The KOC Blog

Signs of Spring - Staff Return to the KOC

by Jane Isbister | May 10, 2015

This is the first week without snow or sub-zero nights in Minden. It’s WONDERFUL! Yesterday, as I was driving my son to school he remarked at all the visible signs of spring that were apparent to him as if for the first time in his 4 year life; crocuses, finches, robins, tree buds, spring peepers, longer days… Unfortunately (for me) he’s also very keen on seeing the bears wake up from their long hibernation. He wants to see this so badly and so my fingers are crossed (for both of us).

In a seasonal program, like ours at the Kinark Outdoor Center, all the above signs of spring are apparent, but so much more too! There’s the sound of power tools as we repair a few items damaged from the weight of the snow; the smell of paint as we freshen up some signs and sand boxes that line our roads; a few curse words overheard in the distance as we discover a collapsed culvert on the driveway; and there is a cheer as the admin staff realize that we have reached our capacity, set higher than last year, and that summer camp registration is full.

And there are people!  New staff and returning staff start to gather and push energy, warmth, and purpose back into the facility that has been quiet and so cold for so many months. In the last three days we have seen our first hint of true spring, and the hope of summer, and the creation of a wonderful, safe, and competent team.

Our staff come from a variety of recreation, education, CYW, and other professional backgrounds. They bring experience working in camp settings and working with children with a variety of special needs. This group in particular brings an inherent sense of compassion – and fun too!

As a parent I immediately feel confident in their ability to perform and care for the work that will be asked of them over the next several months. I know that parents who are in dire need of respite will trust them; I know that a youth who has experienced too many challenges given their age might laugh at their dance moves; and my fingers are crossed that one of them will sing “Going on a Bear Hunt” with the right audience, too!

Welcome Back Spring! The Outdoor Center is Open!