Ken Cheney Sr.

by FORP on September 23rd, 2013

Whitney Lake Ontario Ranger, 1971
High school auto mechanics teacher (retired), Innisfil, Ontario
I am almost sixty years old now and thinking of Rangers has brought a smile to my face on many days since 1971.    I grew up in the Toronto area and as such had not spent much time in the area north of Temagami.    For a seventeen year old from the big city, learning to spot forest fires, fly in small planes, manage forests, do park maintenance and canoe were not a part of the everyday experience. But these experiences have helped to shape and encourage many of the activities I have enjoyed throughout my life.
My experience fighting fires on the rear lines taught me how quickly a dangerous situation can arise and I am careful with each and every campfire and have taught my children and students the same respect.    I continue to enjoy flying in small planes and have even taken some flying lessons.    I have hand built my own canoe.    I can maintain my own buildings and property.    I now own two acres of bush and maintain it regularly as my contribution to a lesser carbon footprint. Rangers encouraged me to continue my education in natural science and sociology, and I now have two university degrees and a trade licence. 
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I took away from Rangers was the importance of working together with others with an optimistic look to the future.  I taught high school mechanics shop for twenty-eight years, and part of that time as the technical director for the school.    Each and every day was a chance to pass on the lessons of respect for others and nature that are so important in this changing world.    I tried not to miss the opportunity of recommending the Ranger Program to all students as a great learning experience and a valuable part of their high school and lifelong education.    Some of the experience and knowledge gained by me from Rangers, hopefully became the knowledge and experience of twenty- eight years of shop class students.    I encouraged my own children to participate in the program and two of them have worked on staff at at least four Ranger Camps while attending university.  

It saddens me greatly that the Government of Ontario has cut such a valuable education and work program.


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with 1971, Whitney Lake


2 Comments

Jodie - September 25th, 2013 at 5:16 PM
In that case, I am signing the petition on the home page... I hope it helps
Gwen Hochheimer - September 26th, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Good to hear from a Whitney Lake JR.I was beginning to think that your camp was a figment of my imagination.Yours and Briggs Lake were the closest boys camps to us at Kap kig iwan in l979.With so many former Rangers spreading the word about the benefits of the program over the years, I can't figure out how the Ont. Liberals managed to axe it without significant rumblings from their own ranks.You write very well. Hopefully you can persuade your MPP.

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This blog is an online campagin against the closure of the Ontario Ranger Program. If you are interested in contributing please email us at: friendsoftheorp@gmail.com.
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