We have the best staff imaginable! Our team is led by 3 Directors, Camp Director, Abbey Duinker, Head Resource “Mr. Phil” from New Orleans, and Executive Director, Lori Barker … plus other directors and inspirational speakers who live here in Nova Scotia. Our counselors are Nova Scotia’s finest citizens who hail from Universities across the province and come to Catapult to make a difference in a youth’s life. We’re a wonderful compliment of young and not-so-young who work hard to make Catapult an enjoyable, enlightening, adventurous, and memorable experience for all.
Abbey Duinker – Camp Director
Abbey Duinker recently retired from playing professional basketball in Europe and Australia. She has a degree from Acadia University in Community Development and currently works as a Youth Programmer with the Canadian Military at 14 Wing Community Centre. Abbey has extensive experience working with youth in leadership camps and sport programs in both Canada and Europe and has worked in various roles with Catapult since 2011.
Phil Gugliuzza aka Mr. Phil – Program Director / Lead Speaker
They say you MUST experience Mr. Phil at least one in your life. He’s a dynamic, creative and inspiring speaker – a true master! He is an international youth speaker from New Orleans and has spoken to audiences of teenagers, educators and college students in all 50 States plus 12 other countries. He conducts seminars on leadership, self-esteem, communication, teen suicide, drugs and alcohol abuse among other topics of significance to young adults. Mr. Phil has been named as the Louisiana Student Council Adviser of the Year, the Southern Association Adviser of the Year, and the National Leadership Workshop Director of the Year.
Jane Roy – Administrative Director
Jane is the Creator of Catapult and chairs the Board of Catapult Leadership Society. A chartered accountant by profession, Jane has been involved in several community projects over the years, most recently as Chair of the Provincial Autism Centre and Co-Chair of the Autism Golf Ball. Jane lives in Bedford and loves to travel, play tennis and play with photography. She will be on hand throughout the week to provide administrative support wherever needed.
Lori Barker – Executive Director
Lori has been an active volunteer with Catapult since 2010 and became the Executive Director in the fall of 2013. Her former position was as a corporate event planner and special events including the Blue Nose Marathon, Dress for Success, Phoenix Youth’s Dreamscape, Dreams Take Flight and Autism Golf Ball. Lori lives in Fall River, NS and enjoys spending family time with her 3 children. She will be on hand throughout the week to provide support for staff, speakers and students.
Sheila Lane, RN – Nurse
Sheila Lane is a Public Health Nurse and for the past 14 years, she has been working with youth in Youth Health Centres. She has a degree in nutrition as well and is a certified yoga instructor. She has a lot of experience working with youth both individually and in leadership development and is a very enthusiastic supporter of youth leadership initiatives. This is her first year with Catapult and she looks forward to being part of the adventure!
Camp is staffed by 1 head counselor and 7 Counselors from various universities including Acadia, St. Francis Xavier, Dalhousie and St. Mary’s. Counselors are carefully recruited for their own leadership experience, warm personalities, enthusiasm for fun, and their ability to act as role models to the students. We also recruit 2 high school grad junior counselors from our Catapult alumni.
Nancy Regan – Speaker
Nancy Regan is a broadcast and communications professional with 15 years of experience on live television. On air, her warmth and humour are her trademarks. In 2003, Nancy signed off as the longest serving host of CTV’s Live at 5 and translated her passion for inspiring and entertaining audiences into new ventures including freelance television work, professional speaking, media consulting and acting. Nancy has interviewed thousands of people, including celebrities like superstars Madonna, Oprah, Mel Gibson and Celine Dion. Nancy’s greatest joy is found in her role as a mother to her 3 children in Halifax.
Will Njoku – Speaker
Will was born in Ghana and grew up in Halifax. He earned a degree in Psychology before being drafted into the NBA by the Indiana Pacers, beginning a 10 year career as a professional basketball player and a member of Canada’s Olympic Basketball Team. ‘Will2Win’ has become his medium to pay it forward by encouraging others to reach higher. His versatility and approachable style has enabled him to work with a variety of groups including the Department of National Defense, The Human Rights Commission, and youth attending numerous School Boards across North America. Will now resides in Moncton, New Brunswick and is the very proud Daddy to his 3 little boys.
Terry Kelly – Speaker
Explore the importance of communication, dreams, goals, choices and responsibilities; understand and celebrate our differences; and realize the value of enthusiasm! Terry is the living model of his message, understanding his blindness as a gift that opens possibility and opportunity. Using personal anecdotes peppered with humour, songs, and audience participation, Terry encourages individuals to develop their own values and strategies for living and working happily and healthily. Terry Kelly’s passion for life has gained him international recognition as a renowned motivational speaker, an accomplished athlete, an award-winning singer/songwriter, and a consummate entertainer.
Mike Cowie – Leader of the Band
Mike Cowie is a trumpet player, singer and songwriter with a funk/jazz/blues style. He’s been composing, touring and recording for over 25 years and is a regular fixture in the Halifax entertainment scene. He’s performed with stars like Sloan, Lennie Gallant, The Temptations, Holly Cole, Matt Minglewood and countless others. Along with 4 of his band mates, Mike will plan the Catapult Rock Show (making sure everyone plays a meaningful and satisfying part), work with the campers during a full afternoon rehearsal, and lead our spectacular evening show.
Scott Hennigar – Adventure Instructor
Scott is a Professor of Recreation Management at Acadia University. He specializes in adventure programming, outdoor leadership, remote wilderness survival and primitive technology. Scott built Acadia’s high ropes course on which he teaches hundreds of students each year. He will be leading our adventure problem solving and teamwork program.
Sebastian Harder – Videographer
Sebastian grew up in British Columbia and came to NSCAD University where he focused on digital media. He graduated in 2010 with a fine arts degree and now works as a programmer, animator and graphic designer as well as teaching animation for youth. He’s worked on several documentary films including one that he wrote himself and is filming, editing and producing on his own. He has volunteered with Bryony House and homeless youth as well as various student peace initiatives.
The staff were incredible. Their seemingly-random acts of kindness, compassion, and inspiration followed me throughout the week, to my home, and through my years in high school.
~ Martha, Catapult 2010