Yowochas Staff

YWCA Edmonton has been providing summer camp experiences on the shores of Lake Wabamun since 1916. Yowochas believes in the incredible power of summer camp and we challenge our campers every day to push themselves outside their comfort zone, to make new friends, and to try new activities. Our staff also helps each camper discover their potential by encouraging them to be courageous, make decisions, solve problems, communicate and connect with one another. It is our mission to teach our campers respect for themselves, others, and the environment.

TERRY KONYI (T-REX)

DIRECTOR, YWCA YOWOCHAS

NATALIE ARMBRUSTER (HAWK)

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM OPERATIONS, YWCA YOWOCHAS

“T-Rex” brings a creative passion to his role as Director at Yowochas. Since his start at Yowochas in 2007 Terry has been an Outdoor Programmer, Leadership Specialist and Program Coordinator. Terry believes strongly in the experiences and outcomes of summer camping and experiential education. He is driven to ensure that no camper is ever overlooked. He particularly enjoys seeing campers return year after year and watching them progress through our leadership programs and into staff roles. Terry, with his wife Krista, daughter Ruby and sons Luke and Jack, are excited about being part of Yowochas present and future.

“Hawk” is driven by her love for the natural world and desire to share it with those around her. Since joining the Camp Yowochas team at the beginning of 2017, she has be working to uphold and push forward our exceptional standard of programming, train and mentor our program staff, and keep our programming equipment and facilities in top shape. Natalie especially loves developing outdoor leadership skills in our older campers and staff members and bearing witness to the ripple effect of outdoor education.

BARB SPECHT (PLUM)

REGISTRAR, YWCA YOWOCHAS

DANIEL KARAKOCHUK (WOODCHUCK)

MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR, YWCA YOWOCHAS

“Plum” joined the Camp Yowochas team in 2019 as our Registrar. Barb loves seeing all our campers learn, grow and have fun while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors in our peaceful camp setting; she knows you’re never too old to learn something new, especially at camp! Barb’s friendly voice is typically the first one you hear when you call Yowochas, and she works diligently to ensure all our families and user groups have an open line of communication with us. She is helpful and up for any task, and she can give you all the information you need to know about our programs!  When she’s not keeping everyone organized at camp, Barb enjoys time with her husband, kids and dogs while outside exploring and appreciating nature, playing games, gardening, and family movie nights.

“Woodchuck” has been the Maintenance Supervisor at Camp Yowochas for the past two years. While Daniel has worked in carpentry his entire life, he loves the larger sense of purpose he gets from working at Yowochas – the sense of family and community makes it not just a job, but an integral part of his life. Daniel greets everyone with his happy smile and easy-going, carefree nature while keeping everything maintenance-related running smoothly at camp. In his downtime, Daniel can be found gardening, listening to podcasts and learning more about things he’s passionate about – particularly the environment and equality for all. 

CASEY ZAYAC (THISTLE)

OUTDOOR PROGRAMMER, YWCA YOWOCHAS

GINI BEAUMONT (FEN)

OUTDOOR PROGRAMMER, YWCA YOWOCHAS

“Thistle” spent two years working at camp over the summer before joining the team year-round at the beginning of 2019. Casey had such fun during her Yowochas camp experiences as a child, she grew up knowing she wanted to be a camp counsellor one day! As an Outdoor Programmer, Casey loves getting to know all our campers as she helps to create an environment that is both safe and adventurous for them. Whether it’s facilitating a day at camp for a group, leading activities and teaching, or preparing for new programs, Casey is hard-working and cheerful, always finding purpose in her day. In her downtime, you can often find Casey sitting by a campfire and enjoying the company of friends while experiencing the beauty of nature that surrounds her.

“Fen” has returned to Yowochas this year after some time away exploring the world. The lure of getting dirty and making memories at camp brought Gini back to Yowochas in the role of Outdoor Programmer in 2020. She loves helping kids explore the magical world of the forest and the lake while also learning about themselves. In a typical day, you might find Gini and the kids looking for birds and insects as they set up for the day, and closing out the day with some reflection and quiet time. Gini’s patient and approachable nature coupled with her enthusiasm for things like habitat conservation, gender equality and learning new things are a perfect fit for her role at Yowochas!