Joining Barb and Melanie in the Spring will be a team of staff that take on more responsibility and assist with the logistics and day-to-day operations of camp. This team includes a Food Service Manager, Program Manager, Staff Manager and Site and Facility Manager. This team starts working together in May to prepare our site, facilities and program equipment as well as get our programs and training organized for staff arrivals in June.
Barb Weeden has been an outdoor educator and summer camp professional for over 30 years. After her first summer learning the ropes of Sparrow Barb is excited to start building her staff team with many returning staff and CIT graduates and is busy planning for another great summer. Before coming to SLC, Barb’s major accomplishment was founding the King Day Camp (KDC) an outdoor adventure camp for children aged 4 to 16 at Seneca College. Over a 20-year time span, grew the camp to over 350 children per week with a staff team of 90. After 23 wonderful years of camp directing and managing the Outdoor Centre at Seneca, Barb moved on to be the General Manager of Tim Horton Onondaga Farms, one of 7 Tim Horton Children’s Foundation summer camps before coming to SLC. Barb is passionate about providing experiential, unplugged opportunities for children and building a community for children to grow and develop their skills at camp. Barb has received many accolades for her work in camping and outdoor education. Barb has received the Seneca College Alumni Award of Distinction, The Dorothy Walter Leadership award from the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) and from the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO). She was awarded with the Cambridge Woman of Distinction and her greatest honor is receiving the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award for her work with the Duke of Edinburgh Program. Some of Barb’s fondest group building memories are from her volunteer work experience with Youth Challenge International while living in Costa Rica. Barb continues to volunteer with the OCA and has recently joined the Outdoor Education Committee. She also volunteers for the local Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Georgian Triangle. As an avid downhill skier, Barb is looking forward to enjoying winter in the Blue Mountains where she works from her home outside of the summer season.
Melanie Osmond was Sparrow's Office Manager last summer and is looking forward to spending another summer at Sparrow Lake Camp as "Mama Mel". After 7 years in various roles in both day and traditional over night camps Melanie is putting her experience both on the field and behind the scenes to work as the Camp Administrator. With a Bachelors of Knowledge Integration and a Graduate Certificate of Event Management Melanie will be using her organizational and design skills to assist with year round marketing, registration, and social media. When Melanie isn't busy with Sparrow magic she works in the event sphere, volunteering for various live events including one of Canada's largest vocal talent searches.
Alex Ip Yam: Staff Manager
Alex Ip Yam was Sparrow’s CIT Coordinator last summer and is looking forward to spending another summer here in his new position. After working in the leadership development programs at Sparrow, Alex believed that it was finally time to join the leadership team to pass on his knowledge onto the staff team of 2018! Alex’s favorite camp activities include evening program and meal times! When Alex is not around camp practicing his Martial Arts techniques, he will be behind the scenes focusing all his energy on the fantastic counsellors of 2018! Outside of camp, Alex is currently completing his last year at York University, Glendon Campus in a BA Hons degree in Sociology and works as a head karate instructor supporting his staff team during the year.
Austin Insley was one of Sparrow’s Leadership Coordinators last summer. This year Austin is looking forward to return to Sparrow Lake Camp in his new position. After years of attending Sparrow Lake Camp as a camper and completing the C.I.T. program Austin joined the Sparrow staff team in 2014 and has worked in many various positions at Sparrow Lake (counsellor, challenge course staff, and L.I.T. Coordinator). At camp, you can often hear him from wherever you are on the property as he gets excited easily and loves to sing camp songs and team cheers. Some of Austin’s favourite camp activities include ropes, swimming, campfire, and basketball. But his all-time favourite activity at camp is Quidditch. When Austin is not taking part in some of his favourite camp activities you will find him working with our resource staff, and helping them have the best programs possible! When Austin isn’t at SLC he attends Queen’s University for Physical and Health Education. Austin loves to play hockey and is a huge fan of the Edmonton Oilers (Poor him). Austin also loves to play basketball with his best lifeguard friend Chad. If you see Austin at camp don’t forget to tell him how great the Edmonton Oilers are.
Rebecca Rashev: Logistics Coordinator
Rebecca Rashev is looking forward to returning back to SLC as the Logistics Manager. Excluding the gap year taken last year, Rebecca has been coming to Sparrow since she was in the peewee program in 2000. After completing the CIT program, Rebecca has worked at Sparrow as a counsellor, arts director, and leadership coordinator. Her favourite camp activities include arts and crafts (obviously), dining hall songs, and vesper! This summer, you’ll only catch glimpses of Rebecca as she runs around site and works behind the scenes to make sure all camp activities are running smoothly. If you do see her, feel free to stop her to say hi! Rebecca just finished her last semester in BSc Biology at the University of Guelph and is hoping to continue her studies in a Nursing or Public Health program.