Meet Karen Barlow Parrish

Karen Barlow Parrish, Karen Haun Barlow and Maggie Parrish

Karen Barlow Parrish (TR’81)  relocated to Camp Nakanawa in 2016 to be the Digital Media and Communication Specialist. Karen was a camper from 1976 to 1981 and continued for 16 more years as a counselor between 1983 and 2019. For six years, Karen served as the Head Counselor for Junior Camp Nakanawa before moving to camp.   Karen’s mother, Karen Haun Barlow (TR’56) daughter, Maggie Parrish (TR’12), two aunts, two nieces and ten cousins have been or are currently Nakanawa campers or counselors.  2019 marks her 22nd summer at camp.  Karen has enjoyed her new role at camp for the past three years.  Not only will she be in the camp office, but you will also see her out and about in both Junior and Senior Camp during the summer.

Maggie Parrish, Caroline Barlow, Karen Barlow Parrish, Eleni Barlow and Meghan Barlow

Karen is from Fort Worth, Texas.  She graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications.  Her background includes working for The Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County in PR and Marketing.  In Washington D.C., Karen worked for Speaker of the House, Jim Wright, Congressman Pete Geren and Congressman Chet Edwards in Communications, Systems Management and as a Legislative Aide.  Karen then served as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Historic Southside, Inc., in Fort Worth, TX.  Additionally, she worked as a Pre-School Teacher and had a Massage Therapy Practice for twelve years.  Before joining Camp Nakanawa full-time, Karen served as the Digital Media & Communications Specialist for the brain injury center, PATE Rehabilitation, Inc. in Dallas, Texas.

Karen’s biggest passion is advocating for and working with children and young adults. While serving on the Vestry at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Fort Worth, Karen was the Advisor to the Director of the Children’s and Youth Ministries.  Karen was a Girl Scout Leader,  Volleyball Coach, PTA President and Member of The Site Based Management Teams of several schools in the Fort Worth ISD.

“I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of Nakanawa’s family all year long!  My experience as a camper and young counselor at Camp Nakanawa had a profound impact on my life.  I believe that the unique experiences and traditions that Camp Nakanawa offers contribute to a strong foundation for young ladies to gain self confidence and to value the intangible qualities of honor, respect, loyalty, acceptance and kindness in themselves and in others.  It is such a privilege to be able to be a part of creating that experience for this new generation of campers.”

Karen’s daughter, Maggie, graduated from Texas A&M University in May of 2017.   Maggie is currently teaching 3rd grade and a high risk school in Memphis, Tennessee with Teach For America.

You will surely see Karen’s sidekick, Bella, following her closely wherever she goes.