Wanakita, Sunship Earth and the Haliburton Community


Wanakita, Sunship Earth and the Haliburton Community


Risebrough, Kelly

Supervising Faculty

Wadland, John; Whillans, Tom
Departments: Canadian Studies and Environmental Studies

Reference Number




Location of Document

U-Links Office and online


Camp Wanakita (Koshlong Lake)


History and development of the Sunship Earth program


In 1979, Steve Van Matre of the Institute for Earth Education (IEE), developed a curriculum titled Sunship Earth, a program based on the seven ecological principles that make up our world: energy, cycles, diversity, community, interrelationships, change, and adaptation. The program is dedicated to broadening an understanding of the place in which we live and this paper focuses on Camp Wanakita and its application of the ideas within its camping program. Wanakita is a Hamilton-Burlington YMCA camp located on Koshlong Lake and the role of the YMCA, its philosophy, and that of camping in general is described as a preface to the paper.

The history behind the implementation of the Sunship Earth program at Wanakita in 1986 and its subsequent development is outlined along with an in-depth look at the principles of the program and the need for continuing relationships with schools in the community as the experiences of Sunship Earth become entrenched in the participants and make for better future citizens.


Trent University



Risebrough, Kelly, Wanakita, Sunship Earth and the Haliburton Community, Trent University, 1994