A Program of the Katie Johnson Fellowship

The Wabe of Whidbey Island
About the Wabe

Who We Are

The Wabe of Whidbey Island is a program of The Katie Johnson Fellowship, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization. The Fellowship was created to honor the short but compelling life of Katie Johnson, a charismatic and spirited red-head with quadriplegic cerebral palsy who died in 1992 at age 12 after spending the second half of her young life in a Maryland institution.

The Katie Johnson Fellowship was started unofficially in 1993 at Camp Jabberwocky on Martha’s Vineyard Island, MA by several campers and counselors who had known and loved Katie during her two extraordinary summers of ’91 and ’92 at Jabberwocky. Their intent, inspired by the philosophy and spirit of Camp Jabberwocky, was to start similar programs in many different areas – to reach others who, like Katie, had little opportunity to experience the friendships and summer activities that are typical for children without disabilities.

They created new camps in Oaxaca Mexico and Greenville, Mississippi.

After its official designation, in 2004, as a 501 (c) (3), The Katie Johnson Fellowship and it participants parted from Jabberwocky to concentrate fully on the creation of other camps and programs for both children and adults with severe disabilities. Sponsored initially by the Fellowship, these programs are encouraged to become fully independent as soon as possible.

The following (except our recent Wabe of Whidbey) are now fully independent of KTJ. They are listed in order of their beginning:

  • 2021 – The Berkshire Project
  • 2000 – El Convite (now Teleton), Oaxaca, Mexico
  • 2004 – Camp Looking Glass, Greenville, Mississippi
  • 2005 – Campamento Kikotimaal (now Viamistad) Santiago, Atitlan, Guatemala
  • 2006 – The Tulgey Wood, Nantucket, MA
  • 2009 – Zeno Mountain Farm, Lincoln, Vermont
  • 2017 – The Wabe of Whidbey Island, Whidbey Island, WA
    • Camp Directors: Kevin Heller and Karen Elliott
    • Executive Director: Gillian Lamb Butchman

Our name, The Wabe, comes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass – a favorite resource. According to Humpty Dumpty, “wabe” means “way before and way behind.” Then Alice cleverly adds “and way beyond, I suppose.” Perfect for us!