A rare co-op experience

We consider ourselves lucky to be a part of a likeminded community – one that understands the importance of preserving these 900+ acres and educating our community on the importance access to nature plays in our lives. A huge part of that involves inspiring and educating the next generation of environmental conservationists. All of the hard work we do here at rare would mean nothing without the leaders of tomorrow to carry on our passion. Providing opportunities for our community, especially our youth, to connect with nature and become inspired by it is incredibly vital to ensuring rare, and other places like it, are here for future generations.

At the heart of this inspiration we have our Every Child Outdoors (ECO) environmental program, where we provide inspiring programs and activities for youth that foster an inquisitive, explorative mind. In addition to ECO, an important part of our program also includes welcoming co-op students and interns from local high schools and post-secondary institutions. It is how some of our staff first got introduced to rare. It is also how Ida Harkness got involved.

Ida was with us for a few hours a week for four months from Southwood Secondary School. When she left us last week she left a letter about all that she had learned during her time here. We thought we would share her kind words and how important her time here was. Thanks for helping out, Ida – it’s been fantastic!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at rare. You were all apart of my extraordinary co-op experience and I cannot thank you enough. I adored every moment of it and marvel in the fact that I essentially had the opportunity to work directly with the greater majority of you all. I appreciate all the patience and time you put into making my co-op experience worth while. Thank you for everything – it will not be forgotten. 

Ultimately I received a very diverse and well rounded experience due to the varying tasks and outings I took with various people. I have learned essentially double or triple what I expected, and that knowledge isn’t just restricted to concepts connecting to the environment and the natural world.

I have learned I cannot be a carpenter because I lack the ability to use a hammer – Carleigh and John can vouch for that.

I have learned that planting trees in the pouring rain is significantly more fun.

From working on the ebird excel sheet for Jenna I have learned a lot about excel, but also the names of a lot of birds, not necessarily what they look like, but I mean I am half way there. I just need to run through the ebird list to match the name with the bird – I am bound to get it right at some point.

With Kayla we saw a fawn and its mother, ironically later that same day we were tying strings onto soap bags to deter these same creatures.

I have learned that gardening is the original bogo – get dirt under your fingernails and a sweet tan.

I think I should seriously consider macro photography – my identification pictures for the numerous skippers we found were really quite impressive. Allie I’d say we were a pretty good team – together we got that Artic Skipper.

“There is lot of snakes that roam through this area, there is this really cool one that almost seems like a tropical snake, its called the Smooth Green snake, and I have seen them around here before but not for a few years now……wow there it is!” Well just if everything in life worked that way, say it and it appears. In hindsight Gerrit, I think you should have bought a lottery ticket that day – had the potential to work out in your favour.

Did we count more salamanders or rip more gloves? Either way it was quite an adventure with you, Emily.

While printing thank you cards for the barn dance for Cheyanne, I sort of temporarily broke the printer, but a learning point for us all – this strange new beastly rental printer is more mysterious than anticipated.

After a couple of hours of shredding paper for Erika, nothing went awry until we needed to find a refill bag. How many people does it take to find a blue refill bag in the office? Answer to be determined, still have not found any.

Reflecting on this experience has brought an unexplainable amount of joy to me, it was an absolutely amazing experience and I am so lucky to have shared it with as equally amazing people. I truly cannot express my thanks, gratitude and appreciation enough. rare has treated me well. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, one last time for everything – I genuinely and thoroughly enjoyed my time with the rare team. It most definitely will not be forgotten.  Thank you.

– Ida

One Comment Add yours

  1. Joy Roberts says:

    LOL This is great!!


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