Camp Kawartha

Staff Spotlight: Outdoor Education Manager Neil Fortin

Meet our Outdoor Education Manager Neil Fortin!

You may be familiar with Neil from an outdoor education visit, environmental day camps or you may have just seen him around Camp Kawartha sometime in the past 17 years but here are a few things you may not know.

Q. How long have you been working for Camp Kawartha?

I have been working at Camp Kawartha since September 2000

Q. How did you first come to Camp Kawartha? What was your first job at Camp Kawartha?

My fiancée (now wife) was working with the local school board as a teacher and I was working at another camp/outdoor education centre so we decided that it would be better if I was closer to this area. I had known of Camp Kawartha through contacts in the camping community and inquired to see if there was an outdoor education component which might be hiring instructors. The Centre needed another instructor for the Fall so I applied and was accepted.

Q.What’s your favourite part of your job?

Being involved with the pre planning with teachers and then being able teach the students and watch how the experiences become so engaging for them.

Q. What’s your favourite winter activity? (Does not have to be an activity at CK)?

XC skiing

Q. What’s your favourite programs to run with school groups? Why?

XC skiing, Outdoor living skills (fire making, shelter building ), wetland study are probably my favourite 3. XC skiing is a great way for kids to get out in the winter for some healthy outdoor activity which few get to try from the city. Outdoor Living Skills allow for learning self sufficiency and how to work with the natural world to live. Wetland studies expose students to so many aspects of biodiversity that they seldom experience first hand (more often they are read or seen from a screen) which hopefully starts to get them caring and thinking more for the natural world around them.

Q. How do you spend your summer when the outdoor education season is over?

Summer has me running the Environmental Day camps at Coe Hill for 2 weeks but after that my family and I try to get go camping both at campgrounds and canoe camping or doing day trips on bikes, canoes, hiking. Fixing up our older home is also a regular part of the summer scene.

From the Archives: Neil in 2002