Sleeping Giant Ontario Ranger, 1990
When I became a Ranger that summer at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay, it was the first time I had lived away from home, and it was by far the furthest I had ever travelled without my parents. Although the Ontario Ranger program taught me how to wield a sandvik and plant a tree, the most valuable lessons I learned there were how to be myself, and that I could do anything I set my mind to.
After Rangers, I spent two summers working in provincial parks, and then moved on to university and other opportunities. My path has taken me all over the world and back again to the same small town where I grew up. Wherever I travelled and whoever I met, I was proud to identify myself as Canadian and to recount the tales of my “Ranger training”. I now understand just how fortunate we are to have our parks and wilderness spaces, which are the envy of people in many countries who did not have the opportunity or the foresight to protect their land and wildlife as we have. It is vital that we maintain and connect with the natural spaces that are an integral part of the Canadian identity.
This is what I ask of the government: Please, listen to what thousands of people are saying, and reinstate the Ontario Ranger Program. The benefits of this program are probably much greater than the Ministry of Natural Resources realized. Although some of these benefits may have been inadvertent, that doesn’t make them any less valuable. You had a program that prepared young people to become brave, confident, capable adults, who would be an asset to our province and our country no matter what they chose to do.
Don’t throw that away so lightly.
Posted in not categorized Tagged with 1990, Sleeping Giant
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