Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Today’s post comes from Kathleen Boston, discovery leader at Pancake Bay Provincial Park.

Three years ago, I applied to spend the summer working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Fortunately, I was chosen to work as a door attendant during my first year. In my second year I moved to the maintenance department and now, in my third year, I am part of the Discovery Program team.

Working each booth at Pancake Bay has taught me a lot about the park. I am now familiar with the different aspects of working in a provincial park. Before starting here I didn’t know how much I would get out of this job. Three years later I am very grateful for the opportunities it has given me.

Hello, welcome to Pancake Bay.

Working as a gate attendant my first year was a great way to learn about the park and get a feel for what Pancake Bay is all about.

Everyone who enters must go through the gate before continuing through the park. This makes it a great place to meet people and hear their stories.

It’s a lot of talking to people, giving directions, selling, and most importantly, listening. One of my favorite parts of being a door attendant was meeting people from all over Ontario, Canada, and even different countries around the world. They all come with fascinating stories to tell.

At the end of the summer I decided it was time to change positions. The next summer I decided that what I would like to try was maintenance and I am glad I chose it.

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During the summer of 2018, I discovered that being a maintenance worker was the right fit for me! You can be outside all day, every day, and you’re always doing something. I loved that about work.

As a maintenance student, I worked on several different projects around the park. My duties include cleaning comfort stations and toilets, painting buildings, mowing grass, making campfires, and operating different types of tools and vehicles, including our 1 ton truck!

The maintenance required a lot of work but was also a lot of fun. I liked it so much that I ended up staying and working as a manual laborer all fall, where I got to see even more of what goes on behind the scenes of Pancake Bay.

A small perk of working in the fall was seeing how beautiful the park was decorated in fall colors! I learned what it takes to close the park for the season, which was interesting to me. A lot of work goes into ensuring we are ready for the winter season.

Pancake Bay landscape during the fall season.Fall Colors in Pancake Bay

At the end of the season I decided, once again, that I wanted to try something else. So I signed up to work on the Discovery Program the following year.

Adventure all day, every day.

Switching to Discovery was a change, but a big one. Since I started working at Pancake Bay, a part of me always wanted to be part of the Discovery team. I used to be a camp counselor and always loved working with kids. This year that dream came true!

Being a part of Discovery gives you many opportunities to meet customers, answer questions, entertain visitors, and best of all, the opportunity to be very creative!

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As part of the Discovery team, you must be organized and always planning. As a future event planner, I love planning events, thinking and preparing all the little details, and of course, participating in the activities! It was as if the position was made for me!

My favorite part about being on the discovery team at Pancake Bay is that I get to help plan, execute and participate in the adventure days! This is our biggest weekend here with tons of games, activities, and even a parade!

Group photo of staff dressed for days of adventure.Adventure Days group photo

What comes next?

Working at Pancake has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have made some lifelong friends who I can make memories with every day. I am so grateful to have experienced all the different student positions each year.

I wonder which department will be next!

Do you want to join us for the 2023 season? Applications are now open!