Camp Kawartha’s Chair Stayed Calm in the Eye of the Storm

Myke Healy of Camp Kawartha

A little more than a year ago, a major storm ripped through Camp Kawartha, toppling over more than 600 trees. That incident saw board chair Myke Healy rise to the occasion by showing great leadership.

Myke helped the Camp navigate the complexities of dealing with the aftermath, including insurance claims and program cancellations. That also meant the work involved in the post-storm cleanup.

He has served as a volunteer on the Camp Kawartha Board of Director for the past eight years and as chair for the past six years. Last week, the Peterborough Rotary Club recognized his commitment with a Paul Harris Fellowship in the category of youth service.

What is Camp Kawartha?

Camp Kawartha operates as a not-for-profit charity that provides camping, outdoor and environmental programming for children of all ages. It also provides teacher training and workshops for the general public on sustainability.

Over the past decade Camp Kawartha has taken a leadership role in fostering stewardship and environmental awareness. Established in 1921, Camp Kawartha has expanded into a year-round facility, offering day and overnight summer camps for children ages 4-17, curriculum-linked outdoor and environmental education programs for students in Kindergarten to Grade 12, and facility rentals for meetings, workshops, group retreats, and conferences.

Camp Kawartha also offers workshops on environmental education, sustainable living and is working with the entire community to foster stewardship at each and stage of a child’s development. The 190 acre main site on Clear Lake features multiple cabins, Dining Hall/Kitchen, Rotary Hall, and classrooms, plus 5 hiking trails through forests and wetlands. 

Overnight and day visits are welcome here.  In 2007 the Environment Centre, located on the campus of Trent University, was added.  It is considered one of Canada’s most sustainable buildings. Day visits are welcome at this site.

As a volunteer, Myke has put in countless hours helping the organization navigate the challenges of the pandemic. With his help, the Camp was able to pivot to find creative ways of delivering its programming in the face of province-wide shutdowns during the pandemic. Myke helped to find creative ways to offer summer camp safely to children during this time.

Volunteer experiences at Camp Kawartha

With Myke’s help and guidance, the Camp offered a full-time Forest School where children spent the majority of time outside. This program spoke to parents reluctant to send their children to public schools. Myke supported the Camp as it developed on-line, nature-based programming as a supplement to regular school curricula.

In addition, Myke has helped to organize major fundraising events and guided the Camp through staffing challenges. He has also capably led a 15-memeber board team to ensure Camp Kawartha would continue to thrive, even in the face of some formidable obstacles.

Throughout his tenure, Myke has served as an inspiring leader. Remaining calm, actively listening and collaborating, he capably led Camp Kawartha’s through some difficult years. As a result, he ensured that Camp Kawartha can continue to deliver its award-winning programming for many years to come.

Camp Kawartha joined Volunteer Peterborough in October 2023. It operates programs out of its locations near Lakefield and on the eastern bank of Trent University. Camp Kawartha endeavours to inspire environmental leaders and stewards of all ages through dynamic, accessible, year-round outdoor programming and powerful partnerships to create meaningful change.

It aims to become a national leader in the delivery of high quality and inspirational outdoor and environmental programming, practicing, teaching and promoting sustainable living practices to children and adults of all ages and abilities

We look forward to working with Myke and his team as they develop another generation of environmental volunteers and leaders.

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