Verna Hare has been a volunteer at FortWhyte for 32 years. As a visitor, she remembers packing her four young children up to attend "Breakfast with the Birds" at 6 a.m. The wild rice pancakes, fried and served outdoors, followed by a day of ice fishing on Muir Lake, convinced her that FortWhyte was a very special place.
She started volunteering as a school program interpreter and guided walk leader when the Interpretive Centre was just built. She has seen the volunteer program develop, the programs grow and the number of staff and volunteer increase significantly. The training she received as a volunteer encouraged her to take additional courses being offered at Red River College and U of M. The challenge of moving beyond her personal comfort level and to learn something new is one of the reasons she likes to be a part of the volunteer program.
Verna is now retired, but she has uses employment experiences as a Social Worker, Reporter, etc for her volunteer roles. Things she has done over the years: Outdoor Survival instructor, Snowshoe and ski leader, school programs, guided walk interpreter, Info Desk attendant, raffle ticket seller, Greenhouse and Pond Gardener, Sodhouse Pioneer, voyageur canoe paddler, FortWhyte Farm worker, baking at the farm, Sodhouse Singer and the list goes on. Above all, Verna likes interacting with people and explaining all the opportunities available at FortWhyte Alive.
During the Fall, Verna is especially dedicated to Sunset Goose Flight Evenings. As an interpreter/rover, she helps visitors understand the goose migration ritual and ensures they feel welcome during the autumn evenings. Sunset Goose Flight evenings have been going on 23 years and 4,000 people are expected to enjoy the four weeks of family fun. For Verna, the sight of the flock of geese, the sound of the swish of their wings and the splash as they land on the lakes never grows old.
“I can honestly recommend FWA as a place to volunteer. The entire program is well planned and provides the necessary information to do the job well. The Volunteer Manager is always willing to help, encourage and answer questions and concerns. Staff and other Volunteers all provide information, share ideas, are friendly and cheerful.“
Thank you Verna, for your continued dedication to FortWhyte and the volunteer program.