basketball. Olympia is a unique community of inclusiveness, and encouragement, a place where Dave Grace brings out the absolute best in everyone. Indeed, I owe Dave Grace and Olympia for not only opening doors for me, but for changing the course of my life." —Sean Loucks, Olympia coach, Albany avenue Basketball Association,

Chris Dooley is a retired teacher and basketball coach with over 30 years of experience at many levels. Chris has coached basketball at the elementary school, high school, university, and club levels. He was also head coach of Ontario’s provincial team for four years and has been actively involved with Canada’s national team. Importantly, Chris has walked the walk and talked the talk of the virtues of Olympia Sports Camp, having coached there for over 30 summers. In this book, Chris captures the message delivered to campers and coaches alike at the camp, sharing it here for past and future Olympia attendees and their families. This is Chris’s second book; his first book, Can’t Miss: The Kevin Pangos Story, was published in 2015. Chris also writes for his own blog, Tuesdays with Dave (, also about Dave Grace and Olympia Sports Camp. Chris lives in Burlington, Ontario, with his wife, Joy. They have two adult children, Nicole and Daniel.


Chris Dooley
Leo Rautins
Jennifer Sharman

What People are Saying

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