Volunteering With

Camp Outlook

Camp Outlook trip leaders are people from many walks of life who are fun, open-minded, dedicated and kind. No previous tripping experience is required, but a good attitude, love of learning and love of adventure is a must. Although trip leaders are not paid, they do benefit from the chance to trip and spend time with some pretty incredible youth, and learn from their experiences leading campers in small, self-reliant groups. Outlook volunteers are motivated by dedication to share a love of wilderness camping, a desire to learn, and a can-do attitude with our youth in a fun and cooperative social group. 


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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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.


Laura joined Camp Outlook in 2011 as a summer staff looking forward to a season of challenges and adventure in the great outdoors. Now working in environmental consulting, she brings a combination of camp and professional experience to the role. Laura is serving her first term on the Board of Directors, and is excited to support Outlook for another great year.


Mariana is currently serving her third term on the Camp Outlook Board of Directors. She first joined Outlook in 2014, and since then has worked as a fall/winter and summer tripper and as director of the fall/winter program. Outlook combines two great loves of Mariana's - wilderness tripping and the outdoors, and working with outstanding youth. She brings over ten years of experience with wilderness tripping, and five years experience working with youth in a wilderness and recreational therapy context, as well as with therapeutic counselling and youth outreach. Mariana is currently based in Toronto, ON, and is a registered social worker holding a Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree, specializing in working with children and their families.


Ben first stumbled upon Camp Outlook while guiding a canoe trip for Camp Arowhon in Algonquin Park in 2012. In a standard friendly wooded encounter, he inquired about the camps origins and objectives and from then on the organization was imprinted in his mind. 2 years later he joined as a summer staff in 2014 and has had Outlook on the brain ever since. Ben is a construction professional with experience managing budgets, achieving tight deadlines, and solving technical and logistical problems. Ben is serving his first term on the Board of Directors to keep Outlook in the foreground and to learn the ropes and knots.


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.


Jesse joined Outlook as a summer staff in 2016. Outlook combines her passion for getting outside and building community, and reinforced her love for sunny paddles, smoky campfires, and swimming at the end of portages. Jesse spent the last 2 years recruiting and coordinating volunteer placements for Toronto-based non-profits, and is excited to bring her non-profit experience to her first term on the Outlook board. Currently a law student in Toronto, her favourite lake in Algonquin is Burnt Island.


Marc is serving his second term on the Camp Outlook Board of Directors. He first started with Outlook as a tripper in 2013, and has since worked as a fall/winter and summer tripper and as director of the fall/winter program. Marc is currently a financial analyst in Toronto, ON, and is working to help streamline Outlook's technical processes.


Laura staffed Camp Outlook trips during the 2018 and 2019 summer seasons, and is excited to be serving her first term on the Board of Directors. She is completing her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and philosophy, and plans to continue working with youth in the outdoors after graduation. Through ski instructing, gardening, and wilderness tripping, Laura has fostered her appreciation of the physical, emotional, and social benefits of time spent with nature.


After joining Camp Outlook as a summer trip leader in 2019, Kyle was amazed with how welcoming and inspiring the organization is. As an avid canoe camper himself, he knows first hand how therapeutic wilderness tripping is and strives to bring this valuable knowledge and experience to as many people as he can. As a co-director Kyle's aim is to maintain Camp Outlook's welcoming and friendly atmosphere while providing a place for campers to grow as individuals, gain self confidence and learn the importance of teamwork.


Vlad fell in love with the outdoors after long hikes while visiting family in Europe. While studying forestry at the University of Toronto, he decided to try to find an opportunity to combine his love of nature with his desire to introduce others to its therapeutic value. Volunteering with Outlook last summer as a canoe trip leader opened up a world of possibilities to him that once seemed impossibly out of reach. Vlad is excited to give more to this amazing organization by helping make Outlook’s 50th summer season its best yet.


Cole began with Winter Outlook in 2016 after discovering the profound impact the program has for the community and youth. Outside of Outlook, he is studying the effect of permafrost degradation in Nunavut while working towards his MSc in Geography. Being able to share the wonders of nature with others has made his own appreciation of the outdoors even more valuable. In his current role he is looking forward to working alongside Joanna and our team of volunteers to grow the programs resiliency while increasing the quality and access of programming to the community.


Joanna has been a member of the Kingston community for over 8 years and is currently completing her PhD in clinical Neuroscience. An avid camper and community member, she was drawn to Camp Outlook and was a Fall/Winter camp counsellor for two years. She is eager to work with Cole and their team of volunteers to connect with deserving youth in the Kingston community.

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P.O. Box 811, Kingston, ON

Charitable Registration #: 104030036 RR0001