For Keith, volunteering at FortWhyte Alive is a chance to meet people who love the great outdoors just as much as he does.
In fact, it was his thirst for nature knowledge that led him to FortWhyte Alive. From teaching wilderness skills to telling stories around the fire, volunteering has introduced him to new experiences and new people.
Keith’s love for connecting people with nature exemplifies what FortWhyte Alive does every day, and for that we are so grateful for his generosity.
We connected with Keith to see why he volunteers at FortWhyte Alive:
How long have you been volunteering at FortWhyte Alive?
I started as a volunteer in 1993. There was a time I had to stop for a while but four years ago l resumed being a volunteer.
What made you want to volunteer at FortWhyte Alive?
I was attracted to the Wilderness Survival School Program. My past experience as a Forester made me want to pass on my skills. lf it helped one student in a problem situation, it would be time well invested.
What do you love most about volunteering?
What l love most about volunteering particularly at FortWhyte is the range of knowledge that has been passed on to me by other volunteers and staff. The positive attitudes of both staff and volunteers that leaves me repudiated after l leave for home. But above all, the children and families that visit help me to see the outdoors in whole new ways.
"The value of being a volunteer is that you can bring your knowledge and assist people who are genuinely interested... Sharing those experiences with others only enhances your enjoyment of the outdoors."
What has been your favourite memory as a FortWhyte Alive volunteer?
The best memory was my first time as a storyteller when a little boy raced back to me unannounced and said to me, “THAT WAS A REALLY GREAT STORY,” and then caught up to his parents. I have to admit it is one of the greatest compliments I have received.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering?
The value of being a volunteer is that you can bring your knowledge and assist people who are genuinely interested. Many people who come to FortWhyte have never had a wilderness experience or are wanting to learn more about the outdoors. Sharing those experiences with others only enhances your enjoyment of the outdoors. As Art Linklater once said, “Kids ask the darndest questions. But so can adults. This is where the fun exists as well as the new learning.”