Camp Wabun Leadership Team
The members of Camp Wabun’s Leadership team are fortunate to wear a number of hats. September through May, at our homes in the US, we wear our administrative hats and keep busy by connecting with past, present, and future Wabun campers, staff and families. We travel to cities across the country to hold Wabun Open Houses designed to introduce young people to our program. We hire our fantastic staff for the upcoming summer, order the ingredients for a summer full of delicious food, and make sure the equipment, gear and facilities are ready to carry campers and staff off into a a summer full of adventure.
June, July, and August – along with our hiking boots and bug spray – we put on our camp counsellor hats. Jess, Sarah, and Julie run the base camp program and interact directly and daily with every camper during their time in camp. From facilitating every meal in the dining room, to running ping pong tournaments, to teaching campers the strokes to paddle through a canoe obstacle course. We get to know every camper by face and by name – and by the end of the summer can usually tell you their favorite flavor of Gumperts, favorite campsite, and preferred side of the canoe to paddle on!
We are so fortunate to be a part of a team of fantastic counsellors who get to know each camper who comes to Wabun and to help shape an incredible wilderness experience for them. We do our best to update families through pictures and posts on our website, blog, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. If you have a question or information to share about your camper during the summer months, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Early mornings are a good time to reach us via phone or email – the rest of the day we will be leading activities and sharing stories over an evening campfire with your kids!
Jessica Lewis -Managing Director/Camp Coordinator
Education: University of Vermont, B.A., University of Montana, M.A.
I have been privileged to work for some pretty remarkable organizations across the globe, however it is Wabun, the land, the people, the ethic that created it and sustains it that has done more to shape my character than any other experience/entity in my life. For me, working with young people is my calling. I love it! I remember times as a Wabun trip staff when the day drew to a close and my body ached to reunite with my tent and sleeping bag, but I could not pull myself away from the fire and the ring of young women around it laughingly rehashing the day. There is a spark – an engagement with life, playfulness, and an innate drive to discover in young people. In the classroom, on expeditions, and on service sites, I have sought to find ways to set the stage for kids to kindle that spark in themselves and one another. At Wabun, it has been my pleasure to find there has been no need for me to set that stage. The campers do it themselves and we adults get to bask in their glow.
Julie Hinchman -Assistant Director/Camp Coordinator Assistant
Education: Macalester College, B.A.
First coming to Garden Island in 1967 as a staff child, I became the first female camper enrolled at Camp Wabun in 1977 and went on to lead the first all-female trip to James Bay in 1986. Wabun is in my blood and soul. The work, the fun, the challenges and successes have sustained me and made me the person I am today. My proudest moments at Wabun have been watching my own daughter grow through her Wabun experiences over the past seven years. Over the years I have seen many boys and girls grow into exceptional men and women because of their experiences at Wabun. I am excited to take on the role of assistant director at Camp Wabun, and to help continue the legacy of helping others to have the sort of formative opportunities that will allow them to become leaders in their schools and communities. I know that Wabun does that for every camper and staff member every summer. Outside of Wabun I have been a high school science teacher and dorm parent at the Loomis-Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut for twenty-eight years. Teaching, coaching, advising the robotics team, implementing a Sustainability Committee and subsequent Agriculture Program are just a few of the initiatives I have undertaken in my career with Loomis that allow me to work elbow-to-elbow with my students.
Sarah Flotten -Assistant Director/Camp Coordinator Assistant
Education: Kenyon College, B.A., Harvard University, M.Ed.
Already a seasoned canoe tripper, I came to Wabun more than 20 years ago as a trip staff, and have spent every summer since on Garden Island. The time I have spent canoeing northern lakes and rivers has been instrumental in shaping who I am and has influenced both my personal and professional life. Equally at home in the city and the woods, I believe that experiential education creates the most effective environment for adolescents and the structure of camp provides experiences that are critical for positive identity development. The friendships forged between the gunwales during a summer at Wabun remain for a lifetime and I am excited to help shape those adventures each summer. At the close of each summer, I return to Minneapolis, MN where I have spent the last twenty-five years in middle school as a history teacher, coach, and academic dean at Breck School. Despite many similarities between my work in the summer and the work I do in my classroom, it is at camp where I witness the most profound growth of confidence, competence, sense of self, and feeling of connectedness.
Base & Trip Staff
2014 Base Camp & Trip Staff