Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024
International Youth Day 2021 - Parks Blog

Happy International Youth Day!

Students and young people are the lifeblood of our parks: we couldn’t do without them!

These are just some outstanding students and young people from across the province:

Cassandra Ziegler

Cassandra teaches campers how to be the best campers they can be at Sibbald Point Provincial Park. Cassandra is a great team player and the Learn to Camp program would not be complete without her.

Katya Arifin

This is Katya’s second year with Ontario Parks and her first as a gate attendant at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. Katya spends her days providing visitors with excellent customer service and sharing her vast knowledge of our provincial park system.

Fiona Marshall-young

Fiona is currently in her first year as a gate attendant at Killbear Provincial Park. Fiona loves welcoming visitors to the park and in her spare time she enjoys cycling and going to the beach.

Kyle Loucks

Since 2018, Kyle Loucks has been a gate attendant at Port Burwell Provincial Park. This year, Kyle decided to join the maintenance and cleaning team, where his pride in his work continues to shine. Kyle is meticulous in any job he is assigned and is a role model for the rest of the staff.

Kirsten Schellenberger

This is Kirsten’s first year working for Ontario Parks. Kirsten has been an enthusiastic gate attendant at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park and she likes to share what she has learned about the park with visitors.


Gillian works enthusiastically to help keep Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park in excellent shape. In this photo, she is helping fill in landslides along the road caused by a torrential downpour.

Olivia Gaetz

Olivia is the department leader for the Discovery program at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park. This is her third year at the park and she also worked at the gate and as a ranger before joining the program team. She spends her days teaching visitors about nature and wildlife, and organizing activities for families and children to connect with the environment. Next time you visit Six Mile Lake, stop in and say hello!

Hayleigh Hayes-Sheen

In her first year at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park, Hayleigh has proven to be a hard-working and knowledgeable Discovery Ranger. She helps visitors experience the park and is always willing to help them find their favorite hiking trails or answer questions.

Mackenzie Beaulac

As a first-year gate attendant at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park, Mackenzie is a team player and always willing to help her co-workers. She has been great helping visitors with canoe rentals and maintaining a positive office atmosphere.

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Lindsay North

Lindsay is in her fourth season at Ontario Parks. As a park ambassador, she spends her days teaching visitors new camping skills, providing information about the park, and creating fun and educational Instagram Reels for Learn to Camp. She is excited to share her love of Ontario parks and camping with others at Earl Rowe Provincial Park!

Jessica Cummins

Jessica is in her second year as a maintenance student and worked two years prior with the Friends of Bon Echo. She has gone above and beyond this season by being a great leader to the new staff and her willingness to help others is greatly appreciated.

Tyrone Jones

Tyrone has had an excellent transition to the Killbear Provincial Park Discovery team, after working his first season as a gate attendant. He loves educating visitors about the history of the area and is always eager to explore the park.

Sadie Shelley

Sadie Shelly is a second-year gate attendant at Port Burwell Provincial Park. Sadie’s extensive knowledge of the local area, coupled with her friendly personality and unwavering positive attitude, make her a fantastic addition to our team. She spends her days helping customers, tending the ice cream, and making sure her co-workers have everything they need to do her job!

Julia Slabón

Julia has been a park ranger at Komoka Provincial Park for the past three summers. No matter what she is working on, Julia leads by example by operating efficiently and safely to meet the needs of our visitors. She’s always coming up with innovative ways to complete tasks along our vast trail system, like repurposing ratchet straps as a harness to transport 4×4 vehicles in the woods or using a 65-liter backpack to transport materials from the boardwalk to the deepest part of the park. Julia’s bright personality, initiative and dedication make her an essential member of the Komoka team.

Shaunessy Kumka

This is Shaunessy’s first year on the Discovery program after working two seasons as a bouncer at Killbear Provincial Park. He is always open to trying new things and sparks joy in everyone he talks to.

Tiana Shank

Tianna has worked with Ontario Parks for four seasons in gate, shop and maintenance positions, and this is her first season at Driftwood. Her kindness and friendly demeanor create a welcoming environment for both staff and park visitors. She is always willing to help in any way she can!

Marie Behnke

In her first year as a gate attendant at Bon Echo Provincial Park, Marie has exemplified the excellent level of customer service that Ontario Parks is known for. Her genuine enthusiasm for helping others experience and explore the beautiful Bon Echo shines through every interaction.

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Nicole Butzik

Nicole is in her first season as a Learn to Camp Park Ambassador for Killbear Provincial Park. She likes to educate visitors during pop-up guided walks.

Jillian McCormack

Jillian is a Discovery Ranger at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park and this is her first season with us. Jillian enjoys sharing her love of geology with park visitors. She rocks!


Victoria is a first-year gate attendant at Earl Rowe Provincial Park. We can always count on her to have a big smile on her face when visitors arrive at the park. She greets everyone with a friendly and positive attitude. We are very lucky to have such an amazing door attendant!

Hannah Bruyns

This is Hannah’s third year as a maintenance worker at Killbear Provincial Park. Her positive attitude and laughter are contagious among her peers. Hannah is excited to come to work every day, no matter what the task is.

The West Gate Team

Alysa, Kyler, Natalie, Olivia G, Olivia B

Last but not least, this amazing group of young door attendants display exceptional customer service talents while working in one of the busiest offices in Algonquin Provincial Park.

Natalie Artymko is our Team Leader at this site and brings one year of experience as a Campground Gate Attendant at the Lake of Two Rivers Permit Office on Highway 60. Natalie always goes above and beyond when it comes to providing excellent customer service and make sure park visitors are cared for. with accurate information. Natalie can be described as the glue that holds the West Gate team together!

Alysa Cortes brings unique skills and experience to West Gate this season. Previously, Alysa worked with Algonquin Outfitters at the Opeongo Lake location and was also a booking agent. Combining her technical computer skills and her knowledge of the Algonquin field, Alysa has proven to be an essential part of the West Gate team!

Olivia Bolger She may be new to Algonquin, but she’s not new to Ontario Parks! A former gate attendant at Fitzroy Provincial Park, she has perfectly demonstrated the skills and knowledge she has to make herself extremely valuable to West Gate. Plus, Olivia brings lifesaving skills to the team with her experiences as a lifeguard!

Olivia Gerelus is another new gate attendant at West Gate and brings years of service experience, as well as completing a Bachelor of Education from Trent University. Olivia brings an excellent work ethic and offers some of the best customer service in the park!

Kyler Thompson is our latest addition to the West Gate team. A Huntsville local, Kyler has spent years working in his family business doing manual labor. Additionally, Kyler’s educational experiences provided him with insights into the policing foundations of Sir Sandford Fleming College, which he hopes to use to further his career at Ontario Parks. Maybe one day we’ll see him as a park guardian!

Without the “Best Gate” team, Algonquin Provincial Park would not be the same. Thank you, West Gate team!

A big thank you to all the student and youth staff who make our parks such special places to work and visit!