Our Leadership Team — all of whom provide guidance, support, and encouragement to the Camp Walden Staff — is composed of camp professionals whose backgrounds and experiences enable them to deal with the daily complexities of “operating” camp. Camp Walden’s leadership team meets regularly throughout the year to plan and prepare for the summer ahead. The Leadership Team is assembled in hopes that each team member can bring a unique perspective and expertise to our group.
Together, our team makes every effort to ensure that campers, families, and staff are afforded the best possible Camp Walden experience! It’s a big job to keep the Walden community happy, content, creative and allowing for lots of fun! Our Leadership Team is up to this challenge and we cannot emphasize how fortunate we feel in having these Walden personalities return summer after summer.
As a Director of Camp Robin Hood, Howie coordinates all aspects of the camp program and staffing. Howie is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Camps Association. Howie and Sari play an important role in all aspects of Camp Walden’s operations in the off-season. During the summer, Howie & Sari are the Directors of Camp Robin Hood and will be the link between home and Camp Walden for our Home & Away campers, as well as valuable resources during their weekend visits to camp.
Sari has a deep appreciation for the value of camp as both a day camper and overnight camper, then as staff. She has been involved in every aspect of camp operations – from Swim Staff to CIT Coordinator and from Section Head to Camp Director. Her training as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist has allowed Sari to provide opportunities for children with special needs at Camp Robin Hood and gives her a unique perspective on the needs of campers in any environment. Howie is a former High School teacher with the York Region District School Board and for the last 15 years been working full-time in camping.
Sari and Howie have been working together in the field of camping for over 25 years. They have three children: Jordanna, a Unit Head at Camp Robin Hood, Cole, a Walden counsellor and Zane who attends Camp Walden as a camper.
David is thrilled to be returning for his 14th summer at Walden! He is very pleased to be on the Walden Team again. He will continue in his role as Tracker this year for the CIT and Seeker units. As well, David supervises most members of the Leadership Team. David is involved in all areas of camp. He will be supporting various special programs and will be working closely with the other trackers throughout the summer. During the school year, David is a Principal at Northlea Elementary and Middle School in Toronto. He looks forward to an awesome summer at Walden!
As Seth begins his 35th summer at Walden, he is extremely excited for a summer full of continuing opportunities as Associate Director. During his time at Walden he has been Head of Swim, Director of Waterfront, Program Director and Operations Manager. He oversees all waterfront specialties and all aspects of safety in camp. Seth will continue to take on the massive job of Walden’s daily, weekly and summer scheduling as well as working with the Leadership Team to develop fantastic programs including the Walden Games and the Red Pine Lake Swim. In his capacity as Associate Director, Seth will have the opportunity to contribute his many years of camping experience to the smooth running and supervision of the camp. Seth’s favourite meal at camp is the hamburger BBQ. During the 1990s Seth spent 4 years as a trip leader on West Coast Connection. Seth is currently a teacher with the Toronto District School Board. He will be joined on staff by his son Jarred, who is following in his father’s footsteps and working on Swim.
Rose is thrilled to be returning for her 18th summer up at Walden. She is super excited to be a part of the Leadership Team again this summer. Rose has had the privilege of working in the Walden office throughout the year assisting Sol, Jen, Howie, and Sari with the daily tasks during the off season. Rose is also the Director of several transition programs that we offer at Camp Walden! She is the face of our Walden Family Weekend and Walden Long Weekend and is ready to speak with families about these programs specifically. Rose is also the Director of our Walden Leadership Centre during the months of June and September. Together with her team, she implements creative team building programming for schools and sports teams. Rose has even planned a few weddings at Walden helping brides and grooms create their dream day! Rose will be joined this summer by her son Milo (5 years old) and husband AJ; together they can’t wait to get up to camp and get the summer started!
Sol is committed to providing the very best in creative camp programming. Sol will provide leadership to the various staff teams to assist them in realizing safe and effective programming. Sol has over twenty-five years of camping experience at Ontario camps as a Camper, Counsellor, Area Head, and Director, as well as training and certification as a teacher. Sol makes every effort to hire a committed and highly skilled staff to facilitate camp activities. Sol’s other major focus is on the families of our Walden community. He communicates with families about their questions, cares, or concerns throughout the year and summer. Sol holds a Bachelor of Education degree and is a past recipient of the Ron Johnstone Memorial Award given annually by the Ontario Camping Association recognizing outstanding contributions in the field of camping.
Jen continues as Walden’s Business Manager and will continue to be responsible for the smooth operation of the office. Her other responsibility will be as a support to our Camper Tracker team through her personal interactions with campers who might benefit from additional attention from the “camp mom”. Jen will coordinate the support given to campers with special dietary restrictions. Jen started her camping career at Goldman Union Camp in Indiana, and completed her Bachelor of Education in 2004. Jen’s experience and considerable skill with kids makes her a tremendous resource to the Leadership Team.
Sol and Jen are thrilled to be joined at camp every summer by their daughter Talia Birenbaum (10 years old), son Samuel Birenbaum (8 years old), daughter Alex Birenbaum (6 years old), and daughter Daniela Birenbaum (4 years old)!
Taylor is so excited for her 22nd summer at camp and her 7th summer as a Camper Tracker! Over Taylor’s 14 years on staff, she has had the pleasure of being a Comic and Zodiac Counsellor, Head of A&C and Comic Unit Head. During the year, Taylor works in the Walden office managing all the camper registrations, and as the staffing coordinator. She is excited to get up to camp, and start the summer!
The anticipation is quickly building for Jen as the summer approaches! This will be the 10th summer on the LTeam for Jen, and she will have the pleasure of being a Camper Tracker! During her over 14 summers working at Camp Walden, Jen has held numerous roles, such as head of A&C, Zodiac unit head and tracker for Colours, Comics and Zodiacs; each position has contributed to her long lasting commitment to such a wonderful place. In the ‘off’ season, Jen is head of the science department at her high school in Montreal, and teaches grades 8-11. As the school year heads towards its finality, the beacon of Camp Walden shines brighter by the day – the summer is on its way – and Jen can’t wait for it to begin!
After a few years away from Walden, Nadine is super excited to be back at camp as a tracker on the Leadership Team! She is really looking forward to her new role and returning to the camp environment that she truly missed. During her years at Walden, she first worked for the Walden Leadership Centre before coming to camp full-time as a Colour Counsellor and Unit Head. In the off season, Nadine works for the Toronto District School Board as an Elementary Teacher. She can’t wait for camp to begin and get to know all her campers and their families!
Danielle is thrilled to be returning for her 12th summer at Walden and first year on the Leadership Team! For the past 3 summers Danielle has been a colour unit head, welcoming our youngest campers into the Walden family. Danielle is also the assistant director of the Walden Long Weekend, where she has the opportunity to share two memorable weekends with perspective campers. She also plays a large roll in our Walden Leadership Center as an assistant director during the months of June and September. She is excited and humbled to be joining the rest of the Leadership Team and is eagerly anticipating the summer! During the off season Danielle works as a coordinator where she manages the ticketing process for consumer shows. She is lucky enough to be able to step away from that role and step into her new role on the Leadership Team this coming spring!
As Walden’s Program Director Ben has spent a number of summers working closely with many of Walden’s specialties as well as its program team to ensure that all camp programs are organized, creative, and engaging for campers of all ages. During the year Ben teaches high school English, a career that allows him to continually develop his skills of interacting with youth and guiding them towards meeting personal and academic goals. Ben looks forward to many more summers at Walden filled with outstanding activities crafted to dialogue with the interests and skill sets of Walden’s campers.
Colour Wars was so much fun! During the afternoon we had a lot of challenges, good speeches and songs… and, to end this wonderful day, we had a dance competition between the four teams!