|Posted by Val Fox on June 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM|
"I wonder how a person gets a job like that," I thought while watching the camp host sell firewood and greet guests.
Last month on Mother's Day we parked our new-to-us trailer down at a nearby provincial camp ground and enjoyed a family picnic. It had been a long time since I'd camped and I was thrilled to be off the ground and dry. One night turned into two, then a week, then two weeks. When I packed to leave I was already planning my next camping trip. "I could live like this," I told others. Then I walked down to the water's edge and danced freely, without fear of what others would think. The birds chirped their songs and a beaver swam by clutching a leafy branch. Rainbow trout jumped, creating ribbon circles.
Later that final evening the manager came around and told us the camp host had quit her job. At first I didn't say anything but then I spoke up and told him I have a background in environmental science and public relations - and I love camping outdoors. Our conversation led to a job offer which I happily excepted. Pockets of time allow me to run home and do other tasks; otherwise, I'll be camped until October with wildlife, laughing children and plenty of frash air and exercise.
The following list includes a few reminders I've gotten since I camped here. I'm sure there are many more to come and will enjoy sharing them with you. I've included some photographs too. Have a great day everyone!
1. Always grab the camera as you go out the door. You will probably miss some incredible shots without the camera.
2. When you're reading/writing on your trailer bed/desk always have the camera set up and ready. You never know what interesting visitors will peek in the doorway.
3. Death is a natural park of the circle of life. Sometimes you must allow the inevitable because to do otherwise could cause more harm.
4. Do not leave any food out anywhere. Wild animals and birds will find it and either make a mess or worse, put you and loved ones in danger.
5. Hang flower baskets up where ground squirrels can't dig them up. Picnic tables do not work.
6. Some people make quick, inaccurate assumptions. Hear them out and don't take it personally. Prejudice, ignorance and judgement lurk everywhere. There are also many people that greet you with a smile and enjoy having an extra pair of eyes around the campground. Spread joy. It always returns.
7. Some campers chop green park trees for firewood, others leave gross things in the washrooms and even more leave their garbage for the wind and wildlife to scatter. Use their example to show others how we can take better care of the parks we claim to love.
8. Be prepared for surprises. Note possible scenarios and learn or prepare how you would respond.
9. Anticipate what kinds of questions you will be asked and find answers first. (geology of the area, info about the dam and its role in irrigation, info about wildlife, park rules etc.)
10. People that complain always teach you something...about them, about you, about policies and procedures, and about common sense. People with concerns want to feel heard and that you care about their distress.
11. Enjoy the opportunities offered by this type of work: living with nature, time to read and write, time to photograph, soothing sounds, casual dress, earn extra money doing something you love, eat less, get more physically active, feed your mind with more useful material, alone time to contemplate or meditate and the smell of a bright campfire.
Photo's by Val Fox
Tags: recreation, environment, wildlife, camping, playgrounds, parks, photography, nature, fishing, Southern Alberta
Categories: A Writer's Journey