Our Wahanowin Team understands the importance of providing positive and quality camp experiences for children.
It is through our lived experience and our unique camp stories that give us a deep appreciation of the life-long impact camp can have on a child. We have experienced camp firsthand, as campers, staff, senior leadership and some of us as parents, which is why we are so passionate and committed to ensuring your child has the same opportunity to reach their fullest potential and benefit from the magic of Camp Wahanowin! We look forward to the opportunity to make Camp Wahanowin your child’s ‘home away from home’. Come join our Wahanowin family! Contact our Camp Directors for a personal home visit.
We met at camp while paddling canoes on Teepee Lake in Algonquin Park and sharing laughs each day at Flagpole. Since that time, we have furthered our lifelong friendship and professional relationship through our shared experiences; constantly applying our skills and expertise to overnight and day camps, and children’s sport and recreation programs. Camp has been in our blood since our first camping experience. It is our role to provide an environment where children, staff, parents and alumni feel safe, welcomed, connected, empowered and part of the fabric of the Wahanowin community.
Research shows that the experiences children have at camp can carry a life-long positive impact, if the right principles are in place to provide quality experiences. We both know that to be true. Cumulatively we have spent 40 years at camp as campers, staff, and senior staff and have developed a wealth of lived experience, knowledge, and expertise in the camping industry. We attribute much of who we are now to our quality camp foundation that helped us prepare for future life experiences and our roles as Camp Directors at Wahanowin, beginning in August 2020. Our goal is to ensure that every child has a safe, healthy, and positive experience at Camp Wahanowin and benefits from the magic of camp as we did!
Elijah Geller & Tia Wintre
Elijah Geller – Director/Owner (e-mail)
Elijah graduated from McGill University in Montreal with aspirations of becoming a children’s dentist. After having spent his summers growing up as a camper, counsellor, specialist, Head of Sailing and Program Director at Camp Arowhon in Algonquin Park, his life-long dream of becoming a full-time Camp Director became a reality when he accepted the position of Assistant Director at Camp Arowhon in 2007. After 18 years at Arowhon, he looked to diversify his experience becoming the Associate Director at Camp Manitou and being on the leadership team at Bayview Glen for a summer. Elijah has spent almost 3 decades at camp! He has served on numerous committees with the Ontario Camps Association and spoken at several OCA conferences throughout the years. Elijah is also an accredited OCA standards visitor, which allows him to keep up with the latest best practices in the camping industry. Elijah is a dynamic and creative leader with tremendous enthusiasm and energy for camp. He is seldom seen without a smile on his face and you can always count on Elijah for a laugh! Elijah knew from a very young age that camp was his happy place and is excited to share his favourite place with his wife Jordi and two boys, Charlie and Max. Camp gave him the confidence to try new things, challenge himself to do better, and to treat others with respect – all while caring for those around him. Elijah is deeply committed to the growth and development of all our campers and staff and is excited to have begun his journey with Tia as a Co-Director starting in 2020.
Tia Wintre – Director/Owner (e-mail)
Tia’s professional career began after spending 15 summers at Camp Arowhon as a camper, specialist, Head of Swim, CIT Director and Program Director where she established her belief in the ability for sport and recreation to be a vehicle for development. After graduating from York University with a degree in Kinesiology , Tia worked internationally with the Olympic Movement which led to a position in Vancouver working for a 2010 Olympics legacy initiative. It was afterwards that she joined Parks and Recreation Ontario to manage HIGH FIVE, the national standard for children’s sport and recreation programs. As national manager, Tia was reminded daily that children’s programs are only as good as the experience provided! Being in her role for more than 10 years, Tia contributed to the risk management, leadership/program development, quality assurance and healthy child development of more than 450 organizations across the country, helping create positive experiences for more than 1 million children annually. She presented at several conferences including the Ontario Camping Association and oversaw the HIGH FIVE Accreditation framework. As Tia became a mother of two and was looking to live her values of ‘balance, moderation and variety’, Tia transitioned to be a sport consultant with the Sport Law & Strategy Group helping governments, national sport organizations and local sport councils create safe sport environments for their stakeholders (athletes, coaches and volunteers) and as a certified Workplace Investigator. As Tia began her career at Wahanowin with her Co-Director Elijah in 2020, she now feels like she is finally where she should be, being with her family at camp in the great outdoors; where she is her best self. It is this feeling that allows her to feel safe to thrive and she is committed to having campers and staff feel the same.
Paige Kruger – Manager, Camp Experience & Logistics (e-mail)
Paige is over the moon to be part the Camp Wahanowin team! She came to us after being at Camp Manitou for 14 years, where she worked as a Unit Head, and spent time as a counsellor and specialist on Theatre and Rock Music. With a background in Early Childhood Education, Paige’s professional driving force is nurturing children and providing safe, inclusive spaces. For Paige, it’s a dream come true to be back at camp, as it’s the environment she credits for her own personal growth and realization. In her spare time, Paige enjoys musical theatre, playing with her dog Pickle, and reading (email her with any book suggestions!). She loves getting to know all the campers and staff and being part of the Wahanowin family!
Lauren Fayarchuk – Manager, Outdoor Education Centre/Canoe Tripping & Excursions (e-mail)
Lauren is returning for her 10th year at Camp Wahanowin, and we are so excited to have her as a member of our year round team! Having previously been a counsellor, Unit Head, Head of Waterfront and Head Counsellor. Before joining us full-time, Lauren was a teacher, which allows her to bring a range of expertise and experience to this role that is vital. In her spare time, she loves hiking, snowboarding, and doing crafts. Lauren loves camp because it allows people to develop their own identity, allows campers and staff to make connections that last a life time and make memories all while learning important life skills.
Bruce and 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!
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