Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 33

There is no doubt Chicoine appreciates her place in life. While working through contract jobs for five years with the MNRF and hoping for full-time employment, Chicoine also ran her hairdressing business (for 12 years overall before stopping to concentrate on her full-time career with the MNRF). She also raised two daughters and coached figure skating to youth. Her oldest daughter began competitive figure skating at the same time as well, leading to many mid-week trips back and forth from Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie. It was quite the balancing and juggling act to get through it all. Chicoine wouldn’t change a thing.

“It was hectic for a while,” Chicoine said. “I remember I was scared to switch careers and wasn’t sure if it was the right move because my business was successful. I have never looked back and don’t regret any decisions I made. It was hard at times managing my time between family, work and activities, but in the end it all worked out. As a single mom, I like the security I now have and all the benefits this organization has to offer. I think it’s very important to leave home in the morning to go to a job you like and be able to talk about how my work contributes to the sustainability of our natural resources. My work allows me to teach my kids how we protect the environment for future generations. My kids are also getting to experience some of what I had growing up with a passion for the outdoors. I think that is pretty cool.”

Chicoine has found it takes grit and determination to reach life goals. It comes down to having the right attitude towards the challenges in life.

“Nothing comes easy, and if you want something, you work for it,” she said. “Never give up on something you believe in. I like to learn and be challenged and I am always looking for an adventure. I always say, “Just because I’ve never done it - doesn’t mean I can’t do it!” I am not afraid to try new things, and like I said, even if I don’t succeed I will learn from it or try again.”

Family is everything to Chicoine. It is where the seeds of her outdoors passion were planted and lead her to take the journey she has. Chicoine’s mother, Berthe-Anne, died from a heart attack when she was 12. Her father, Jean Marc, was a logger and the inspiration for Chicoine’s love of the outdoors. He passed away from ALS two years ago. Chicoine grew up fishing, hunting and camping and learned plenty about the way of lakes and trails from her dad.

“Nothing comes easy, and if you want something, you work for it,”

"My kids are also getting to experience some of what I had growing up with a passion for the outdoors. I think that is pretty cool.”