Wild Northerner Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 81

in” moment.

“To see the smiles on the kid’s faces and feel their excitement that day made it clear to me I was going to be in for the long haul,” she said. “Connecting kids to nature is important and gives them opportunity to experience new things. In my 13 years, every year is different and every camper is different. It makes every moment special for all of us volunteering at the camp. We want kids to be kids at Camp Quality. Everyone is there for that reason. I work with compassionate people and it is a great experience each day.”

It’s not a difficult to find out why Quarrell gives her time for this cause.

“I’ve built a lot of meaningful relationships with campers and their families,” she said. “It’s a touching experience that lasts. Your payment is in smiles and laughter. No words can describe the good feeling it gives. I am who I am and I have no regrets. I’m proud of who I am. I’ve been shaped by a lot of good experiences with good people. It has given my life more meaning and more purpose. It drives me to do more.”

Quarrell works as a communications officer for Confederation College. Being in northern Ontario and living in Thunder Bay is her idea of paradise.

“It’s fantastic here,” she said. “I’m in a city, but working on a campus with lots of trees, so it’s like being in a park. I always feel connected to nature. I drive a few minutes out of town and I can do anything outdoors. It’s a good balance. My backyard backs on to a river. How beautiful is that? It’s a comfortable and inviting town.”

Camp Quality Canada features six overnight camps in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario for children affected by cancer between the ages of 4 and 14. The camps focus on kids building new skills like swimming and hiking, kayaking and storytelling, making friends and gaining memories to last a lifetime. There are more than 450 volunteers, including camp staff and medical practitioners who help out. Camp Quality Canada is a volunteer, non-profit, charitable organization that strives to improve the quality of life for children living with cancer through camps and year-round family support programs. Camp Quality Canada has been around since 1988.