GroupSliceSlice 2Instagram iconGroup 13Group 7Fill 1Path 2Path 2searchOval 3MADE BY ARTICLEMADE BY ARTICLEPath 2Twitter iconYouTube icon
Close Button Get in Touch

Why WahanowinOur Heritage

What is Wahanowin?

The land where Camp Wahanowin now stands was granted to one John McPherson in 1867. Using limestone from our site on Lake St. John he built the Stonehouse, the first settlement and post office in Simcoe County (our mail service remains excellent to this day). It was nearly 100 years later, in 1955, when Harold Nashman and his Mother, Anne (Bubby Nash), discovered the site and recognized it for what it was – a place for children to flourish. They opened Camp Wahanowin that same year, and the Nashman family owned and operated Camp Wahanowin until Elijah Geller and Tia Wintre became the owners in 2022.

Camp Wahanowin – Land Acknowledgement (February 2022)

Camp Wahanowin respectfully acknowledges that it is located on the tradition territory of the Anishinaabeg, Ojibwe, Odawa and the Pottawatomi nations. These are collectively known as the Three Fired confederacy.

We also recognize the contributions that the Chippewas of the Rama Mnjikaning First Nation, known as the “people of the deer” has made in shaping and strengthening our community.

Camp Wahanowin’s surrounding area is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to share this land. We are committed to a relationship with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people based on the principles of mutual trust, respect, reciprocity, and collaboration the spirit of reconciliation.

Our Founder

Harold Nashman (1927-2011)

Harold Nashman was born in Toronto in 1927 and was a graduate of the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School. It was during his final year of law school when he and his mother, Anne “Bubby Nash” Nashman, rented Camp Hiawatha. Her expertise in food preparation and management, combined with Harold’s camping experience, resulted in a successful season and the beginning of a lifelong passion for Harold.

Harold practiced law for five years, but at age 30 he took an “early retirement” to devote all of his energy to running Camp Wahanowin. Since its opening season in 1955, Wahanowin has grown in the number of campers, the size of our campsite and in the variety of programs and facilities.

Harold brought a special blend of showmanship, charisma, compassion and warmth to everything he did, and he always made those around him feel special. His passion for Wahanowin and his love of camping remained undiminished throughout his life. He often said, “being a camp director is not a job; it is a way of life.” That way of life created a special place filled with wonder, friendship and memories for thousands of children.

Bruce & Patti Nashman – Directors’ Emeritus

“It’s hard to know where to begin…”

In 1955, Harold Nashman and my grandmother, Anne Nashman (Bubby Nash) founded Camp Wahanowin. In 1958, my mother, Yetta Nashman married Harold and joined the team. I consider myself the lucky one out of the five Nashman siblings to have experienced camp from birth, as a camper, and for 45 years as staff, director and owner, and even luckier to have my life partner and spouse, Patti join with me and play a vital role at camp since 1994.  We feel very fortunate to have raised our three children at camp similar to my own precious childhood. I’ve always described camp as a place where campers and staff become their best selves. For 67 years, my family and I built a loving community, established important traditions and watched children grow, achieve and flourish. “Friendships and memories to last a lifetime” has been our tagline for decades but it’s still as powerful and true now as it was when camp began. Witnessing the camp life cycle of many generations of campers and staff has been a privilege for Patti and I, and an experience we will always cherish. Thank you to the wonderful Wahanowin community for your support, love and devotion for all these fantaberaneous years!

We are forever indebted to the Nashman family for making Wahanowin a reality and it is the rich history that they have created that will continue to pave Wahanowin’s path into the future.

Harold Nashman Tribute Video:

50th Anniversary Reunion Slide Show:

Camp is all about providing an environment that brings out the best in our children and we are thrilled with our experience at Camp Wahanowin. While great staff, facilities and programs keep our daughters smiling all summer long, we can clearly see how Wahanowin’s core values are helping her to build character,  leadership skills and self confidence.”

Stuart Baltman
Skip to content