Gwen was raised on a sheep/cash crop farm near Niagara Falls, Ontario. As an eight-year-old, she became a camper at her church camp in North-Central Ontario. The rugged, lonely landscape with its abundant wildlife and natural beauty drew her back year after year.
Gwen returned as a counselor and served as the first, female, summer maintenance worker at camp. She preferred mowing lawns, emptying garbage cans and stacking wood to cooking and washing dishes.
After completing an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology, Gwen spent a number of years teaching environmental education to youth in several regions around Southern Ontario. During this time, she also served on the Board of Directors of her home camp as well as actively participating in volunteer-work-weekends on site. Since then, Gwen has filled a variety of roles at camps in BC, AB and ON including Office/Business Manager, Outdoor Education Coordinator, Guest Host and Executive Director. About the only role she has never taken on is that of Camp Cook (whose skills she greatly admires and respects)!
Gwen is married to an artist and has one son who is just entering the tween years. They currently reside in the foothills about an hour northwest of Calgary, where she raises a small flock of chickens and gardens in her spare time. We welcome Gwen to her new role as Executive Director of the Alberta Camping Association!
The Cabin Path: Leadership Lessons Learned at Camp inspires camp directors and counsellors to think more consciously about the leadership lessons learned every day on the job at camp.
Through stories, analysis and contributions from a variety of camp staff, Jay Gilbert, in a personal style, describes how camp teaches young people to be the best leaders they can be. It covers the entire camp experience from a broad perspective including sections on: Introduction and the Camp Environment; The Counsellor and Camp Staff; Support, Community and Appreciation, and Tactics and Everyday Responsibilities.
The book is written for camp directors to remind them of their role in creating the next generation of leaders and for camp counsellors as they strive to make their next summer even better than the last.
During its April 2012 launch, The Cabin Path set the record for units sold by a local author in the Chapters/Indigo store where the launch took place. “This is the book that can help us all take professional development to the next level,” said Scott Arizala, Founder/CEO of The Camp Counsellor and author of S’more than Camp.
Visit CabinPath.ca for information on purchasing The Cabin Path.
Jay Gilbert is also available to train your camp staff. He works with camp staff to ensure that all are on track to reaching their potential as individuals and as team members while delivering exceptional camping experiences to their customers – the campers! Using his dynamic and energizing presentation style, Jay captivates his audience and pushes them to discover a variety of “AHA!” moments and key lessons.
You can reach Jay by e-mail.
In October, we invited camp directors to encourage their parents to go online and respond to Phase 3 of the Canadian Summer Camp Research Project .
Many of you did just that – THANK YOU! As a result, over 1000 (and still climbing!) additional parents are providing the research team at the University of Waterloo with the necessary information to complete this six-year study on the immediate and ongoing benefits of the summer camp experience.
We’ll publish the final results as soon as they are available! Your co-operation and your parents’ contributions are greatly appreciated.