Brittany Rundle

Posted on April 1st, 2013

University Student (Environmental Science and Geography) - North Bay, ON
Sleeping Giant Ontario Ranger, 2007
The Ontario Ranger program changed my life.  Not in a melodramatic sense, but in the fact that my summer as a Ranger changed the way I look at the world, and greatly influenced the paths I’ve taken and the choices I’ve made since.
At 17 years old, life is often contained in a tiny bubble – your friends, your family, your town. As a high school student I had no real thoughts about what I wanted to do or even how I wanted to live my life. I only applied to the Ontario Ranger program in the first place because my best friend had applied, and I didn't want to have to figure out my own summer plans without her!
Fast-forward six years, and I am about to graduate from a university program I never would have considered before Rangers (Environmental Science and Geography), while living in a semi-northern community (North Bay, ON) which I hadn’t know existed before my trip to Rangers. 
I remain in contact with a large group of my Ontario Ranger sisters today, and from what I can tell about the people I meet who have also gone through the program, the Ontario government is doing an injustice to the environment by cancelling it. Even just looking at the blogs already posted here, there are Environmental Technologists, Environmental Scientists, Geologists and Geographers being born from this program. One could argue that those entering the program were already environmentally minded, but from my own experience, this program raises awareness of our natural environment much more effectively than any advertisement.
The relocation that comes with the overnight component of the Ontario Ranger program is vital to its effectiveness. The home-based Stewardship Rangers do not take part in the eye-opening experience of moving far away from the comfort zones of home-life, to a completely different region with a group of strangers. It is an educational experience and opportunity for personal growth that I would encourage for any youth - be they friends, relatives or unknown to me.

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