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Pathfinder People Pulling Together - 1/15/21

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

The Covid pandemic and plans to deal with it at Camp have proven once again how many talented, loyal Pathfinder people are out there.

You are always ready to come together for the cause.

An outstanding army is working in outstanding harmony, to get Camp Pathfinder back up and running in good health and good fun for the coming summer.

In-house, we have our phenomenal married medical duo, Dr. Julia and Dr. Aaron Orkin. On call for us are our mental/emotional health providers Dr. John Herman and Dr. Chris Thurber. We’re blessed by a double-sized nursing staff for 2021. We hail the return of Chantal St. Jules as our nurse manager, with Shelly Li, Alex Oliver, Taylor McLean, Esther Haines and a welcome additions, Sarah Twomey from Sunnybrook Hospital and Madison Beatty from SickKids, and a youth happily spent at Camp Onondaga.

Pathfinder was lucky this past summer, gathering a small senior staff team of counsellors, who lived and worked together on closed Pathfinder Island, bubbling during the 'lost' 2020. Besides tackling a 20-page plan for repair, renovation and canoe work all across the island, this crew worked up a detailed program of Covid-adaptive activities and canoe trip options for the coming season. Not many camps can boast a management team planning all year for the renaissance summer to come.

We’re also supported in the painstaking planning for a healthy summer by a team of outside experts. Our American family of campers and staff will get to camp with help from our immigration team including pros like my OCA colleagues Jonathan Nyquist and Mark Diamond. The camp’s readiness plan is informed by the OCA Covid task force, working in concert with Ontario Health and a team at SickKids Hospital. Chaired by University of Toronto professor and fellow camp director Jack Goodman, the task force has specific guidance for overnight camps with a tripping focus. Colleagues like Marika Chandler of Outward Bound, and Temagami camp directors Jess Lewis and Emily Schoelzel, have worked closely with mean. So has a terrific advisor, Tom Appleyard, who has literally created Ontario pandemic response plans in past. We’ve enlisted advice from the generous Dr. Laura Blaisdell, the Maine doctor and camp director who conducted her camp in 2020 and provided key information to the CDC’s guidance for this summer’s camps.

Also key to a successful Pathfinder 2021 are partner Glenn Arthurs, keeping the finance fires lit during this long hiatus, and super veteran ops guru, ass't director Mary Chestnut. Our camp chefs are once again Gonzalo Parada and Omar Terrazas, our canoe maker David Statten, our hard-working truckers Jamey Bumbalo and Tiger Lion, and our indefatigable indigenous educator Christine Luckasavitch.

The rank and file staff and campers are also stars of the coming show. Pathfinder has a high return rate of campers, with a huge return of veteran staff, plus a handful of gifted new staff additions, including a stellar cohort of 18 CITs, and a double-cohort of talented, experienced rookie Headmen. We also boast a big crew of patient 2020 rookies waiting their own Pathfinder big moment this summer, and an also-big sign-on of excited 2021 rookies.

Behind these eager campers are fantastic Pathfinder parents, who partner with us to make the experience what it’s known for, over more than a century.

Rounding out this pantheon of great people are our alumni, especially those who are always available to help, and those who generously support the camp scholarship fund, to make sure every Pathfinder boy can have an unforgettable camp summer.

With a crowd like this in our corner, we can’t help but have a Summer 2021 for the history books.


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