The Park People

Reid Lake campground managers

Years with NWT Parks: 16How they got involved:“We’ve been camping at the parks for as long as we’ve been in Yellowknife and thought it would be great to manage one of them for a summer. In 1997, the manager of Reid Lake at the time wasn’t doing too well, health-wise, and so we were asked to help out for half a season. We’ve been here ever since.”Why they love it:“It is like a big family here. Whether you’re here for the weekend or a whole season, the other campers will welcome you with open arms. We also have a lot of family activities: a small Canada Day parade where four-wheelers go around the site with flags, fireworks and a pancake breakfast on Labour Day weekend. Our visitors really make the campground special, we just make sure they are happy.”

There are few cities in Canada as close to the wilderness as Yellowknife. And summer gives Yellowknifers new energy to get outside and play in this wilderness. It’s when everyone leaves work early, packs the vehicle and hits the Ingraham Trail to visit one of the many lakes, parks and campgrounds we’re so lucky to have.

For those driving The Trail often, many use one of NWT Parks’ day-use or overnight campgrounds. Fred Henne, Prelude Lake and Reid Lake are also the main attractions for local and long-distance car campers wanting to boat, swim, fish or just relax by an open fire.

The campgrounds are managed and maintained by a collection of colourful characters you’ve probably met before, however briefly. Sometimes they bring you firewood, or simply check to make sure you’re safe and sound and enjoying yourself.

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So, as Yellowknifers tarp their boats and put their camping gear in storage for the winter, let’s meet some of the friendly folks who keep NWT Parks clean, fun and safe for everyone.

Bruce Davidson

Prelude Lake campground managerYears with NWT Parks: 18

How he got involved:

“I came North in the mid-90’s, helping build homes in Tuktoyaktuk and Behchoko, and I stayed at Fred Henne whenever I was in Yellowknife. When I decided to move to Yellowknife for good, I was put in touch with Gene Wasserman and David Ramsay. I guess they thought I would be a good campground manager because they both encouraged me to apply for an open position at Prelude Lake. It turns out that I got the job and now spend my summers out here.”

Why he loves it:

“I get to meet people from all over the world: Italy, Japan, Sri Lanka (where I lived at one time), everywhere. I love being a conduit for sharing Northern life with people who’ve never been here. One time a family was visiting from India and I woke them up in the middle of the night. When they looked up, there was this incredible aurora and they were in awe. Even though they were fast asleep, they thanked me for waking them up. Those are the special moments.”

Max Rossouw

GNWT Parks OfficerYears with NWT Parks: 2

How he got involved:

“I grew up and still live along the Ingraham Trail. My backyard is a lake and I know the area really well. After high school I enrolled at Selkirk College’s Castlegar campus to study environment and geomatics. I got a job with the tourism and parks department after graduating, and so far, it’s been a great experience, I’ve been really lucky to find work where I grew up. Not many people get to do that.”

Why he loves it:

“The people I meet are the best, and they come here from all over the world. My main job is to make sure everyone is safe, but I’m also a representative of the Northwest Territories in general. And because I know the area so well, I can talk about the history, the geography and the wildlife in the area. In many ways, I’m an interpretive guide as well as a safety officer. I love showing off what we have here.”

 

 

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