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Volunteering With

Camp Outlook

Camp Outlook trip leaders are people from many walks of life who are respectful, open-minded, and kind. There is no experience necessary! We provide all the training, certifications, and experience for our volunteers to become qualified trip leaders. Our volunteers thrive with a desire to learn, a can-do attitude, and a strong sense of cooperation. We are motivated by a desire to share fun adventures and unique learning opportunities with our campers. People of all backgrounds, identities, and life experiences, especially marginalized and underrepresented people, are encouraged to apply.

More information about the summer canoe trip leader role is available on this page.


Every summer is different for everyone, but many people walk away with lifelong friends, fun and memorable stories, and a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment after a couple of months in the woods.

Here are some things our past volunteers have to say.

"I joined Camp Outlook because I really believed in its mission and felt I could make a difference in another person's life. Little did I know that it would make a huge difference in mine as well. I should mention my prior camping experience was limited to 3 nights school trips where you get a well-heated cabin, foam mattress, and meals in the dining hall. I went on 9-day trips sleeping  in the woods, on ground padded with fallen leaves, and meals bathed in the setting sun. I will never forget the feeling of eating with others around a campfire, sharing stories and comparing our aches and pains, or laughing until crying because the fleece you packed was actually a crop top. It's incredibly challenging, mentally and physically, but you come out of it stronger. There's nothing else you can do in 4 short months that's quite like it."

Amelia Zheng

Summer Staff 2016

"In 2014, a friend of mine convinced me to apply for Outlook and it was the best, most radically life-changing decision I've ever made. I cannot express how lucky and thankful I am to have been a part of this organization. You don't get paid in dollars, but you do get paid in stories, friendship, love, sunsets, mosquito bites, adventure, growth, and some sort of literal magic. This organization has taught me more about mental health, acceptance, emotional safety and the human condition than I ever thought possible. It is possible to live in a world where you aren't defined by labels or diagnoses, and where you are accepted, valued, and love simply for being you. Outlook makes that world a reality, both for its staff, and for its youth."


Summer Staff 2014

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Manan volunteered as a summer trip leader in 2022 while pursuing his master’s in computer science at Queen’s University. He believes that the roller-coaster ride of the summer made him more grounded; therefore, he is keen to share his unforgettable experiences with the Outlook community as a summer camp director this year. (Wooowwwww!!!)


Natasha first volunteered with Outlook as a summer trip leader in 2021. Natasha was looking to volunteer with youth and continue learning about backcountry canoeing and found Outlook. Natasha is passionate about Outlook because it provides an opportunity for many youth to learn new skills, gain confidence, handle tough situations and experience the beautiful wilderness. She is especially enthusiastic about volunteers who do not have any prior tripping experience as she also had none when she she joined Outlook. She is very excited to work alongside Manan to ensure all trip leaders and staff have a fun and safe summer season in Algonquin!


Emma has been volunteering with Camp Outlook throughout the Fall/Winter seasons for four years and she is excited to be back as a director this year! She is in her fourth year of Concurrent Education, majoring in Global Development Studies, at Queen’s. Volunteering with Outlook is one of Emma’s favourite parts about living in Kingston and she cannot wait to make more fun memories this season!


Kate began volunteering with Outlook as a fall/winter counsellor in 2019. She continued with Outlook throughout her undergrad and is now pursuing her B.Ed at Queen's. Kate has a deep love for the outdoors and is eager to spread this love to Campers in the Outlook community. She is overall very excited to work closely with Emma to make this an amazing fall/winter season!


Outlook's Board of Directors is a team of volunteers, working hard to guide Outlook towards the future. Usually past volunteers with either winter or summer, they work on longer term goals, like finances, evaluations, implementing new systems, and looking for growth opportunities.

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Gord volunteered in the winter program in the early 1980s while studying Engineering at Queen’s University and is a life-long outdoors enthusiast. During his volunteer experience, he came to strongly value how Camp Outlook’s programs can help to boost the self-confidence and happiness of youths whose life circumstances have made those attributes, that many of us take for granted, very difficult. Gord is keen to help strengthen Camp Outlook’s capabilities to provide and broaden the access to its programs to those who can benefit the most.

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Greg Gransden is a television writer and director based in Montreal. He was a summer staff in 2017 before joining the Board. Greg works on fundraising and grants, as well as outreach to former staff.

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James was an Outlook summer trip leader in 2013 where he developed a lifelong fascination with canoe tripping and the joy of carrying heavy things up hills. He is excited to reconnect with Outlook through the Board. James currently works for the government of Canada and lives in Toronto.


James loves the outdoors, nature, and sharing it with others. He joined Outlook in 2012 as a summer trip ;leader and continued on as summer camp director in 2013. He also served on the BOD for the 2013/2014 term. Currently he is working as a consulting arborist and restoration ecologist. He is keen to engage with our existing referral partners as well as seeking new referral sources to make Camp Outlook's programs accessible to a broader group of youth who would benefit from a camp experience. 


Joanna is a clinical researcher based in Hamilton Ontario. She has volunteered with winter outlook for over 4 years. This is her first time serving on the BOD. She has admired the hard work and strong values of Camp Outlook and is excited to continue her involvement with the organization.


John started with Camp Outlook as a summer canoe trip leader in 2009, helped out with the winter program while studying math and physics at Queen's, became a summer camp director in 2010, and was on the board of directors from 2010 to 2019. John returned as a summer camp director for the 2021 covid-altered season and rejoined the board of directors in 2022. John has also worked at Project Canoe, Camp Kirk, Trails Youth Initiatives, and Pathways to Education. An avid user of as few trip dishes as possible and enough spices to make it taste good, John's favourite lake in Algonquin Park is McIntosh.

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