Dedicated and enthusiastic staff who love introducing kids to the outdoors.”

A team who collectively have worked with kids in outdoor education settings across the country and bring a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge to Echo Pond Summer Camp.

Laura Temple

Laura Temple is the Director and Chief Cook for Echo Pond Summer Camp. She grew up in Newfoundland, and has always loved spending time in the outdoors, whether its hiking, swimming, kayaking and or taking photographs. One of her greatest passions is introducing children to the fun, beauty and wonder of the natural world, as well as teaching environmental responsibility and sustainability. She also loves cooking, enjoying local foods, and preparing delicious and healthy meals for kids.

Laura has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Honours) and a Bachelor of Education, from Memorial University, and a Master of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University. She has been teaching children and young adults in and about nature since 2007 when she worked at the Adventure Earth Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since then she has taught Geography as a Sessional Instructor at Dalhousie University; lead presentations about marine life to children, on behalf of the Whale Release and Strandings group; and worked as an educator at the Brother Brennan Environmental Education Centre.

Laura is very excited to be embarking on Year 4 of Echo Pond camps!


Katie Budgell

Katie Budgell is an uprooted Haligonian living in downtown St. John’s. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount St. Vincent, and a Bachelor of Primary/Elementary education from Memorial University. She now works as a substitute teacher, afterschool program leader, and private tutor in St. John’s.

Katie first discovered her passion for Earth education when she attended Sunship Earth summer camp as a child in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Since then, she has been chasing opportunities to teach children to appreciate nature and care for their environment. She spent her youth leading camps and school programs at the Adventure Earth Center in Halifax, and most recently has joined the Brother Brennan Environmental Education Center as a teaching assistant. She believes that being in the outdoors and spending time peacefully in nature is an experience that benefits all people – children and adults alike.

Katie is thrilled to be a part of the Echo Pond Summer Camp team and can’t wait to bring this unique camp experience to the Avalon!

Rebecca Smyth

Rebecca Smyth was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and brags to everyone she meets about her beautiful province. She spent four years living in Ottawa, getting a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Carleton University. During her time spent in Ontario, Rebecca worked four summers at YMCA Camp Davern, a residential summer camp for girls. Working at the YMCA Rebecca experienced everything from weeklong canoe trips, mosquito infested nights under the stars to raucous campfire sing-alongs.

Upon graduating, Rebecca spent time travelling and adventuring around Newfoundland and the world, including a stint as a teaching assistant in Tanzania and a year exploring the west coast of Newfoundland, attending Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus, in Corner Brook. It was in Corner Brook that she not only earned a B.Ed. (Primary/Elementary) but developed a deep appreciation for the mountains.

Rebecca now lives back in St. John’s and works as a substitute teacher with the English School District, a tutor at the Learning Disabilities Association and as a Teaching Assistant at The Brother Brennan Environmental Education Centre. In her free time she also enjoys, hiking, canoeing, skiing and bird watching.

Rebecca is very excited to be a part of the Echo Pond Summer Camp team and is looking forward to a wonderful summer!

Environmental Education Commission

The Environmental Education Commission (EEC), established in 1984, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose role is to run the Brother Brennan Environmental Education Centre (which is the location for Echo Pond Summer Camp). The EEC is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and a paid Executive Director. Until this year, our focus has been on our school program which is open to Newfoundland schools in May-June and September-November of each year. School classes visit the Centre with their teachers for 2-day, overnight field trips that are much loved by students! This program focuses on outdoor, hands-on activities including orienteering, nature and science interpretation, writing and drawing outdoors. Central to our program is respect for the environment and promotion of sustainable living. The program has been such a success that we have decided to expand and offer a summer camp.

We have named the camp “Echo Pond Summer Camp”, because the Centre is located beside a peaceful pond that creates distinctive echoes, whether it is the echo of a loon’s call in the morning or evening; or the echo of children when they gather by the pond edge and shout ‘hi’ in unison toward the opposite end, then hear ‘hi’ echo back 1.5 seconds later.

We also want it to be clear from the name of the camp that it is secular and open to all children in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information about the Environmental Education Commission and the Brother Brennan Environmental Education Centre, please visit: