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Why WahanowinMeet the Directors

Bruce & Patti Nashman

Bruce and Patti have been married since 1994 and are the proud parents of 3 beautiful children, Hannah, Rachel and Samantha.

Bruce was born and bred at Camp Wahanowin. Growing up in a camp family has allowed him to experience all aspects of life here — from camper, to Counsellor in Training, to Ski Staff, Unit Head, and finally, Program Director. On obtaining a Master of Science degree in Leisure Studies and Services at the University of Oregon, Bruce committed himself to continue the Nashman family tradition at Wahanowin. Since 1986, Bruce has proudly worked as a full-time Camp Director. Bruce looks forward to building on Wahanowin’s legacy by providing an even more fulfilling and rewarding experience for campers and staff.

Patti is a Social Worker by profession and has worked with children and families in both community and hospital settings. She received a Bachelor of Social Work from York University and a Masters from the University of Toronto. Patti has been working as a full-time Director at Wahanowin for over 20 years and has become an invaluable resource for staff and source of comfort for campers. Much of her time is spent helping campers work through homesickness, inter-cabin dynamics, and the other issues that arise at a summer camp. She also works directly with camp doctors and health centre staff to maintain excellence in camper well-being.

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Pete Thistlethwaite & Tan Robertson

Pete and Tan met at Wahanowin and have been together since 2001. They have three wonderful children, Jack, Cole and Reagan, and take great pleasure in seeing them learn, play and grow where so many children have, at Camp Wahanowin.

Pete began working at Wahanowin in 1987 after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo. He spent time as Ski Staff and as a Unit Head before becoming Head Counsellor — a post he held for 7 years. During that period, Pete graduated from Teachers’ College at Queen’s University and went on to teach until 1999. He joined Wahanowin as a full-time Director in 2000. Pete has a passion for Wahanowin that is sincere and unmistakable. Just ask the thousands of campers and staff he has worked with over the last 30 years.

Tan started her career at Wahanowin later than most. After completing her second year at Western University in 1991 she spent the summer working in the camp office and was immediately hooked. Tan became the full-time Office Manager in 1994 and has been the Wahanowin Program Director and the Coordinator for the camp’s off-season Outdoor Centre programs. In 1999 she became the Assistant Camp Director and Food Service Coordinator.

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Elijah Geller

Elijah is no stranger to the camp community. Before starting his Wahanowin career in 2019, he was a Camp Director with both Camp Arowhon and Camp Manitou here in Ontario. He joins us full-time with 15 years of experience as a camp leader. However, he has spent the last 22 years at camp! Elijah is a dynamic and creative leader with tremendous enthusiasm and energy for camp. He will seldom be seen without a smile on his face. Elijah plays an integral role throughout the year meeting with campers and their parents to ensure a successful summer. He is a liaison between camp and our families. During the summer he works closely with our Unit Head team and offers advice and support to our campers in all aspects including conflict resolution, self-esteem, cabin-bonding, and inclusion. He is committed to helping Wahanowin campers of all ages develop and grow at camp. Camp is his passion.

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Katie Maalouf – Program Director

Katie began her Wahanowin adventure in 2004 as a counsellor in BB-Bear unit. She has filled many roles since then, including Unit Head, Head Counsellor, Program Director and Director of Special Programs. Katie returns to her role as Program Director where she will be involved in organizing and managing all of the programs for aspiring Wahanowin campers (Wahano-One, Super Summer Sleepover and Green Acres trips). Katie can be found all around camp as she is always willing to lend a hand anywhere and everywhere! During the off-season, Katie is a teacher at Crestwood School.

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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.

Harold Nashman Tribute Video:

It is certainly comforting as a parent to know how well cared for and safe my child is while away from home. And it’s pretty neat for me that Ella now sees Wahanowin as her home away from home – just like I did!”

– Matthew German