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:
Nancy Moffitt — Discovery Guide
This is Nancy’s second year as a Discovery Guide and she truly has a unique way of bringing the program to life! Nancy is a dedicated, thoughtful and nature loving guide that inspires exploration and discovery in every camper she meets.
Laura Humphreys — Portage Crew
This is Laura’s first year at Quetico Provincial Park. As member of portage crew she spends all of her time canoeing in the backcountry where she assists in clearing and brushing portages. Her hard wilderness skills, impressive hut-stroke, pride in her work, and positive attitude are assets to maintaining Quetico’s canoe routes.
Cailin Dee – Gatehouse Attendant
This is Cailin’s first year with parks. She works in the gatehouse and is the first to greet all of our campers when they arrive at Neys. She likes to help our visitors by answering any questions they have and making sure all their permits are in order.
Josh Lax — Maintenance
This is Josh’s third season at Bon Echo Provincial Park and he has been an integral member of our team. He works the morning facility cleaning shift and consistently arrives before 6:00 a.m. and delivers a strong work ethic every shift. Josh is exceptionally reliable and thorough, and takes the time to finish each job with care. Our campers know when Josh has been working!
Hannah — Piping Plover Student
Hannah is a dedicated, conservation-minded Aquatic Wildlife Student that protects and contributes to the preservation and recovery of the endangered Piping Plovers nesting on the beach at Darlington Provincial Park. She also provides entertaining and educational Natural Heritage Education programs, as well as invasive species removal and habitat restoration at McLaughlin Bay.
Dalton Cain — Park Warden
Dalton Cain is a very hard worker and over his six years at Port Burwell, he has worked his way through all positions starting in the gate, then working maintenance before becoming a warden. Dalton is a very valuable member of Port Burwell and he shows excellent leadership skills.
Meghan Drake – Natural Heritage Educator
Meghan is a fourth-year student in the Outdoor Recreation program at Lakehead. This is her first year with parks working as a natural heritage educator at Neys. She says “I’m hoping this is the first year of many.”
Casey Gallivan — Maintenance
Casey is in her second season with the maintenance department at Grundy Lake Provincial Park and has been working hard to keep the park looking beautiful and clean for all the park visitors! Casey completes any job with a smile on her face and keeps the entire team motivated with her positive attitude.
Clare Musclow — Maintenance
Clare is a first year maintenance student who always greets you with a gentle smile. Bonnechere’s staff and campers alike are quick to notice her kind and considerate nature. She is always willing to go the extra mile to keep the park looking pristine and campers happy.
Rory Coulter & Shannon Bailey — Park Rangers
Our super-keen green students Shannon and Rory are based out of Komoka Provincial Park. Shannon and Rory have been busy assisting with trail planning, trail mapping and a variety of resource management activities and maintenance at Komoka. They recently transplanted some butternut trees (a species at risk) and are also seen measuring out distance markers with flags on the trails for every 250 m.
Breanne Woods – Maintenance
Breanne has just graduated from high school and is a first-year maintenance student here at Neys. You can see her whipping the sites into perfect shape for our campers.
Allie Plue — Discovery Guide
Allie is a Discovery Guide extraordinaire at Six Mile Lake with a history working Gate and Maintenance too! She knows the park backwards and forwards and knows exactly where to spot all the cool nature finds that pique visitors’ interest! She will welcome you to her Discovery Drop-in programs with a smile and passion.
Mariah Pecoskie — Gate Attendant
This is Mariah’s third season at Bonnechere, beginning with two years of maintenance experience and currently working as a gate attendant. She always begins campers’ experience with enthusiasm, kindness and hospitality.
Bryanna Baker – Natural Heritage Educator
This year is Bryanna’s first year of working for Ontario Parks. Bryanna loves the friendly work environment and getting to share her passion for nature and the outdoors with the many visitors of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
Brian Gray – Maintenance
Brian is a second-year student working with parks for his first season as maintenance at Neys. During work hours, you can find Brian mowing the lawns, but in his off hours, you will always see him fishing in the lake.
Payton Boyko – Maintenance
This is Payton’s second year with Ontario Parks. She is currently working as a maintenance student at Blue Lake Provincial Park. Payton comments that maintenance allows for her to work outside and get out in the campground, meeting people from all over.
Cameron Mackisoc — Maintenance
Cameron is a first year student who began working at Bonnechere’s park store, but transitioned to maintenance, demonstrating his versatility and willingness to be flexible. His calming and friendly demeanor makes him approachable for staff and campers alike.
Faith King — Operations
This is Faith’s second year at Quetico Provincial Park, and the operations team would be lost without her. Every Wednesday, Faith flies in a Beaver Float Plane to Quetico’s four remote entry stations, where she delivers supplies and keeps everyone up to date on conditions in the park. Having paddled and winter camped in Quetico’s backcountry, Faith has a passion for the outdoors that she loves to share.
Kat Muzyliwsky – Natural Heritage Educator
Kat is a fourth-year student and this is her first year working with Ontario Parks. Kat is working as a natural heritage educator at Neys and loves discovering all of the species we have around the park.
Hannah Whitehouse — Learn to Camp Reservation Lead
Hannah is an integral part of the Learn to Camp team and has been the reassuring voice to new campers over the phone and email for the past four years. With a passion for camping and nature, she has processed over 13,000 new campers in our reservation system.
Brianna Lemoine — Park Store
When dropping by the store at Bonnechere Provincial Park, Brianna may be found behind the counter waiting to lend you a helping hand. Whether you are renting a canoe or purchasing firewood, Brianna always provides excellent customer service with her polite and easy going demeanor.
Davin Ojala — Maintenance
This is Davin’s third year at Quetico Provincial Park. He is a local and was part of the Student Youth Ranger program. Davin’s favourite jobs include trimming grass, bathroom clean-up, and building new picnic tables. Davin is grateful to work in such a supportive environment, but not as grateful as we are to have him as part of the Quetico team.
Justin Jenkins – Maintenance
This is Justin’s second year with Ontario Parks. After working maintenance last year, he wanted to come back and continue helping make sure that the facilities are in tip-top shape for our campers.
Evan Skinn — Discovery Program Leader
Evan has worked really hard to establish the Discovery Program at Point Farms Provincial Park since it was launched three years ago. He enjoys engaging visitors to explore the park and learn about what they discover.
Rexdale Martin — Gate Attendant
Rex has an excellent work ethic. He is always willing to go above and beyond his normal duties. He always has a friendly smile and a hello for every customer and staff member entering the Port Burwell Provincial Park. Rex is also an avid birder. He can almost name any bird in Ontario.
Ben Moody – Maintenance
This is Ben’s first year with Ontario Parks. He is working as a maintenance student, which has taught him a lot of different manual skills that he uses to help keep Blue Lake Provincial Park in top shape.
Julie Jacualk – Gatehouse Attendant
This is Julie’s first year with Ontario Parks and she works in the Neys gatehouse, greeting our campers as they enter the park.
Thomas Levesque – Maintenance
Thomas enjoys working in the outdoors and getting to interact with the public. This is Thomas’s first summer job!
Andrew — Piping Plover Student
Andrew is a hard-working Aquatic Wildlife Student with a strong environmental ethic. He participates in the Piping Plover program to protect this endangered species nesting at Darlington. Andrew also contributes popular Natural Heritage Education programming to park visitors and participates in invasive species removal and habitat restoration at McLaughlin Bay.
Cara Freitag – Discovery Guide
Cara is a first-year Discovery Guide at Rainbow Falls. Her contagious enthusiasm for nature and dedication to learning new things inspires others to explore the great outdoors!
Ryan Speziale – Maintenance
Ryan is a maintenance student in his first season at Ontario Parks. He makes sure all of the Neys campsites are ready for our visitors to enjoy. Ryan’s favourite task is mowing the lawns.
Emma Wright — Discovery Guide
Emma is a first year Discovery Guide at Fairbank Provincial Park and has quickly become an expert mudpuppy catcher! Emma is teaming with enthusiasm and passion for the wonders of nature and all the critters that call it home!
Owen Fabian — Maintenance
Owen is a first year maintenance student with an infectious positive personality, which is exuded in his work. His attention to detail and determination ensures Bonnechere is pristine for our park users.
Brynn Thompson – Gatehouse Attendant
Brynn is a second-year summer student at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park. She is incredibly knowledgeable about the park and surrounding area, and is always able to advise visitors on the best places to visit!
Drew Miller – Natural Heritage Educator
Drew is a grade 11 student and this is her first year with parks. She works in Neys’ Visitor Centre as a natural heritage educator and is a pro at writing up new guided programs.
Emily Montgomery — Parks Program Educator
Emily has been a part of the Earl Rowe team in various positions during the past six years. Emily is very outgoing and hardworking, and really enjoys engaging with staff and the public in her current role as a leader. She spends most of her days helping with all our educational programs, including Learn to Fish, Learn to Camp, Discovery Drop-ins, and is responsible for the park’s social media accounts.
Calli Vandenbrand & Courtney Marriott – Gatehouse Attendants
Calli and Courtney are fifth- and fourth-year returning students at Rushing River Provincial Park. Their work ethic is undeniable. Their constant smiles and pleasant demeanours are infectious. Their knowledge of the park and computer system makes them well rounded employees who go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service to all of our visitors. They are true ambassadors of the park and we are lucky to have them! Thank you for your hard work and dedication!
Jake Guggenheimer – Gatehouse Attendant / Maintenance
Jake is a first-year summer student at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park, but hopes to continue working in parks for many years to come. He always greets visitors with a smile and makes everyone coming into the park feel welcome!
Kate Crawford – Maintenance
Kate is a fourth-year forestry student working at Neys on our maintenance team. This is Kate’s first year with Ontario Parks and she has been making sure that the park is in good condition for visitors.
Kraig Matthews — Administrative Assistant
Kraig returned to Grundy Lake Provincial Park this season as the administrative assistant after he did an exceptional job as a gate attendant last summer. Kraig has been instrumental in training new gate attendants and ensuring that excellent customer service is provided to all park visitors.
Xander Woertink — Maintenance
Xander is a first year maintenance student at Bonnechere. He’s proactive and not afraid to ask questions in order to learn. Xander consistently seeks out opportunities for self-improvement and is kind-hearted to everyone he meets.
Alex Campbell – Natural Heritage Educator
For the past two years, Alex has worked in the NHE department at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. She is a hard worker and all of the programs that she puts on are engaging, exciting, and full of fun!
Matt Nixon – Maintenance
Matt is a student in the fish and wildlife program at Fleming College. This is his first year with parks as a maintenance student at Neys, and he enjoys working outside and doing hands-on work.
Stacey Fluke — Green Initiative/Special Projects Position
Stacey is a hard-working and dedicated student at Bon Echo Provincial Park. Stacey’s excellent customer service and dedication to the park over the past several seasons has led her into a very diverse and rewarding role. She is spending her summer focusing on several special projects such as supporting senior staff with daily/weekly water testing, as well as updating the Park Sign Plan and assisting with administrative and gate staff duties.
Grace Poff-Smith — Natural Heritage Educator
If you stop by the Davenport Centre at Bonnechere Provincial Park, you may have the pleasure of speaking with Grace. Grace is a knowledgeable first year NHE student who is passionate about educating campers of all ages, about the nature that surrounds them. Her enthusiasm and dedication is apparent in her daily programs. She goes the extra mile to make learning interesting, engaging and fun!
Kyra Santin – Natural Heritage Education & Marketing Assistant
This is Kyra’s second year with Ontario Parks as the Northwest Zone NHE/Marketing Assistant. Kyra has been helping with the implementation of the Natural Heritage Education Program in northwestern parks this summer. She’s also been busy working on zone marketing initiatives.
Ethan Delyea — Maintenance
Ethan is a versatile asset to our great team at Bon Echo Provincial Park. Since joining us in 2017, Ethan has welcomed a variety of roles including woodlot attendant, maintenance, administrative assistant, and overseeing the operations of our busy Pepsi vending machines. He hopes to continue to work for Ontario Parks for years to come!
Alissa Sallans — Natural Heritage Education Assistant
Alissa is a dedicated, hardworking NHE staff member who demonstrates great initiative with projects such as the recent Citizen Science weekend at Bon Echo. She helps inspire park visitors to learn more about the natural & cultural features in the park and be more environmentally friendly while in the park and at home.
Stefan Chartrand — Maintenance
Stefan is a third-year maintenance student whose hard work and dedication inspires his Bonnechere coworkers to perform their fullest potential. His attention to detail and impeccable standards ensures thoroughly completed tasks.
Miriah Roulston – Gatehouse Attendant
This is Miriah’s first year with Ontario Parks. Her favourite part about working in the Blue Lake gatehouse is that she gets to hear about where people have been and where they plan to go. She loves to travel, so this inspires her to get out and explore.
Jacob Levair — Maintenance
Jacob is a first-year maintenance student with a strong work ethic and kind heart. His initiative and dependability make him a vital member of Bonnechere’s maintenance team. Jacob’s hands are never idle, always looking for new tasks to perform and new skills to learn.
David DaCosta — Maintenance
David comes to work with a positive attitude and he loves to have fun while working at Port Burwell Provincial Park. He always says, “Team Work makes the Dream Work!” This is David’s first year with Ontario Parks.
Kendra Rioux – Natural Heritage Educator
This is Kendra’s third year with Ontario Parks where she works as a Natural Heritage Educator at Blue Lake Provincial Park. She says that the coolest part about her job is that she gets to talk about animals and help park visitors connect with nature!
Brittany Yantha — Gate Attendant
When arriving at Bonnechere Provincial Park, one of the first friendly faces you may meet is Brittany. Brittany is a second year gate attendant, who welcomes park visitors with a smile. Her sense of humor sets the tone for an enjoyable camping experience.
Fiona McKenna – Gate Attendant
This is Fiona’s first year at Sandbar Lake and her second year with Ontario Parks. She truly enjoys working with the public.
Melanie Dupre – Gatehouse Attendant
Melanie is one of the first staff that Neys visitors talk to, and she makes sure that all of their permit are in order! She also gets to sell our parks merchandise and firewood to anyone who wants it.
Interior ranger team at Frontenac Provincial Park
Every September for the past 26 years,our park visitors have arrived at Frontenac Provincial Park to participate in the annual hiking challenge. Keeping a 120+km backcountry trail network maintained isn’t easy and requires the assistance of many people.
Every year approximately 10 students spend the entire summer keeping the park clean and safe for everyone to use, but also preparing it for the fall Frontenac Challenge event. We encourage you to acknowledge a job well done the next time you see one of our dedicated Interior Rangers hard at work.