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. 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 (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 over 23 years 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 now share his favorite place with his wife Jordi and son Charlie. 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.
Tia Wintre – Director (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. Tia 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.
Pete Thistlethwaite – Director (e-mail)
Pete began his Wahanowin career in 1987 after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo. He was a long time Ski Staff and a Unit Head before becoming our Head Counsellor for 7 years. During that period, Pete earned his Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University and went on to teach and coach at the high school level until 1999. At that point, Pete joined the Wahanowin team as a full-time Director in 2000. Along with his wife Tan, Pete directs the Wahanowin Outdoor Education Centre in both its spring and fall seasons. Providing outdoor education opportunities to children and youth from across southern Ontario. 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 has a passion for Wahanowin that is sincere and unmistakable. Just ask the thousands of campers and staff he has worked with.
Tan Robertson – Assistant Director (e-mail)
Tan started her career at Wahanowin in 1991 after completing her second year at Western University. She spent the summer working in the camp office and was immediately hooked. Tan became Wahanowin’s full-time Office Manager in 1994 and in 1999 she took on the role of Assistant Camp Director and Food Service Coordinator. Tan and her husband Pete met at Wahanowin and have been together since 2001. They have three wonderful children, Jack, Cole and Reagan, and they take great pleasure in seeing them learn, play and grow where so many children have, at Camp Wahanowin. Along with her family, Tan lives on-site for six months of the year directing and coordinating the Wahanowin Outdoor Education Centre in its spring and fall seasons. Tan is a ball of energy and no task is too large for her. She is the ultimate camp personality and it is with great pride that she has dedicated herself to Wahanowin for so many years.
Katie Maalouf – Program Director (e-mail)
Katie graduated from Brock University where she majored in Political Science with a minor in Music Performance. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Education before heading to London, England where she taught and earned additional qualifications in Special Education. When Katie is not at camp, she can be found at a Private School in Toronto, where she has been teaching in the Roots Special Education Program since 2016. Katie began her Wahanowin adventure in 2004 as a Counsellor in BB-Bear Unit. She has filled many camp roles since then, including Unit Head, Head Counsellor and Director of Special Programs at the Wahanowin Outdoor Education Centre. Katie is compassionate, kind and understanding; which makes her a tremendous asset to Camp Wahanowin. Our campers and staff adore her!
Ruth Manly – Administrator (e-mail)
Ruth is a seasoned veteran of Camp Wahanowin. She has been keeping us organized and in-step since 2004 and has been involved in the camp scene her entire life. She spent five summers at Camp Shalom followed by 10 summers at Camp Kadimah as a camper, Swim Staff, Head of Boating and CIT Coordinator. Ruth has a passion for travel and some recent highlights include Japan, Costa Rica and Australia! Don’t forget to ask her about her experience working aboard a Disney Cruise Ship! Ruth enjoys working behind the scenes ensuring a smooth and successful camp season and takes care of all the fine details! More importantly, she is the friendly voice that greets you when you call the camp office. Wahanowin is indebted to Ruth for her passion and commitment. She is an integral and vital part of the Wahanowin Team.
Bruce & Patti Nashman – Directors Emeritus/Owners
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. Beginning in 1986, Bruce proudly worked as a full-time Camp Director before passing the torch to Elijah & Tia in 2020.
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 worked as a full-time Director at Wahanowin for over 20 years and became an invaluable resource for staff and source of comfort for campers. Much of her time was spent helping campers work through homesickness, inter-cabin dynamics, and the other issues that arose at camp. She also worked directly with camp doctors and health centre staff to maintain excellence in camper well-being. Bruce and Patti continue to contribute to the long-time Nashman legacy by supporting current Camp Directors, Elijah Geller and Tia Wintre. The camp experience continues to be important to Bruce and Patti.
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