Dean Wiley

by FORP on August 12th, 2013

Senior Technologist, Public Health Ontario
Ivanhoe Lake Ontario Ranger, 1977
I was fortunate to have the experience of participating in the Junior Ranger program, as it was known back in 1977, at Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park near Folyet.

I was not a neophyte outdoors person, as many of my fellow campers were.  I had spent a few summers at Camp Kandalore near Minden, and at Youth Outdoors Unlimited on Lady Evelyn Lake in Temagami doing camp craft, canoe tripping, mountain climbing and rappelling.   All of this previous experience was put to use as a Junior Ranger.
The first work that we Rangers were put to was building a fence around our compound; the fence posts we made by cutting down trees, debranching them, debarking, and then cutting to size. We cut the grass of the baseball field with grass whips. We learned how to set up a fire line with pumps we primed with water, and then attached “football” rolls of fire hose to as we ran the line out through the forest.
We did a number of Provincial Park maintenance duties like collecting the trash from the campsites, cleaning the fire pits of the campsites, hosing down the outdoor toilets, planting trees, fixing a guardrail on the corner of a camp road, and waterproofing the exterior of a newly built toilet base. We did rotations helping the camp cook prepare the meals for the day and cleaning up afterwards.
We had a few visits from some of the other camps in the area, a canoe trip, and a jamboree of all the camps near the end where we had competitions like canoe jousting, fire line setup, orienteering, baseball, and tug of war. Later we had a demonstration from a water bomber that dropped water on a dummy in the centre of the baseball diamond, which it flattened.  When it came for a second pass, people ran - but it had dropped the water from higher up and it came down like rain.

I have had many jobs since then and have completed two diplomas and a B.Sc. and now work in the Public Service at the Public Health Ontario (PHO) Public Health Laboratory –Toronto as a Senior Technologist.

My son just managed to get accepted this final year into the Ontario Ranger Program in Cochrane at Wade Lake. He spent the first week in safety training, which I hope every kid gets when they start a job.  He participated in a number of community initiatives like the Gathering of the Cree. Hopefully the experience he gained as an Ontario Ranger will lead to further jobs and further education, as it did for me.

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with 1977, Ivanhoe Lake


Joyce Recoskie - August 12th, 2013 at 7:33 PM
Thank you for sharing, Dean. Cam was a pleasure to work with at Wade. Camp Cook Joyce

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