By Samantha Goldsilver-- Simon Wolle is a skilled professional, dynamic Jewish educator, trainer, communicator, coach, athlete, musician, boater, husband, parent of three, and a true Jewish Community leader.
In the 1980s, Simon and I were both campers at Northland B’nai Brith, though we didn’t know one another. While I can’t speak for him, for me, camp Northland was my life!
Yet despite my incredible memories of those fantastic summers, as an adult I had many reservations about sending my own children to overnight camp. That was why I was thrilled to learn that the Northland’s Board of Directors had hired Simon as its Director. I know Simon socially - many of my contemporaries do - and the moment I read the news, I had my kids’ duffels mentally packed.
In recent years I’ve gotten back into contact with a number of people from my camp cohort, and several of them now sit on Board; where camp was a joy for me, it was a way of life for them, and they now volunteer a great deal of their time and efforts to ensuring that a new generation of campers gets to benefit from the Northland experience.
“It was extremely important to us to find not just the best camp director, but a true community leader to work with our Board of Directors to shape the next 100 years," said Greg Evans, president elect of the Board. “Camp Northland is an important institution in the Jewish community, and we believe it to be our responsibility to help to mold our future leaders. To help us with this vision and mission, we needed the right leader, and we believe Simon to be that person."
Simon’s extraordinary skill set makes him uniquely qualified to not only run Northland, but help it reach its full potential. In his short time at the helm, the camp’s first period attendance has grown by almost 9%; he now manages 150 staff and over 600 campers, and the Jewish community is taking notice.
Though still young, Simon has already lived a number of professional lives as a lawyer, teacher and entrepreneur. His most recent professional role was as a faculty member at Tanenbaum CHAT (his alma mater) in Toronto, where he served as Dean of Students and a member of the teaching faculty for almost 15 years.
“I live my life as a journey where I learn as much as I can about areas of interest to me. Law, Jewish education, safety training, and business find a perfect meeting point at camp,” said Wolle. “Northland provides generations of children a safe, fun, meaningful, sustainable summer camp experience. More importantly, I know that what the campers and staff learn and gain from camp will serve as a catalyst, allowing them to dig deeper and truly understand themselves. In turn, passions can be realized quicker, dreams can be achieved faster, and immeasurable goals can be attained by our camp community over and over again.”
In between his bookended times at Northland, Simon has acted in many capacities in the world of Jewish overnight camping, serving as counselling staff, specialty staff, program director, head of camp, camp director and even as a board member at other Jewish summer camps. [camp Gesher and camp Shomria]. He has also led and participated in several youth Israel tours and Shabbatonim.
He is also a volunteer board member at the Toronto Heschel School, and sits on other community building committees. He is a trained lawyer and Emergency Medical Responder and owns a health and safety training company, in addition to extensive business experience.
His commitment to leadership and Jewish education is inspirational, and I am thrilled to bear witness as he works with the Board to grow the Camp Northland community.