“It is within the family that most of us learn our fundamental values. Concepts of community, philanthropy and volunteering are handed down from one generation to the next. Within our family units, we learn how to become citizens as well as individuals.”
- from Volunteer Canada - Family volunteering: A thread to connect and instill values
Jane Zoutman and Barry Warrack have been bringing their family to FortWhyte to explore nature for over 30 years. Their children, Sarah and Christopher, have attended school programs and were enrolled in summer and winter day camps. Wanting to contribute to the organization, Jane started volunteering as a FortWhyte School Program Leader in 1998. She offers her time each week leading groups of children on walks or snowshoe hikes through the forest and marshes and teaching them about nature, history, and sustainable living. Jane donates not only her interpretive skills, she designs and sews program bags for the education team, and mends winter clothing that FWA keeps on hand for those needing warm wear for outdoor programs.
Volunteering offers each family member an opportunity to develop new skills, and apply existing knowledge. Barry started volunteering at the Fall Goose Flights because he enjoys interacting with the people who come to enjoy the geese. You will see Jane and Barry working together in the gardens, maintaining the water ponds, and installing backyard wood duck boxes in the spring. Barry also volunteers as a Sod House Singer. Their daughter Sarah began volunteering as a camp counsellor after “graduating” as a camper, which helped her get into the Faculty of Education and later to obtain a teaching job. Sarah has also volunteered at FortWhyte Farms in the youth program, which led to her employment as a Crew Leader. She is currently studying to prepare for her Master’s degree, and works at the Buffalo Stone Café during special events. Their son Chris is the “back-up” volunteer who steps in at the last minute when that extra pair of hands is needed.
The Zoutman/Warrack family have individually found their way to give back to the community. Volunteering at FortWhyte has allowed each family member to enjoy meaningful time with each other, while doing something they care about and building collective FortWhyte memories to be retold again and again. No doubt, granddaughter Adriana will be the next generation to explore FortWhyte Alive and make her own stories.
Volunteeer Program Sponsor:
For seasonal volunteer opportunities, please check our volunteer page and attend the Volunteer Information Session scheduled for August 12th at 7:00 pm. Contact 204.989.8355 (x213) to register.