collage of student staff

International Youth Day 2019

Happy International Youth Day!

Students and youth are the lifeblood of our parks — we couldn’t do without them!

Here are just a few stand-out students and youth from around the province:

Claire and Adam Poulin, Gatehouse

two rangers

Meet Quetico Provincial Park’s twins Claire and Adam! They both work at our Pavilion and are an essential part of our customer service team. They are knowledgeable and passionate about backcountry travel having both canoed and soloed in the park through the Atikokan Outers program. If these local smiles are the first thing you see, you’re starting your trip off right!

Kaden Loof, Discovery Guide

Discovery leader in creek with kids

Kaden is a hard-working second-year Discovery Program student that loves the outdoors. He enjoys educating, entertaining, and seeing the smiles of the park visitors through programs like this Discovery Drop-in, dip-netting for wonders of the invertebrate world in Killbear’s wetlands!

Eden Ellis, Gate Attendant

student waving to camper

“The best part of my job is interacting with and hearing stories from customers all over the world. Even though it’s my first summer working for Ontario Parks, I believe I have made strong connections and relationships with the campers at René Brunelle Provincial Park. As a student studying environmental science, I believe working with Ontario Parks will one day lead to many great career opportunities. This job is a great learning opportunity to practice and absorb French culture. My goal is to make everyone smile and feel welcomed with open arms into René Brunelle and to have campers leave feeling happy and refreshed.”

Zhengmao Ouyang, Gate Attendant

gate attendant

Zhengmao is currently a gate attendant at Earl Rowe Provincial Park. He is dedicated and very hard-working. It is his priority to ensure visitors have a great experience while visiting the park. This is Zhengmao’s first job. He is currently studying software engineering, and he is part of the Green Team at school. He enjoys robotics and teaching piano.

Baxter Legace, Casey Howard, and Yanic Ayotte, Maintenance

three maintenance staff

Baxter and Casey joined Killbear’s maintenance crew at the beginning of the summer, while Yanic has been on the maintenance crew for two summers now. The three of them show their passion and hard work by keeping the facilities, roads, and sites in good shape. They’re always laughing and smiling through the day, leaving a lasting positive impression on the park’s campers and staff.

Paige Cashmore, Discovery Guide

staff holding binoculars

This is Paige’s first year working at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park. Paige enjoys exploring and sharing nature with visitors, and learning about the different fauna and flora that is found in the boreal forest of northern Ontario.

Matthew Suchan, Learn to Fish Leader

LTF leader holding rod in front of lake

For a first year student, Matt has demonstrated considerable dedication, exceeding beyond his own responsibilities as the Learn to Fish Leader at Darlington Provincial Park. In addition to delivering excellent programs, Matt very quickly became a dependable worker and can be trusted to stay busy and help others. He was very adaptable when faced with program delays due to spring flooding. He contributed to the maintenance department during this time with a hard-working attitude, and great enthusiasm for each task.

Cassandra Parks, Gate Attendant

staff in front of road

In her fourth year with Ontario Parks, Cassandra’s sunny smile and helpful personality greet day-use visitors and campers alike at Bon Echo Provincial Park’s main gate. Cassandra’s enthusiasm and professionalism shine through; we appreciate her dedication to make every interaction special!

Connor Chow, Park Store Attendant

ranger stnading in front of trees

This is Connor’s first season with Ontario Parks. Not only does he help to sell Sleeping Giant Provincial Park’s merchandise, but he also greets visitors enthusiastically, answers questions and provides important park information. His great customer service brings many smiles to our visitors’ faces.

Shane Barbeau and Ben Jansen, Green Team Maintenance

two staff in a cart

Shane’s favourite part of the job includes the unique tasks they get to undertake including invasive species management.  He is passionate about the community, especially the one which has formed within the staff at Port Burwell Provincial Park.  Ben enjoys working outdoors, operating the side by side and watching the young campers marvel in awe at all of the different equipment they use.

Destiny Nevill, Discovery Guide

Discovery Guide smiling and holding frog

Destiny loves seeing the excitement from the kids and being a part of the interactive programming at Port Burwell Provincial Park. She enjoys working in the Interpretive Centre and meeting people while out roving. She aspires to become a Park Warden in a few years.

Victor Coutu, Rentals

student standing in front of canoe rack

Victor is a hard-working and dedicated individual at Sandbanks Provincial Park. This is his first summer with Ontario Parks, and he is more than willing to lend a helping hand whenever he has the chance. Whether helping visitors in French or English, Victor makes sure that they have an excellent experience!

Rana Salman — Reservation Clerk / Office Assistant

office staff answering phone

This is Rana’s second year with parks. She works at Bronte Creek Provincial Park, and is studying to be a neonatal nurse.

Gary Norman, Maintenance

maintenance staff driving cart

Gary is a hard-working maintenance student at Blue Lake Provincial Park who enjoys cleaning campsites and always looks forward to a job well done! Last year, Gary participated in the Stewardship Youth Ranger Program, which kick-started his love for Ontario Parks.

Nick Hoey, Gate Attendant

gate staff showing map to camper

Nick Hoey is a wonderful second-year gate attendant at Killbear Provincial Park. He’s one of the first people campers meet going into the park. Nick’s passion for Killbear leads him to take his time answering campers questions and concerns fully. He works very hard making sure park visitors have their permits and everything they need to have a great visit.

Adrianna Blackwell, Maintenance

staff in fluorescent vest

Adrianna has developed a strong skill set in park operations during her second season at Bon Echo Provincial Park. She is an upbeat and hardworking student who is very respectful and proud of the job she performs on the maintenance team to ensure the campers enjoy their experience at the park.

Isabella Herrington – Administrative Assistant

park staff standing in front of sign

Isabella returned to Grundy Lake Provincial Park this season as the administrative assistant. Isabella has been instrumental in training new gate attendants and ensuring excellent customer service in the gate.

Nick Schell and Graham Longpré — Portage Crew

two staff portaging canoes

Nick and Graham are both new students to Quetico Provincial Park’s portage crew, where they clear and brush trails. Their tireless work ethic, strong hut-stroke, and positive attitudes are invaluable to maintaining our canoe routes. We always look forward to going on trip with Navigator Nick and Chef Graham.

Austin Baker, Office Assistant

uniformed ranger holding snake on shoulders

Austin is at Murphys Point Provincial Park for his fourth summer. He grew up camping at Murphys Point and loves working in the outdoors, especially in a park he loves. From assisting Discovery with Gray Ratsnake monitoring to scooping ice cream at the Park Store, his favourite part of his position is getting to do a variety of tasks and work with all the other departments. Austin is happy to provide assistance to campers so they can have the best stay possible.

Abigail Honeyborne, Discovery Guide

Discovery leader at art station

Abby is enjoying her third year at Esker Lakes Provincial Park. She has established an enthusiastic group of regular Discovery Rangers who have taken the Discovery pledge. Her favourite part about being a Discovery Guide is exploring with the kids and seeing the joy on their faces when they catch a frog for the first time.

Ben St.Onge-Shank, Maintenance

staff in yellow shirt standing in front of lake

Ben is a second-year maintenance student at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park. Ben spends his days providing campers with a clean and safe park through his professionalism in his maintenance duties. Ben is going into his fourth year of university, studying ecological restoration.

Cambrya Swejda, Gate Attendant

staff holding map in gatehouse window

Cambrya works as a Gate Attendant in Rushing River Provincial Park’s front office. She always provides exceptional customer service and isn’t afraid to help co-workers that are new to the park.

Nate Sabourin, Learn to Fish Leader

Nate teaching boy to fish

Nate is a fantastic fish expert in his third year at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. He knows all there is to know about Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed, and many other amazing fish species. He’s already taught over 800 people how to fish this summer!

Danielle Scharnowski, Administrative Assistant

staff in uniform sitting in chair

Danielle is in her second year with Ontario Parks. She has a passion for parks and her versatility has been a tremendous help for us this season as she pitches in with Learn to Fish, Learn to Camp and Gate Operations at Sibbald Point Provincial Park. Bonus: she loves sweeping, and laughs while following the dirt trail directly to the Assistant Superintendent and Park Superintendent’s offices!

Matt Jack, Maintenance

ranger holding shovel

A descendant of one of Neys Camp 100 (a German POW Camp during WWII) guards, Matt enjoys helping people out around the park, and keeping the park clean.

Brooklyn MacKenzie, Gate Attendant

staff in fluorescent vest outside gatehouse

Brooklyn is a welcoming and friendly first-year gate attendant at Blue Lake Provincial Park. She spends her days greeting visitors as they enter the park and providing top-notch tips about what Blue Lake has to offer.

Court Cronheimer, Maintenance

fluorescent-shirted staff holding shovel

Court loves cleaning the beach at Port Burwell, as it makes him really feel like he is contributing to the conservation efforts of Ontario Parks. He is passionate about teamwork, and loves working at such an amazing park.

Sarah Wray, Discovery Guide

staff in from of Mazinaw Lake

Sarah is an enthusiastic and hardworking first-year Discovery student at Bon Echo Provincial Park. She creates memorable experiences for visitors with her fun and educational programs. She also coordinates our invasive species work, such as pulling Dog-strangling Vine and Garlic Mustard plants, and tracking our species at risk.

John Moseley-Williams, Maintenance

staff holding broom in doorway

John is a first year maintenance student at Esker Lakes Provincial Park, and was a gate attendant last summer. John spends his day keeping the campground and facilities clean, and ensuring campers enjoy their stay.

Kylie Rooth, Maintenance

staff in fluorescent shirt in front of truck

Kylie has worked at Balsam Lake Provincial Park for four seasons. She always demonstrates an exceptional work ethic. Her work is done in a quiet and efficient manner that reflects well on the park.

Emily Wright, Discovery Guide

staff standing beside picnic table

Emily is an enthusiastic and energetic first-year Discovery Program student at Blue Lake Provincial Park. She is always eager to find new ways to engage park visitors through her programs and nature activities.

Mathieu Lajeunesse, Maintenance

staff in fluorescent shirt in front of pond

Mathieu is a first-year maintenance student at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park.  Mathieu spends his days cleaning campsites, cutting grass, and performing trail maintenance duties He works hard to provide campers with a memorable experience. Mathieu is going into his first year of university, studying mechanical engineering.

Abi Reid, Discovery Guide

Discovery staff running a program

Always excited to continue improving her programming and display for park visitors, Abi feels so fortunate to be working in a place as special as Port Burwell Provincial Park. Just being out in the park, hearing the birds chirping and watching the sunlight and blue sky filter through the trees leaves Abi feeling like there is no better place to work…it’s just magical!

Mary Jane Dvores, Maintenance

staff driving tractor

Mary Jane is in her third season at Sibbald Point Provincial Park. She spends most mornings raking the beach, and can often be found in this tractor! When not working with the tractor, she is doing a little of everything else, from garbage collection to traffic control, and contributing to a safe and happy work environment!

Morgan St-Amour, Gate Attendant

staff holding stuffed animal behind desk

This is Morgan’s second year at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park. She always has a smile ready to greet visitors as they arrive at the park, come to rent a canoe, purchase from the park store, or ask a question. Morgan ensures that everyone has their permits and everything else they may need for a memorable visit.

Daniel Boulanger, Maintenance

staff in orange holding rake

This is Daniel’s third season at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park. He is always willing to lend a helping hand to co-workers or park visitors. Daniel goes the extra mile to ensure all park facilities are well-kept and maintained, doing so with a smile.

Nicole Anderson, Discovery Ranger

ranger in front of trees

This is Nicole’s second season working at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. She greatly enjoys educating visitors about the park’s fascinating plants, animals, and history. Her enthusiastic programs allow visitors to walk away with a deeper understanding of the significance of our park.

Eric Richards, Maintenance

staff in front of gator holding rake

Eric is a hard working member of our maintenance team at Rushing River Provincial Park. He’s never afraid to jump in and help other departments such as assisting with our Discovery programs.

Emily White, Maintenance

staff in yellow in office

With a perpetual smile and relentless optimism, Emily is a passionate and dedicated member of the maintenance team at Bon Echo Provincial Park. She helps oversee the facility cleaning of the park’s 21 roofed accommodations with constant praise from park visitors.

Jordan Phenix, Gate Attendant

staff in uniform in front of forest

Jordan is in her third year with Ontario Parks. Jordan’s hard work ethic combined with her natural leadership skills make her a valuable asset to the Sibbald Point Provincial Park team, and a mentor to many students. You can find Jordan smiling her way through the busiest of days; she has a contagious positivity that everyone benefits from!

Rebecca van Massenhoven, Learn to Camp Leader

Rececca teaching new campers

Rebecca is an enthusiastic and friendly first-year student at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. She teaches first-time campers how to set up a tent, build a campfire (eat toasty s’mores), and practice bear safety with a sunny smile! Here, she is playing “Simon says” with some of her Learn to Camp participants!

Jake Guggenheimer, Maintenance / Gate

maintenance staff holding shovel

Meet Jake of Neys Provincial Park! He has the unique privilege of working at the gate and maintenance – “Gate-nance,” if you will! During his free time, he may be found hammocking by the lake with a good book!

Cailin Dee, Gate Attendant

gate attendant

Cailin’s favourite place in Neys Provincial Park is the Little Pic Picnic Area. She loves working outside and helping campers with their questions.

Braeden Carangi, Maintenance

staff in yellow shirt, driving cart

This is maintenance worker Braedan! He likes to spend his summer fishing, and you can see him around Neys Provincial Park enjoying his work day on the side-by-side.

Natalia MacFarlane, Park Store Attendant

ranger standing beside park sign

Natalia likes meeting people at Neys Provincial Park, and finding out about their day. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, hiking, and being outside in the warmth.

A huge thank you to all the student and youth staff who make our parks such special places to work and visit!

Know a student who consistently goes the extra mile to brighten your day? Stop by the park office and ask for a student bursary nomination form.