Sunday, April 12, 2015


Now that we've filled you all in on where we live, it's probably a good time to tell you what we actually do here - our positions as Park Facility Operators (PFOs). 

If you are late to the party, Derek and I are the new Park Managers of Fintry Provincial Park. This is our 6th year working at a campground for the spring, summer and fall - our 5th with BC Parks - government owned parks and campgrounds within the province of British Columbia. 

For all of our Americans followers - these parks are similar to your State Parks. The difference however is that ours are not managed by Rangers with volunteer camp hosts as yours are. BC has Rangers but their territory is very large - overseeing many Provincial Parks. The actual parks are managed and maintained by PFOs - a paid position - we do have volunteer camp hosts at the larger parks with the responsibilities of answering questions/concerns and selling firewood and/or ice. 

In the past, Derek and I have worked at smaller Parks - those requiring only two employees - the two of us. We liked having to just put up with each other as colleagues. We were two years each at Skihist and Gold Pan Provincial Parks and Kentucky-Alleyne.

That was good but we realized that we could find parks with accommodation and an increase in wage if we looked for larger ones. At Fintry we have found those things with the Manager position but with more work and responsibilities (of course!) - but we also will have four employees at the height of summer. We are happy that we made the change.

There are many facets to our positions which is one of the things that appeals to us. It's multi tasking at it's finest. Everyday we are cleaning, maintaining, landscaping, painting, assisting/talking to campers, enforcing rules, security, managing the staff, accounting, inspecting, documenting and so on. It's rarely dull. Interestingly, one of my favourite jobs as a PFO is raking the gravel sites. I've spent hundreds (maybe thousands now) of hours and walked many miles doing it and don't mind at all. Derek on the other hand prefers the lawn mowing and weed whacking. 

And that's why this job works for us - we each have skills and experiences that suit different parts of the job and we each have our task preferences. Together we get all the jobs done - or can figure them out anyway. 

It's not easy - and some days are down right frustrating but that's with most jobs - right?! Overall, we love that we can work together, have Cassia with us and work physically in a beautiful place. I'm sure I've talked about this before in another post. But it's as true as much now as it ever was. 

We've loved all the parks we have been at for different reasons - but most had a 50 - 50 of good to bad. Here at Fintry we feel that we have reached the height of good. We hope this is the first of many years as the Park Mangers.

Hmmm - well I have gone on tonight haven't I! 

Let's get to some pictures......

Our new uniforms. Nice jackets - perfect for the temperatures right now but cumbersome to work in - we can't wait until it is shirt and short time!

Derek in the distance blowing the sites. The first thing we do to clean the campground up is to blow the roads and sites - which cleans up much of the needles and cones. Then we just need to fine tune with rakes. It took us one day to go around and clean out the fire pits.

In total we took out about 10 truck loads of large fir and pine limbs. More then in the past but they had a huge wind storm here through the winter that took down a lot of branches. 

A nice clean site. Sorry - I forgot to take a 'before' shot.

Cassia is laughing because I was telling her to 'just hold on' so I could take a picture but she was losing hold of the tree.

The Wood Clan tree hugger!

Here's Britt our first employee. She's a huge help - we are so happy to have her with us - it's her 6th year at Fintry. 

Cleaning the eavestrough on the main shower building.

If you are wondering what Cassia does while we are both working in the morning - this is it. Actually, she does all sorts of things - often she spends the time outside of the truck - riding her bike, helping us, running around - or inside - drawing, playing with toys she's brought with her, games on the ipad or watching her dvd. 

Big points for you if you saw that she has a banana tree on the left!

Derek went all out with the roof cleaning.

Weed picking. Actually not a job I mind in the cooler temperatures - a killer in the summer heat though. Thankfully Cassia still thinks that pulling weeds is fun.

Ahhh - the glamour jobs. Derek and I washed all the garbage and recycling containers together. Nice to start with fresh....

A new Marmento! Lots of Marmots around here. 

It's all work but some of it is lots of fun! A few days ago we took the Bad Boy - ha! - our souped up camo golf cart - to see what it could do with our steep trail.

Not my favourite thing to do but I was brave!

At the top we walked the rest of the way to the waterfall - I great view of the historic buildings and neighbourhood below.

Ok - so we sort of took the easy route to get to the falls. Just how many times can you climb the 400 steps anyway - we need a break now and then.

The falls are going strong.

Cassia within the balsam arrowroot.

A picture for all you flower lovers out there - nice to see the bees.

Coming back down. I opted to walk this part - hey - someone had to take the picture! It's not near as nerve wracking from this angle.

Monday morning Britt and I got our recycling center organized in the compound. The pieces were scattered around we just had to put them in place. We sort our own beverage bottles and when we reach 25 - 30 bags the depot comes to collect them.

I've written a few times over the years about our position as PFO's - here they are:

PFOs at BCP   Sept. 2011

Welcome to Our Office  April 2012

A Day in the Life of a Park Facility Operator   Sept. 2012 A good post to really get an idea about how our days go.

Two Months Later  June 2013

Our Summer Job  April 2014

A Day in our Life   June 2014

So, there you have it.

Now that the Easter Long Weekend is behind us, we are working towards continuing to clean the park to be ready for the kick off of the camping season - the May Long Weekend. Our next big task is staining all the tops of the 100 picnic tables. Phew.



  1. What a great run-down on your daily activities...job satisfaction shinning through clearly..happy birthday to grandson in Canberra may share it with her..13th April - he just turned 15... (the know it all age..LOL)

    1. Thanks Leslie! Cas's BD isn't until May 28th - not too far away but not right now. Ha! The 'know it all age' - don't we know it - I still remember what I was like at the 'know it all age'! Boy ,does time ever fix that!

  2. What a beautiful place and clearly a great family job. Love it

    1. BC is a beautiful province and is filled with many great parks - we're just happy to be at one of them!

  3. Beautiful looking spot. No pics of the workshop?

    1. No workshop Kevin although we may be getting a garage for our equipment - blower, weed whacker, lawn mower and golf cart. We don't really fix anything here other than small stuff. From what I've seen and read on your posts over the last few summers - I definitely think you guys do more fixing!

  4. I'm so happy for y'all having found your dream job! It is a beautiful place to live and work!

    1. Thanks Teri! Want a hosting job in the future? It's not Texas but it will do!

  5. So happy for you, what a beautiful park to call home.

  6. Love the shot of Cassia with the Balsam Arrowroot, can't believe they are blooming already. I heard that spring was early. Will be there soon to see for ourselves.

    Did they leave you a list of to do's or do you have ti figure it our on your own?

    1. Are they early Contessa?! They are everywhere - although they just started blooming in the last week or so. Yup - you'll be home before you know it I've been watching your progress.

      We work for a Contractor - our employers. Although we know what needs to be done in a park generally - what our employers want from us and what the park needs is new. That's what we have been learning over the last few weeks. Once we are up to speed on all of that we make the lists....

  7. Great post and as you know we love your enthusiasm for your beloved new home!!!
    Nice to see you happy while you work !!

    1. No sense being miserable however, you know as well as we do it's not all sunshine and roses in this position! ;)

  8. I wish I was Cassia as a little tree hugger ever!! So happy for ever follow ever, you rock!!!

    1. We are thrilled that we can give her this type of upbringing and work hard to maintain it - she is so worth it! Always to see that you are following along and commenting Cj! It means a lot!

  9. Sounds like the perfect job for youI know you will enjoy it and have fun too.

  10. Looks like a great place to pitch our tent!

  11. Nancy and I stayed at Nairn Falls PP, seemed small compared to Fintry, but it was a really nice park due to the campsite locations, falls and river. We had no showers so we drove into Pemberton and used the Community Center shower, I think they charged $7 for the 2 of us to shower. The park staff raked the sites and used the blowers on the streets; I thought to be a waste of time, pine needles sticks have a place in the woods, eh Woods. The place looked overly sterile they had raked it so much, they explained it was part of the job and I guess easier than picking up the trash people leave on the ground. You can change that when you become the Provincial Park directors! People throwing cigarette butts and trash on the ground would be one of my worst offenders, I'd love to make targets out of them, eh! I know your boss may be reading this, but he/she isn't my boss, eh!

    Break out the fishing poles and get yourself some tasty food to last throughout the year and fish can be canned. Now, what kind of fish are in your lake and river? Rainbow, brook and lake trout are common, as are kokanee, carp, whitefish, perch, burbot and bass. I'd scratch the carp and go for Brook, Rainbow and Lake Trout...yummy, especially if you smoke them. So what are you waiting for...lets go!

    Your Arrow plant is amazing, I'm sure you can find some uses for it. The Native Americans ate nearly every part of it at various times of the year. It was used in an assortment of ways as a pain reliever, and to treat colds, burns, wounds, insect bites and swelling and flower arrangements for that special someone saying I love you ;)

    Have a great week, in the Woods!

    1. Hi B and N! Ya - Derek has been to Nairn Falls. Nice that we have showers but it also costs $32 for one night here. Well, we do rake and make it look nice and neat. I don't know that it is sterile LOL we do leave the natural stuff between the sites. Funny, I really had to think about what you said about sterile. It is part of our job!

      I could write a whole post about how dirty people are but try not to dwell on it - it's a part of the job. I just don't expect anything from anyone and then I'm not disappointed. I'd hate to actually think about how many cig butts and little bits we call them that I have picked up over the years. I want to start a petition to ban those little wrappers around drinking box straws!!!!!

      Hmmm - we'll we don't fish. Last years park would have been the place but it just isn't us. We're more for seafood! Yes, arrowroot is an amazing plant!

  12. Wow, the place looks great already. Looks like you guys have found the spot! Have fun this summer.

    1. Ha! And were just getting started. Actually, Loop 1 is looking good and the only one open. Still loops 2 and 3 to get cleaned up - 1/2 of the park.

  13. So interesting - sounds like a fun job - especially like that you three can spend the days together! Have fun!
    Connie in PA

  14. Looks so nice!! And clean too!! If I was coming to Canada, I know where I would be camping!! Glad its working out for you! Take care of yourselves!


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