To the Camp Kirk Community ,

Back in February I shared that my time with Camp Kirk is coming to an end, and that I am passing on the torch to new leadership. It was bittersweet news to share, but it marks an exciting new chapter for Camp Kirk.

With the upcoming transition, we took the opportunity to divide my role in two so that Camp Kirk can have a dedicated person to lead our programs (a Camp Director), and a second person to oversee our organization and charity (an Executive Director). I held both roles, but as our organization has grown and developed, we recognize the need to evolve the structure of our office staff team.

I’m excited to announce that we have found two incredible individuals to lead Camp Kirk in our next chapter.

Deirdre Thomas, Executive Director

Deirdre brings a wealth of experience to Camp Kirk from time working both within and outside the nonprofit sector. As a passionate youth advocate, over the past decade, Deirdre has helped create safe spaces for children experiencing grief and loss. She founded Canada’s first national alliance of grief organizations ranging from children’s camps, hospices and grief centres.

Since mid-July, Deirdre has been working closely with Sean, Erica and Tara to learn all things Camp Kirk. From scoring through our policies and procedures to jumping into the Kitchen on Beach Day- Deirdre has thrown herself into camp life to soak up the essence of Camp Kirk. It’s only been a few weeks, but Deirdre has already proven herself to be a compassionate leader, willing to go the extra mile for our kids, families, and staff.

Sean McKenna, Camp Director

Sean stepped into the Camp Director role in January, and has been doing an incredible job supporting our campers, families, and staff ever since. With his musical talents, compassionate heart, and quick humour, Sean has maintained the heart and soul of Camp Kirk in both our Community Weekend and summer camp program. For all our alumni- you’ll feel no time has passed when you hear Sean belt out Country Roads!

As for me, I will be stepping down as Executive Director as of August 31st…..but not before squeezing in a few more visits to camp! Over the next few weeks, I’m keen to help Sean, Deirdre, and our Development Director Tara navigate this transition period so that Camp Kirk is in a strong state to support our kids and families in the years to come. Yes, change can be hard, but with a team like the one we have in place, I know that this transition will help our organization do even greater things for our neurodivergent kids and youth. I will be cheering Camp Kirk on from the sidelines, and look forward to visiting camp in the summers to come!


Erica Park-Coutts
Executive Director