Meet our Leadership Team
Our Executive Director Gerrit "Wind" Leewes, sets the vision and direction for our organization, while supporting and mentoring our leadership community. He has over 20 years of professional camp experience and is an industry leader in outdoor education. Gerrit is local to the Onoway area and grew up in the boreal forests west of Edmonton. He did his BA in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Alberta before moving to Vancouver Island to mentor in nature awareness and the 8 Directions teachings. During his time at the U of A and on the Island, Gerrit began working at summer camps and was drawn to their ability to foster growth in children. After working with two other Alberta camps, Gerrit joined Camp Warwa as a Facilitator before eventually being promoted to Executive Director. He is a Past President of the Alberta Camping Association and a tremendous resource to the entire camping community. He lives at Camp Warwa with his wife Faith and kiddos Erik, Connor and Jack.
Doug "Mud" Kelly began working at Camp Warwa in 2021. He enjoyed supporting the counsellors as a Village Leader and took every chance he could to join in on spin jam and canoeing sessions with campers. Before joining the Warwa Community, Doug had 8 years of experience as a volunteer counsellor and a program staff at Camp Encounter. Doug loves to ride his bike, craft, and rock climb with his wife, Claire. He is eager to get to work as the new Operations Manager overseeing programs and supporting staff.
Social Media Coordinator
Miranda Baker, also referred to at camp as "Hoot," will be exploring a new role at Camp Warwa as our Social Media Coordinator. Miranda began working with youth at Camp Warwa as an instructor in 2011, which was the starting point for focusing on working with kids in recreation. Throughout and upon completion of her BA in English from the U of A: Augustana, she worked in Camrose as an instructor, administrator, and director for a youth musical theatre company. Along with creating content, she spends lots of time working with her sister and little ones in their dayhome Hoots Hangout, dancing, singing, and learning new skills! Miranda is looking forward to connecting with alumni, parents and future campers!
Community Relations Manager
Karina Tetrault, or "Squirrel," is new to Camp Warwa and is so excited to put her 20 years of outdoor programming administration experience and love of nature to work. Karina worked for the City of Edmonton for over 17 years, starting as an outdoor program leader, camp leader, then worked her way up to a program manager of River Valley Programs and other excellent facilities until she left to spend more time with her daughter. She works from her home in Edmonton. Her family loves to spend time outside skiing, biking, camping, or going for a walk. Karina is keen to help you with your camp needs and connect with all members of the Camp Warwa Community.
Eclipse has a long history with Camp Warwa! Starting as a camper, Eclipse went on to become a counsellor and returned this spring and summer as a well seasoned program staff. For the past decade since first coming to camp, Eclipse has continued to work with youth, and provides both experience and a passion for camp that has contributed to Warwa's growth! We are very excited to have Eclipse join the leadership team as our Fall Program Coordinator! When you are out with your groups, you can check in with Eclipse with any questions you may have about our programs!
Starting as a voyageur camper at Camp Warwa, Ashtyn ‘Pipit’ Sample has been going to camp for half of her life now! This summer is her first time taking on the position of Program Coordinator. She couldn’t be more excited to assist staff and campers through this role. Ashtyn is currently taking her Bachelor of Arts in Drama at Concordia University and intends to further her education by completing an Education after-degree. She is passionate about nature, the performing arts, and creative expression. More than anything, Ashtyn wishes to spread positivity, acceptance, and joy to all people she interacts with!
Jilleah Schmidt or “Atlas” began working at Camp Warwa in 2021 as an Outdoor Educator for the summer season. She grew up attending Our Lady of Victory Camp as both a camper and counsellor and was excited to find her way back to camp life after some years away. Jilleah is currently working towards her BEd Secondary in Social Studies and French at Campus Saint-Jean in Edmonton. In her free time, she enjoys choir, journaling, going on walks in the river valley, and hanging out in her hammock. She’s excited to support program staff and counsellors in both the spring and summer seasons this year!
Sarah Smeltz, or Worm to her Warwa family, was formerly a counsellor at Camp Warwa in 2019 before stepping away to finish her degree in Honours Psychology at the University of Alberta. While away, she has spent the last two years as a member of the Songbird Neuroethology Lab at UofA, learning everything she could about mighty Chickadees (ironic considering she belongs to the Willow Society). Looking toward the future, Worm hopes to integrate everything she has learned and continues to learn from Camp Warwa to develop an intergenerational, camp-based program for children and seniors to learn, grow, and make memories together. Worm strongly believes that Camp Warwa is a place for gathering, friendship, growth, and community. Everyone can find a home at camp, which makes our community such a wonderful family to be a part of. Worm is very excited to be returning to Warwa this year as a Program Coordinator, and she can’t wait to see what adventures this year brings!
Isabel Wynn, a.k.a “Signal,” is thrilled to be coming back to Camp this season as Wellness Coordinator. They started as a voyageur camper years ago and have worked at Warwa since their Junior Counsellor years. Signal is currently pursuing a bachelor of psychological and biological sciences and works at the Centre For Research on Cognitive Development at Campus Saint-Jean during the off-season. At Camp, you’ll most likely find them in the archery range, out canoeing, or eating s’mores by the campfire! Signal is excited to help guide staff and campers alike on their journey to connect with the natural world (and themselves) during their time at Camp.