Camp Volunteer Staff

Camp Lau-Ren is very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers who work for months in advance to plan exciting programs for campers. Each camp is staffed by a Director, Leaders and Counsellors. Seven Summer Staff (Head Cook, Assistant Cooks, Lifeguards and Caretaker) also work on site for the entire summer.

The Directors’ main responsibility is ensuring all campers live in a safe and Christian environment during their week at camp. All Directors have a thorough knowledge of United Church Camping Standards and OCA Camping Standards, and they ensure that all standards are enforced so that both campers and staff have a safe and high-quality camping experience.

The Director is also responsible for recruiting leaders (Health Care Provider, Bible Study Leader, Craft Leader and Sports Leader) for the week, all of whom are volunteers and must go through a comprehensive training program. Leaders are responsible for planning and implementing an exciting and engaging one-week program for the campers.

Counsellors are a minimum of 16 years of age and must attend training sessions before working at Camp Lau-Ren. This training includes sessions on first aid, allergies and allergic reactions, recognizing suspected abuse, harassment, bullying, behaviour management, homesickness, understanding camper problems, age group characteristics, leadership, techniques to be a good counsellor, canoeing and canoe rescue, as well as how to plan Campfire, Morning Watch and Vesper services.

Each cabin has 8-10 campers and two counsellors. Campers are never left alone in a cabin and are always supervised, both in the cabin and at all activities. At each activity, the campers are under the direction of an Activity Leader and/or Summer Staff and are accompanied by their Counsellors.

The 2024 Directors are:

Josh Tyson

Josh Tyson

Co-Director: Tadpole Camp: July 4 to 6th

Josh (aka “Hives”) has been a Camp Counsellor and Leader for a number of years at Camp Lau-Ren.  In 2023 he was the Tadpole Camp Director and he was our Summer Coordinator. Recently Josh has graduated from Humber College and took the Recreation and Leisure Services program.  

Alicia Gervais

Co-Director: Tadpole Camp: July 4 to 6.  Alicia aka (“Dragonfly”) First came to camp 28 years ago. She has enjoyed taking on many roles at camp including camper, counselor, leader and director. She is looking forward to coming back as a director with Hives this year, as she loves working with Children. When camp is not in season Alicia is passionate about her job working in Northern Ontario in the Indigenous communities as a Dental Assistant. She teaches patients about oral health and when not in the office she is out in the community participating in cultural activities.

Jenny Lade

Jenny Lade

Co-Director: Junior/Intermediate A Camp: July 7 to 12

Jenny (aka “Aligator”) continues as a Director this summer and takes over the reigns of this Junior Camp with her Co-Director, Allison Brickenden. Jenny’s organization skills and patience serve her well as a DSW and they come in handy in her role as a Director. She has a deep commitment to Camp Lau-Ren and a wonderful rapport with children and young adults. Her many camp roles over the years have provided invaluable experience.  She is the mother of a daughter, Kamdyn – a new generation to join us at camp.

Jennifer McLaren

Jennifer McLaren

Co-Director: Intermediate A Camp: July 7 to 12

In her life outside of Camp Lau-Ren, Jennifer (aka “Nenners”) is a middle-school teacher and mother of two girls. She loves gardening and holding a book in her lap while she plays Wordscapes on her phone. She really intends on reading that book, though.

Jennifer’s family has been involved with Camp Lau-Ren for almost 50 years. Lau-Ren is one of the places where Jennifer feels most at home and close to God. She keeps coming back because she knows Camp Lau-Ren is a special place where kids can feel safe and have an amazing time, surrounded by people who care about God, nature and the spirit of camp.

 

Tonja Aldis

Tonja Aldis

Director: Intermediate Camp A: July 14 to 19

Tonja (aka “Soleil”) has spent many summers at Camp Lau-Ren over the years in various roles as both a Counsellor and as a Leader. Tonja has a love of nature and the full camp experience and her favourite activities at camp are canoeing and campfires.

Alison Postma

Co-Director: Junior Camp: July 21 to 26.   Alison (aka “Slick”) has been going to Camp Lau-Ren in varying capacities since she was 8 years old; from camper, to counsellor, to leader, to director.  She has gained so many amazing experiences and skills from camp – not to mention made a great many long-lasting friendships along the way, such as her co-director, Puzzler – and hopes to see future campers get to have the same opportunities. Her favourite activities at camp include canoeing, campfire, and swimming – if you’re ever looking for Slick during any swim period at camp, you will most likely find her out by the raft.

Outside of camp, Slick works online as a medical transcriptionist for hospitals on the West Coast, and is also entering the fascinating world of digital art.  Though through this, she’s often thinking about camp and what she can bring to it.  Slick also loves being outdoors and will find any reason to do it, especially in winter time. Which makes her living in a very rural area just past Smiths Falls very fitting.  Slick is very much looking forward to seeing you at camp this year!

Devon Barber

Co-Director:  Junior Camp: July 21 to 26.  

Devon (aka Puzzler) was introduced to Camp Lau-Ren by his Grandmother who used to attend when she was a girl and fell in love with camp.
He shares his Nana’s love for the outdoors and having been a camper, counsellor, leader and now director hopes to help many kids fall in love with camp too!
Outside of camp, Devon is a Civil Engineering Designer in Kingston and loves every chance he gets to go on hikes with his dog Maple through the wilderness where they both feel at home.
Puzzler’s favourite camp activities are archery and canoeing with the honourable mention of silly songs around the campfire!
Emily McKenzie

Emily McKenzie

Junior/Intermediate Girls Camp: July 28 - August 2

Emily (aka “Hutch”) looks forward to the week she spends at camp every year. She has been involved with Camp Lau-Ren since 2007 and since that time has developed a variety of skills to help in her role as Director. These include sterning a canoe, singing very loudly and managing the needs of many campers and volunteers. Emily is from the Ottawa Valley and currently works in the Pembroke area in the field of mental health. She is the proud mom of a new baby boy, Oliver, a future camper!

Emily Roper

Junior/Intermediate Girls Camp: July 28 to August 2.     Emily (aka “Razzle” has been going to camp for the past 11 years. She was a camper then became a counsellor and a leader. Camp is one of her  favourite places to go and she has met so many great people that have become life long friends. She lives in Ottawa and went to school for Interior decorating and Event Management. She also loves drawing and painting, sports and board games with friends. 

 

Nikki Nel

Co-Director: Junior/Intermediate B Camp :  August 4 to 9.  Nikki (aka “Tigger”)  August 4 to 9.  
Nikki (aka “Tigger”) loves Camp Lau-ren. She has been coming to camp in various roles for more than 3 decades. Kids camp and faith development is her jam. The friendships she has made & the skills she has developed at camp have continued to be some of her most precious and important gifts. Being able to share these gifts with campers, staff and volunteers at Lau-ren makes her heart happy. She enjoys both the loud parts of camp, like campfire & beach day and the quiet times like vespers. Canoeing across the river is one of her favorite activities at camp.

Nadia Taylor-Meyer

Co-Director: Junior/Intermediate B Camp: August 4 to 9.  Nadia (aka “Bambi”) More to Come soon.

Emma Edwards

Emma Edwards

Co-Director: Intermediate B Camp: August 11 to 16

Emma (aka “Snort”) first came to camp 15 years ago for Junior Girls and hasn’t missed a summer since, having been a camper, counsellor, leader and now Director. Outside of Camp Lau-Ren, Emma is a Business Devlopment Manager for not-for-profit organization in Ottawa and a dog mom. Emma loves dancing to all types of music, going on outdoor adventures and baking sweet treats. Lau-Ren is where Emma has met some of her closest friends and where she is always happy and relaxed.

Alex Goncalves

Co-Director: Intermediate B Camp: August 11 to 16.  Alex (aka “MacGyver”).  Note: You might know him as McLovin – he recently changed his camp nickname.  He has been coming to camp for over two decades, since he was 2 as a dependent with “Sparrow”. Once he was old enough, he came as a camper, counsellor, leader, and now director. Alex has great memories and friendships as far back as he can remember at camp and is excited to help share and create adventures, friendships, activities and memories for the next generation of campers.

Outside of camp, Alex loves Hockey and F1 among other sports, travelling, backcountry camping, and learning new things. Alex is a Mechanical Design Engineer in the Robotics and Automation Industry.
 Steve McCulloch

Steve McCulloch

Co-Director: Senior / Leader-in-Training Camp: August 18 - 23

Steve (aka “Mukluck”) started at Camp Lau-Ren as a camper and moved up to Counsellor, Summer Staff, Leader positions and has been a Director since 1997. He is also been the Chair of the Board of Directors and is currently the Executive Director. In his other life, he is a father to Katelyn and Dylan and works as a Facilities Supervisor with the Sudbury School Board.