In the past living in other cities, I’ve been away from my friends and community for sometimes months at a time. And often times it would take quite a bit of effort to “get back in,” into those groups. After the Woods Dream Job stealing me away from my town for 5 months, I have to be honest and say I was a little apprehensive coming back. “Would people remember me? Did they miss me? What did I miss?”
Into the Woods with Melba, was what I called my experience before I became a Woods Explorer with Woods Canada. I’ve been trying to figure out how to express who I am and what I do, and I realized that the best way to give you a glimpse of that is to show you what I showed Woods Canada. So… are you ready to go Into the Woods with Melba? (And Adam, he’ll be around as well.
Into the Woods
When it was announced that Adam and I made it to the Top 10 applicants for theWoods Canada Dream Job position, we were asked to prepare a presentation. This had NO guidelines. It was an opportunity for the applicants to showcase what made them right for a job. It was the most important interview of my life. There were 3800 applicants, and we made it to Top 10. The application video was only just the beginning. The pressure and competition that followed was the true test.
I had less than to prepare this “presentation” and I was in Fort Mcmurray and Adam was in Calgary. I decided that in order to show how right for the job we were, we created the idea that we already explored the TransCanada Trail and this is what happened.
I had posted on my Facebook calling all my theatre friends: “is anyone available to help me film some stuff that I can’t talk about? Please message me ASAP.” We were instructed through the Dream Job application that we were not to disclose that we had been selected and it could result in disqualification if we did.
I had such an overwhelming response from my community to help me create this presentation. I wasn’t exactly sure at first what I wanted to do but as I started filming it came together.
Woods Canada Top 10
As we stood in front of the other Top 10 applicants, who were guides, photographers, world class professionals I opened with.
“Adam and I already crossed the Trans Canada Trail and here are the stories of who we met and what we did…”
(These events did not actually occur on the trail as Woods Explorers, they were merely designed as a presentation to impress the interviewers for the Woods Canada Dream Job position.)
Why are we pointing??? I convinced my friends to point in the photos to show our potential for branding 🙂
Pointing at Kayaks
Pointing at Mountains
I know some of those videos are pretty rough but in a short amount of time we were able to turn around people and resources to create that presentation which may have ultimately been the reason why were selected in the end! I truly believe it’s the stories one tells that can enrich an experience. Yes, perhaps a gorgeous photo will catch your eye but in the end its the story that catches your heart. Never be afraid to try something new, yeah you might suck at it at first, but who cares. It’s the attempt that is most admirable and marks true success.
I have always been known as someone who loves to build with their hands. At at early age you would always find me making things and building things. I believe that there are many ways to measure the awesomeness of a human being, but the most important form of measurement is indicated by the desire to pursue personal growth.
Thomas Steinhart is the most charismatic and genuine and friendly distillery master I have ever met.
We ended up spending nearly 2 hours here just sharing stories and jokes. I think that’s the best part about any business… is that the owners don’t make it seem like a business but rather a friendly setting where everyone is at home having a drink with some friends.
Thomas was not only great at conversation but he took the time to show us his stills and you can feel and easily tell that this man has a passion for his profession. Actually, he used to be an engineer and decided to pursue distilling just like his father and his father’s father.
We ended up ordering 6 bottles of the most delicious and aromatic vodka’s and gin from him. However it won’t be the last time we give Steinart Distillery a call. Even though I live in Alberta his family like demeanour and high quality liquors will bring as back for many years to come.
PLUS! He’s uber professional and shipped our order very fast! I mean FAST!!!
Had an awesome experience with Suroit Advenures! Yann and Catherine are not only amazing kiteboarding instructors but when we arrived and the weather wasn’t conducive to kiteboarding they offered to take us on a tour around ile de coudres and showed us all the local spots for great local baked goods and ciders.
Getting ready to fly the kite.
Then in the afternoon the wind picked up and Yann spent the afternoon giving us such a great lesson! Being a long time instructor myself I really appreciate an instructor that uses creative ways to teach and accommodates to the skill level of the student! Yann and Catherine are multilingual too. If you want a really personal experience not only on the water but with the people of ile de coudres then I would definitely recommend going to Suroit Adventures ! Thank you so much I think we found a new sport to get addicted to!
Melba & Adam
For more information about lessons contact Suroit Aventures on Facebook.
Beware the more beautiful the exterior – the more terrible the PR skills on the interior.
Any paddler arriving at the canoeing capital of Canada would be instantly excited to pass the welcome signs of Atikokan. We were excited as any other to begin our trip and upon seeing the beautiful Canoe Canada building we thought wow! Then it changed.
My spouse entered first to let the outfitter know that we arrived and even though we weren’t expected to pick up the rentals until tomorrow we wanted to pick up some maps and local information on fishing and camping so we could prepare for our 5 day trip.
“I don’t know what you want from me I’m not here to plan your trip!”
I was outside taking photos of the beautiful building and walked in maybe 3-5 minutes after my partner entered only to find Jim Clark aggressively yelling at Adam saying “I’m an outfitter it’s not my job – I don’t know what you want from me I’m not here to plan your trip!.”
Adam’s a happy go lucky guy so I was beyond surprised to walk into a conversation like that and asked what was the reason behind the hostility and looking at Adam wondering what he might have said to Jim. Apparently Adam just told him he was here to check in and was asking about fishing when Jim lashed out.
Our booking was arranged by a third party outdoor company and Jim was angry because people normally booked 5 months in advance but we booked only a couple weeks in advance. I changed the subject and proceeded to direct the conversation back to highlighting areas of the Quetico area, as Jim was obviously very experienced and knowledgeable.
He essentially spent the better part of 30 minutes telling us we didn’t know what we were doing (without any idea who were we’re as paddlers or even humans) and condescendingly gave us a quick review of a part of the area with the frequent jab of
“well you could go here because the fishing is great but no you probably shouldn’t because you can’t handle it and if you end up crying – so you should just go this route.” – Jim Clark
He belittled us and was aggressive and rude. This was the worst and more unprofessional human encounter we have ever experienced. It does not matter how experienced you are – you do NOT treat people the way Jim treated us. We are travelling as outdoor ambassadors and our goal is to share the Canadian Experience with all Canadians and connect with the community.
Our goal is to be inspired and inspirational and thankfully Atikokan has such redeeming qualities as a compassionate town that we have been telling everyone to come to the town to paddle but at all costs avoid CANOE CANADA.(obviously judge for yourself.)
There are PLENTY of other outfitters that charge less and treat you like a person. We spoke to a couple paddlers in their 60’s and they also told us of their past experiences with Canoe Canada as being unpleasant so even though we thought perhaps Jim was having a bad day, that benefit of the doubt was washed away by their account of their experiences.