25 Stories: Gail Johnson McDonald

Camp Volunteer (2012 – Present)



Gail retired from a career in HR in March 2012. At the time, a friend of hers was working at camp and suggested that Gail get involved too. So Gail started by working in our camp kitchen once a week and on-call. Six years later, she continues to come in once a week to work on various projects and help staff with whatever they might need. Gail is now so familiar with camp and its rhythms that she often walks in and starts working without any direction from staff!

Though Gail doesn’t get much one-on-one interaction with the campers, she says it warms her heart to know that so many kids – who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it – get to play outside, try canoeing or fishing, sit around a campfire, and more. She says you can see the joy on their faces all week long and then their reluctance to get on the bus to go home. “It’s like another world for them when they come up here”.

Gail has learned a lot in her six years serving at camp. First and foremost, she has had to let go of her perfectionist tendencies. “When you go to camp to help out or work, you have to let your old ways go. Things can change every minute”. She’s also learned quite a bit about our populations and has grown to be more understanding and compassionate. “I’m always learning, and I’m not afraid to ask questions.”

Thank you Gail, for your dedication to helping our staff and campers!