Red Canoe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and was founded in 2015 as Friends of Wabun. Each of the founding board members experienced life-changing wilderness travel as teens. Those board members with participating children witnessed the qualities of the wilderness work on them too. Convinced of the profound value of these experiences, they came together to create a fund that would enable more young people access to such programs. A close connection with Camp Wabun remains vital, and the support of that community has been a springboard to our growth which has helped us engage with other essential programs. While the name changed to Red Canoe Foundation in 2019, the core mission of connecting youth with transformative wilderness expeditions is unchanged and enduring.
I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this organization into its next chapter. We are entering an exciting time for both Red Canoe Foundation and Camp Wabun and, as we navigate the route ahead, I am very much looking forward to working with this committed and passionate community of people dedicated to the future of these organizations.”
Libby’s experiences canoe tripping as a teenager laid the groundwork for her life. The teamwork, the time for introspection, and the mental and physical strengths she developed became the skills and values she brought to career and family. A graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Libby worked professionally in forest ecology and land use policy in Maine. There she and her husband hiked and camped with their three children. But it was letting them go on their own wilderness expeditions and witnessing the profoundly positive effects that propelled Libby to strive to connect more young people with wilderness.
Gail was introduced to Wabun in 1983 when she staffed the Wawatay section with Julie Hinchman. Since then, she has taken Wabun-affiliated trips on the Dumoine, Rupert, and Coulonge Rivers with friends and family. Gail’s two sons were campers and staff at Wabun, and she holds hope that her granddaughter Josephine will be a Wawatay by 2025! After careers as a math teacher, and providing health care systems for the elderly, Gail was then recruited by Libby Moore to be the first paid Executive Director for the Red Canoe Foundation. In that role she has significantly improved our operational efficiency and helped us reach and increase our annual appeal goals each year. Her fundraising achievements have allowed RCF to provide scholarship support to Wabun campers to help us reach our access and opportunity goals. Gail’s work has laid the foundation upon which we will build to sustain access to wilderness canoeing for many young people for generations to come.