Summer Overnight & Day Camp - Outdoor Centre - School
located in Huntsville, Ontario - 705.789.5612


jack pearse“Let there always be a song…a song down in your heart…”
On Wednesday afternoon, with family at his side, Jack Pearse – the “Great Chief” and Coach ‘Emeritus’; the consummate song-leader, bridge-builder, camper, counsellor, father, and friend – passed peacefully away - with the same dignity with which he lived his entire life.
A London newspaper once held a contest centred on the question: What is the shortest way to London.  The winning answer?  The shortest way to London is good company.  For 64 years, Jack was the best company and treasured friend and soul-mate to wife Helen Pearse (nee Hulse).  With deep devotion and love he taught his four children – Patsy, Judy, John, and Mike (Tia) – to BE good company.  How sadly and sorely we miss his good and cherished company, now…
Proud and loving grandpa to Meghan (John Tambling) and Amanda Pearse, and Christopher, Tyler, and Carson Pearse; beloved little brother to Shirley-Ann Darrach-Pearse and brother-in-law to Phyllis Harper (nee Hulse), Jack’s good company spread to his entire family, touching and inspiring us all.
Jack once wrote – in song: “We can make a difference, you and I; we can make a difference, if we try.”  There is little question that Jack made an immeasurable difference in the lives of an equally immeasurable number of children, students, and leaders the world over.  His revolutionary philosophies of teaching, coaching, leadership, and life have been cemented in books and articles, and in the hearts and minds of all those whom he has touched and led, just as they were foundational to the success of the Charlottetown YMCA Camp and Camp On-da-da-Waks, both of which he directed; and continue to be foundational to the success of: the Department of Recreation and Leisure studies at the University of Waterloo, which he co-founded; the University of Waterloo Golf Team, which he coached beginning in 1968 and for which he was inducted into the U of W Sports Hall of Fame; the Ontario Camps Association, the Canadian Camping Association, and the American Association of Independent Camps, of which he served as President all; the American Camps Association; the International Camping Fellowship, which he co-founded and for which he was the longest-running Chair, and, of course – his greatest passion and, perhaps, greatest legacy – Camp Tawingo, which he co-founded, owned, and directed for 42 years beginning in 1961.
A song-leading legend, Jack recorded three collections of camp songs, co-authored 10 books on camp songs, program, and leadership, and led singing to 100s of 1000s of delighted children and adults on virtually every continent.
Fittingly there are awards of excellence and endowment funds in his name in the Canadian Camping Association, the U of W Golf organization and Golf Association of Canada, and at Camp Tawingo.
We do not teach the reef knot, we teach the camper; we do not teach the principles of rec. leadership, we teach the student; we do not teach how to chip and putt, we teach the golfer… and if we make the camper, the student, the golfer our focus, the skill will surely follow: so believed Jack Pearse, and – right up to the moment of his passing - so did he inspire others to believe the same…others whom he always made feel happier, stronger, wiser, and more capable in his good company…others whom he consciously and carefully put at the centre of everything he thought, spoke, and did. What a gift to us all…and to generations to come.
Hum-Bah-Nay-Callay, Everyone…
Hum-Bah-Nay-Callay, Jack.
Go well and safely, Dad…
“Keep singing, ‘til we meet, again.”


To read about the Jack Pearse Memorial Campership Fund, or to donate, please click here.


Tawingo Talkback!

" I really wanted to thank you for making Josh's first camp experience so fantastic. Josh talks about camp every single day, and can't wait to go back. "

- Parent