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KarenWhat do you do at Camp Kawartha?

My title is Administrative Coordinator. I perform a variety of administrative duties and basic bookkeeping tasks, and provide technical and software support for staff. Basically I’m the computer geek working behind the scenes analyzing data and compiling reports, and that everyone calls upon when the computer gremlins get loose, lol. In addition, I assist with marketing, I developed and maintain our organization’s website, and I manage the gift store.

How long have you worked for Camp Kawartha?

I’ve been working at Camp Kawartha for 17 years (since January 2002). I was initially hired as an Administrative Assistant, on a 1-year contract. When the Office Manager at the time left to pursue a career change, I was offered her position which included handling all the bookings and camper registrations. I was the only one in the office other than the Executive Director and Bookkeeper. As the organization grew, additional admin staff have been hired to manage the growing number of group bookings, camper registrations, and fundraising, so my role in the organization has changed and evolved over the years.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I get excited when I can use my skills to develop and improve administrative processes (I love numbers, spreadsheets and databases. Did I say I was a computer geek?).

I also really love hearing stories of children whose lives have been transformed by attending Camp Kawartha, especially when it’s a child who was sponsored that might not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend camp. I know first hand how impactful such a gift can be; my own children were selected and sponsored through our church when they were little to attend a week of camp. I will forever be grateful to the donors who made that experience possible.

Karen on expedition in Scotland

Scottish Expedition 1985 – Karen is in blue in the centre of the group

What were your favourite experiences in nature as a child?

I grew up in a time when kids were told to go outside and play, regardless of the weather. I remember exploring the local creek near our house, building snow forts, riding bikes, playing in the field behind my cousin’s house, climbing trees, and sometimes just sitting on the swing in our backyard listening to the chirping birds. I enjoyed going camping in my family’s tent trailer, and sitting around the campfire cooking marshmallows and hot dogs.

One of my fondest memories from my teen years was completing a 50 mile hike over 4 days through the rugged Pennine Hills of Northern England and southwestern Scotland. It was very challenging as we navigated bogs, marshes and hills, and the weather was wet and cold most of the time, but what an amazing feeling of accomplishment when we completed the journey!! The expedition was one of the qualifications for my Gold Level of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Karen at end of expedition

Scotland Expedition 1985 – Karen is in the blue coat on the far left

Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?

A few years ago, my youngest daughter and I went on a road trip across Canada to Alberta. We made sure to visit historical and natural sites, as well as visiting museums to learn more about each province. We saw so many interesting places, learned a lot and have a greater appreciation for this beautiful country. I even got a glimpse of the Northern Lights while tent camping in Thunder Bay. Wow!

What do you love about Spring?

Warmer weather and more sunlight! The sound of birds chirping in the trees. Seeing nature come alive again. Spring is probably my favourite season.

What is something you do every day?

I’m sad to say I spend way too much time at the computer, and the long-term effects are catching up with me. What I enjoy and want to do more now that spring is here is get out for a walk everyday and soak up some Vitamin D (Sun) and Vitamin N (Nature)!! It’s good for the body, mind and soul.