Carolea Butters Carolea_Butters

Carolea Butters

In Memory of Carolea Butters

Carolea Butters has played a central role in the history of Camp Tanamakoon. Her passing will be grieved by generations of campers and counselors. 37 years ago, she told me of the "sacred trust" she had placed in me as the new owner and director of Tanamakoon. These words have always guided me; thank-you Carolea for all you meant to Camp Tanamakoon. To her husband, Hugh Butters, children Jennifer Elder, Christopher Butters and grandchildren, Nicole and Brooke, our sympathy and our thanks for the life and legacy of Carolea Butters at Camp Tanamakoon.

Patti Thom, as her dear friend, has written this beautiful tribute to Carolea.

Kim Smith, Owner/Director

Remembering Carolea Butters

March 17, 1938-December 4, 2020
"Life is the journey, not the destination"

Carolea's love and passion next to her family was Camp Tanamakoon. Her engagement with camp began in 1947 as a young camper and continued until her final days. She was a keen and active camper and later a devoted staff member. She assumed many senior positions, but Head of Waterfront and Head of CITs were her most cherished roles. Carolea loved her time in camp as much as her time on canoe trips. Her passion for tripping combined with her skill as a paddler led to her being presented with the Tan Tripper in 1954. Carolea developed many lifelong friendships during her camper and counsellor years as well as a deep respect and love for life in the outdoors. As a camper, counsellor and camp Owner/Director (1974-1984) she shared a genuine connection with children of every age. Carolea loved life and lived each camp day to the fullest!

We cannot think about Carolea without laughing and smiling. She always brought light and laughter into every part of Tanamakoon and everywhere she went in life. An incredibly gifted storyteller, Carolea enthralled us at her famous chapel talks filled with life lessons. Her ability to turn even an unpleasant event into a "must hear" story was always done with humour. Imagine turning the tragic event of the day the camper's trunks all sank to the bottom of Cache Lake into one of the funniest tales of her decade of being a camp owner!

During her years as Director she connected with campers and staff on a very personal level. She loved each one of them and they in turn adored and respected her. Picture her leading the Counselor Song while standing on a dining room chair wildly waving a wooden spoon in each hand, then note the admiration in the eyes of the staff while they sang along. It was truly magical and always filled the staff with pride and love of their camp.

Carolea's ability to command attention with a good story was very evident in her leadership with children and staff during her years as our camp leader. From her daily flagpole thoughts for the day to her leadership sessions with staff, Carolea often used amusing anecdotes and meaningful quotes to get her messages across. Her camp counsellor sessions were often shared with other young people in the profession when she spoke at conferences and staff training events. Carolea was an Honorary Life Member of the Ontario Camps Association and a Fellow of the Society of Camp Directors.

Supported by her devoted partner and best friend Hugh, this dynamic pair led Tanamakoon through ten wonderful years. Carolea and Hugh developed in their children, Christopher and Jennifer, a forever love and deepest respect for Algonquin Park and all the natural and meaningful aspects that it offers to those that appreciate it.

Carolea's legacy lives on in the shared spirit of Tanamakoon through her children and her two granddaughters Nicole and Brooke. Carolea will forever be connected to a circle of beloved friends spanning multiple generations that meant more to her than they will ever know.

Carolea, we are forever grateful for your love, your leadership, your joy and compassion.

The girls of summer are blessed to have had you touch our lives.

"There is nothing quite as special as a friend of summer days"

Patti Thom - Camp Director

A fitting tribute and celebration of Carolea awaits her family and friends on the other side of the pandemic. For those wishing to receive further information regarding services for Carolea in the future, please email In lieu of flowers, contributions to or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.

Toronto Star Globe and Mail


At Tanamakoon girls ages 4 - 6 can have their first overnight camp experience for 3 days in early or late summer.

Outdoor Ed

The Tanamakoon Outdoor Centre has operated for 27 years, for co-ed school groups mid May to mid June and the last two weeks of September.

Adult Programs

Spend quality time in Algonquin Park with opportunities to share a variety of experiences with like minded, interesting people from fifty five years onward.