In 1991, Tamsin Plaxton, a young lawyer and Matt Collingwood, a young banker, met at a social event in Vancouver, Canada, and through their conversation that day, discovered that they both had worked at summer camps through their university years (Tamsin in Europe and Matt in Canada) and had a passion for kids and camps. Two years later they quit their jobs in law and banking to start Tamwood International Camps. Their first camp was opened in Whistler in July 1993, and over the years the business grew to include adult English schools and more camp locations as well. Initially, the camps were located in Canada only, but as demand from overseas grew and more nationalities become interested in sending their children to study English abroad, Tamsin and Matt expanded Tamwood Camps into the USA with camps in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston.
In recent years, as English training has been introduced into elementary schools overseas at earlier grades, we realized that the language learning needs and goals of young people and their parents were changing. The world has also changed since we opened our first summer camp in 1993, and many of today’s young people will study higher education internationally and work in global careers, many in the STEM fields, which will require them to have strong cross-cultural skills, tolerance, leadership and language skills as well as specific technical skills and literacy. To continue to meet the changing needs of our campers, in 2010, we added a Teen Outdoor Leadership Camp program in Whistler, in 2015, we re-named our core teen program from the “English and Activity Camp for Teens” to the “ Teen Global Learner Camp” and introduced leadership in the program’s curriculum, and in 2017, we launched several new camp programs including robotics, game design and musical theatre. This year we also rewrote the entire English curriculum for juniors ages 7-12, and teens 13-17, to incorporate the best new teaching practices, relevant topics for today’s youth and important learning outcomes.
Tamwood continues to be owned and actively managed by the founders, Tamsin Plaxton and Matt Collingwood. Stay tuned for more history in the making as Tamwood is always refining its existing programs and adding new programs and locations to reflect the ever-changing needs of our global campers and their families.