"There's nothing I'm more passionate about than what we put into or onto our bodies, whether that be food, medicine, or personal care products. Being able to have an establishment in our community where I can trust the products, the employees, and the farmers and companies behind those products is like a dream come true for me and my family."
Camden Harlan is the Athletic Secretary, Environmental Club Advisor, and Garden Coordinator for Woodstock North High School. She voluntarily oversees the school’s 6000 square-foot garden and beautiful glass and redwood greenhouse. She works closely with the school principal in establishing the garden’s core team, and organizes meetings with that team. She takes the lead for the design of the garden, recruiting volunteers, securing donations, ordering supplies, planning events, and deciding how and where produce will be utilized within the school and the community. She seeks out and helps to write grants, and she also organizes fundraisers. She researches class curriculums and provides those links and books to the staff at Woodstock North. Camden has designed the school garden to be one of beauty and utilitarianism, encompassing several perennial beds, a rose garden, wildflower garden, vegetable, fruit and herb gardens, as well as, a garden-area for toddlers, and an edible flower garden.
Camden has been coordinating healthy projects and events in Woodstock CUSD 200 since 2008. She is the Chief of High School Teams for the Care4 Breast Cancer 5k Run/Walk, in which she organizes all of the high schools in McHenry County to create friendly and competitive teams to raise money for a local breast cancer foundation. Camden has established an Environmental Club at Woodstock North, which is a group of ecologically-minded staff and students who have a passion for stimulating student and community awareness of environmental responsibilities, including waste reduction, water conservation, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention. She is very passionate about healthy eating, providing her family with organic or naturally-raised fresh food, and also promoting that concept to the students and staff at WNHS.
Camden received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater in 1997. In 2009, she was awarded for her exemplary performance in promoting wellness and community service in District 200. In June of 2011, Camden and six other school representatives in District 200 were invited to Little Rock, AR, to accept an award presented by President William J Clinton and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. In 2012, Camden was awarded the Spirit of Public Health Award as a distinguished public health advocate by the McHenry County Department of Health.
Camden is happily married to Brian Harlan, and is the proud mother of four children: Andrew, Catherina, Zakkery, and Skylar (and a four-legged hound named Sylvia). Brian and Camden are in an environmental and professional transition of purchasing acreage in southern Wisconsin to become natural vegetable growers and build a 'tiny house.' Camden enjoys gardening, healthy eating and cooking, hiking, camping, boating, stand-up paddle boarding, hula hooping, horseback riding, photography, and landscape design.