Judy Lane

by FORP on September 30th, 2013

Bruce Telecom, Kincardine, ON
Moose Lake Ontario Ranger, 1990
 When I was accepted into the Junior Ranger program, I was so pumped. I remember having the information on my nightstand, and I would look at it every night before going to bed. In the welcome package about Moose Lake, we were told to bring butane curling irons, lots of batteries for your cassette tapes, and that there was no telephone in camp.  The day going there was a long car ride and there were so many butterflies in my stomach!
At Moose Lake, I was out of my comfort zone, with no electricity, away from everyone and everything in my world.  I remember being very tired each night and very hungry at meal time. We rose early for kitchen duty, but we had a few hours off in the afternoon. I also recall having a lot of time in the bush, painting at the Leslie M Frost Centre and using the term "Work Crew." We were all up for breakfast and if you were late…well you had to do something crazy. A thing like acting & quacking like a duck in front of everyone.
If I remember correctly, Fridays we had classroom time at the Frost Centre. Here we were learned about the MNR, forest fire management, resource management, wildlife, minerals. Saturday mornings we cleaned our camp. We had Saturday afternoon and Sunday off, and went on various day trips. We all had to take turns using the pay phone to call home or friends. I recall going to Robinson's General Store in Dorset and the Minden movie theatre, where we saw Days of Thunder and Dick Tracy. We took part in the Junior Ranger Olympics and the Leslie M. Frost Centre Open House. I also recall a long drive to visit another Ranger camp. And portaging for days!
I still have my work boots, hard hat, pictures, Ranger badge and certificate, autograph book with various Rangers’ messages, and my Junior Ranger Work Performance Appraisal.  The Performance Appraisal rated us on Quality of work, Working relationship with supervisors, Working relationship with Peers, Punctuality, Attitude, Leadership and Initiative: All important things that would be a foundation for subsequent work life.
Unfortunately, I did not stay in contact with any of my Ranger friends. It was different time in 1990. We did not have Facebook, and calling long distance was expensive. I do remember sending out Christmas cards one year.
But I have held onto many important things I learned that summer, including the realization that being in nature is a wonderful gift, as is the experience of strangers coming together, learning to get along, getting work done and becoming a team.  I learned to canoe that summer and learned how, after a long hard day of work, jumping in the lake was the best way to cool down. I learned the importance of safety at all times when working, and I gained new confidence. I went back to Grade 11 more determined to work harder at school and reach out to new peers.  Most importantly, Rangers, which provided me with my first experience of really being away from family and friends, planted a seed in me and gave me the confidence to take on new adventures.  I have embarked on many different “off the beaten path” adventures in my life since then.
I am so deeply saddened about the Ontario Ranger program cancellation. This program provides such important things on so many different levels. It provides for a valuable contribution to natural resources in Ontario, and an economic impact in many regions.  Rangers learn work skills, life skills, appreciation of on our natural resources, and leadership. Over and over past Rangers tell our stories, and one commonality is the fact that this program was a life changing experience.
Thank you to the Friends of the Ontario Rangers for providing this platform.  And lastly, a shout out to all my Ranger friends and forewomen from Moose Lake, 1990.  I hope you all are creating ridiculously amazing lives.

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Moose Lake, 1990


Dana McGlynn - October 1st, 2013 at 8:27 AM
This article does bring back a lot of memories. I especially remember those trips into town to the Robinson's General Store and going to see the movie Dick Tracy in Dorset. I sure hope they don't cancel the Junior Ranger program! It is important for young people to learn about and appreciate their natural environment.
Gwen Hochheimer - October 3rd, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Thanks so much for sharing your story. In l978, from what I remember of Moose Lake for the few hours that we were there, the log bases had been built and were being lived in, with canvas and mesh roofing, very unusual and quite pretty. The three camps that I worked at were set out logging camp style.One of the Esker Lakes Rangers in l980 was from Kincardine. First name Kate. She's in the group picture in Karen Chapeskies blog, left side at the back. Couple of young men from that area have also recently taken part.

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