Introducing Muskoka Woods’ new CEO

Published on: April 13, 2023

We are thrilled to share with you some fantastic news! Chris Tompkins, our long-time Executive Director and COO, has been selected to succeed John McAuley as President and CEO of Muskoka Woods as John moves into a new role with the organization on June 1, 2023.

Chris has been with Muskoka Woods for the bulk of his professional career, first as a member of the summer staff in 2005 while in university before coming on full-time as the Summer Camp Director. In 2015, he stepped into the role of Executive Director and COO. His fingerprints are all over what makes Muskoka Woods great, from the customer service model, unmatched activities and our hallmark CEO (Challenge, Experience Opportunity) Leadership Program, designed to provide 15- to 17-year-olds with the personal skills and leadership abilities they need to become the CEO of their own lives.

John has served as the Chair of Muskoka Woods since the passing of John Boddy, founder of Muskoka Woods, and will now further enhance that as the Executive Chair. He will focus his time and energy on leadership development and raising funds for the Muskoka Woods Youth Foundation to ensure every kid has the chance to come to Summer Camp.

Chris and his wife, Amber, drop Sloan off at her first week of summer camp at Muskoka Woods in WILD in 2013.

Why the change?

If you have been to Muskoka Woods in the past 30 years, then no doubt you have seen John McAuley in the circle, greeting parents and engaging guests, welcoming all to Muskoka Woods on the beautiful shores of Lake Rosseau. John has helmed Muskoka Woods as President and CEO since Mr. Boddy appointed him into the position in 1993. John McAuley led the organization through some particularly challenging times, including the recession of 2008 and most recently through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muskoka Woods is a place where guests have an experience that lasts a lifetime and now is the perfect opportunity for John to step into a role where his vision can be set on further horizons. In his new role as Executive Chair, he will focus on board leadership and governance, lean into the Muskoka Woods Youth Foundation to help as many kids as possible experience summer camp.

”With Chris Tompkins, Muskoka Woods is positioned to be a leader in the development of youth. Both for the more than 30,000 guests who visit us for summer camp and during the school year in our groups programs, and for the 500 staff we hire every year who are primarily in high school, college and university.
“He has the unique gift of not only having ‘grown up’ professionally at Muskoka Woods, but intentionally soaking in different experiences and learning from around the world to make him a well-rounded leader fit to take Muskoka Woods into the future.”
– John McAuley

From leader to leadership

As a parent of a lifelong camper, Chris has spent the entirety of his professional career working with young people and encouraging them into the full realization of who they can be. Academically, Chris has fully poured himself into learning all that he can on the current and best discourse around helping young people thrive. He holds a teacher’s college degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in Youth Development from Clemson University. Practically, he is active in helping form environments where young people and those who work with them can thrive. He is the host of the popular podcast Shaping Our World, which invites the listener into a conversation that will leave them more confident in inspiring and understanding the young people in their life. He is also regularly engaged with young people in a mentorship role.

As the CEO, Chris will be responsible for strategy and vision, business plan forecasting, organizational culture, overseeing the leadership team and staff development.

”It is humbling and exciting to be charged with continuing the great work Muskoka Woods does developing young people. I stand on the shoulders of giants in our founder, Mr. Boddy, and John McAuley, who have established Muskoka Woods’ stellar international reputation. I could not be more honoured to help continue writing the story of this very special place.”
– Chris Tompkins

Ten years later, Chris and Amber celebrate with Sloan on her graduation from the CEO Leadership Program at Muskoka Woods.

About Muskoka Woods

Muskoka Woods is a Christian youth development organization that welcomes everyone to an experience for a lifetime. Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Rosseau, we specialize in summer camp, school trips, group retreats and leadership development for all ages. We exist to inspire youth to shape their world.

Muskoka Woods offers a fun, safe and welcoming environment for all youth. At the heart of this offering are staff that share a common desire to help young people realize their full potential. We are committed to making fun experiences the foundation for building new friendships and self-confidence. Our staff make this possible by fostering a sense of community and encouraging youth to reflect on their experiences in order to draw life lessons from them.

For more information, please email info@muskokawoods.com

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