August 10, 2012

In Memory of Abby MacNaughton

In memory of Abby MacNaughton.

The last week has been a challenging one for Camp Kawartha as we try to make sense of the tragic loss of one of our close staff members, Abby MacNaughton.

We’ve grieved, supported one another; while still maintaining a positive and nurturing atmosphere for our campers. Abby would want us to celebrate her life and to share her enthusiasm for the natural world. And that is exactly what we’ve pledged to do. Her legacy will continue on in the programming we run, in our commitment to teach children about environment and nature,

At the moment, we are compiling ideas on how best to remember Abby. We’ve named our garden in her honour (Abby’s Garden), And there are many other suggestions on how to help keep her memory alive.

I’ve compiled a slide show called a “smile box” to give you a bit of sense of Abby and her tremendous impact on all of us here at Camp. Please take the time to view this.

Yours in camping,

Jacob Rodenburg
Executive Director
Camp Kawartha &
The Camp Kawartha Outdoor Education Centre

Donations In memory of Abby

Donations made to Camp Kawartha in Abby MacNaughton's memory are welcome.  All funds raised will be allocated to environmental education programming for children.  For more information on how to donate, please visit

August 9, 2012

Wrapping-up Session D

Yesterday our dear friend, Abby MacNaughton, aka Quatzy, was laid to rest. A large group of our staff were able to attend. It was a beautiful ceremony that allowed us to say goodbye to our inspiring, special friend.

We want to thank the day camp parents for allowing us to shut down day camp this afternoon so all of that staff could attend Abby’s service.

Back at camp, the games continued. Led by camp alumni Purity (Cam Horack, at camp 2009-2011), Squeeze (Dave Lewis, at camp 2007-2011), Evac (Ryan Adams, at camp 1995-2001), Krash (Jodi Adams, at camp 2000-2001), and Trent Summer Sports Camp Alumni Mulch (Natalie Dempsey), as well as select members of our programming team, campers continued to go to the Archery range, signup for Interest Choices, and enjoy the waterfront during General Boat and Swim!

Twenty-two campers also went to Haliburton yesterday to attend the Haliburton Cottage Association Regatta. Our junior girls came in second in the canoe races!

The campers are having a great time. We have watched them run and laugh and play. Last night they were in a state of sheer camper delight as the infamous game of Zing Tong was played.

Over the last two nights we have had a special fire circle for Abby. Staff and three and four week campers were asked to participate. We will be having a special ceremony for any interested campers to attend before the weeks end. 

Tonight we wrap-up the session with Candle-lighting, and tomorrow we finish off with sleep-in, a slideshow, and heart-felt goodbyes.

We want to thank you for all of your emails and calls of support. We as a staff are moving forward as Abby would have wanted.

The camp world is a great big family. To support our staff at camp, others jumped to the plate to help out. Thanks so much to Purity, Squeeze, Evac, Krash and Mulch. Your help was invaluable and greatly appreciated yesterday. We would also like to thank DipperChomski, Yogi, Smartie, Igpay, Jet, Leahy, and Bouton for coming back this week to lend their helping hands.

August 6, 2012

Service for Abby MacNaughton

A service for our dear friend, Abby MacNaughton has been announced. For those of you who knew her, visitation is Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Highland Park Funeral Centre on Bensfort Rd., followed by a service at 2 p.m. and reception for family and friends.

To those who did not know her, thank you for all your kind words in this terrible time. Directly or indirectly, Abby has touched so many lives and it is in part thanks to her that Camp Kawartha is truly such a strong and supportive community.

August 5, 2012

Camp Kawartha is saddened by the loss of Abby MacNaughton

Camp Kawartha is saddened by the sudden death of one of our staff members. While travelling from camp to home, Abigail MacNaughton was involved in a tragic car accident. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and loved ones during this difficult time.

Abby (camp nickname "Quatzy") worked as an outdoor educator and as an environmental coordinator during the summer, helping to teach children about conservation, sustainability and nature awareness. She was a dynamic, enthusiastic and treasured member of our staff.

At this time, we continue with our regular programming while providing extra support for both staff and campers who have been affected by Abby’s passing. Arrangements will be made for campers to contact their parents should they wish to do so.

Based on consultations with other camps and support organizations, we have made the campers aware of the situation, in an age-appropriate manner.

 We would like to assure parents that campers are OK, we are checking in with them regularly and have professional support services in place. Leading this team is Adam Strasberg, Summer Camp Director; Jacob Rodenberg, Executive Director; Cathy Romano RN, Health Care Coordinator and President of the Camp Board of Directors; Lil Hirdes RN, Camp Nurse for Session D; and Dr. Michael Motyer and Dr. David Rutledge, our support physicians. We are also using outside support services to support the camp as a whole.

We will be updating our blog, website, and Facebook pages on a regular basis:

Abby was a positive person, and camp will continue on as she would have wanted. 

Updated: August 5, 5:20pm

Related: Service for Abby MacNaughton

August 2, 2012

Our Eco Skills Programming

Quatzy and Zumba here! We’re the Eco-skills staff for the summer camp, responsible for delivering environmental and nature based programming for residential and day campers. Quatzy’s been here for a couple of years since she graduated from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. She took Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism and Concurrent Education, along with some geography and natural science. Throughout the year she teaches outdoor education at Camp Kawartha while filling her spare time with travel, hikes and exploring nature. Zumba is entering the final year of her undergraduate degree at Trent University in Peterborough, taking courses in Environmental Studies, Biology and Indigenous Studies. She has previously worked for the YMCA Wanakita summer camp as the Wilderness and Environmental Educator, and the Petroglyphs Provincial Park as the Natural Heritage Educator. She’s very excited about her summer working at Camp Kawartha in the eco-skills program, and when she’s not at camp, she can be found travelling, hiking, gardening, and canoeing in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.