What has felt like a short summer is quickly approaching its end and so is the duration of time that the summer students have spent here at The Canadian Canoe Museum. Three other lucky ladies and I have had the opportunity to work at and within the Canoe Museum community this summer. From everyday tasks to specialized projects I must say that our time here was well spent and by far a blast! A typical day for us at the Museum would start by checking in, turning on all the televisions which play short films, opening the gift store and tidying up any little things out of place if needed. From there on who knew what the day would through at us. Some days it would consist of helping out the education faculty. Helping set up for programs such as soap stone or paddle carving or gathering camp equipment for the summer campers. We could be rearranging an entire room to accommodate 50 students, or 12, or be making crafts for education programs to come.
Other daily tasks that the Canoe Museum would toss in the direction of the summer students could consist of: preparation and set up for the artisan workshops that take place periodically throughout the year. Giving tours to those who book with the Museum. Sometimes they were large groups, other times they were small groups of only 5-6, but one thing they all had in common was how interesting they were to work with. Whether the group was from New Zealand or Brampton they all left us with a little bit of knowledge to add to our reservoir about the Museum.
There were two main projects that we as summer students had which we needed to complete on our own. These two projects were an artisan project, much like the workshops that run throughout the year, and a presentation on a canoe related topic of our choice to present to the volunteers. For the artisan projects 3 of us decided to carve a canoe paddle and one to hand stitch mittens. Between the daily tasks, these two projects took almost the entire summer to complete. Now finished we have some gorgeous cherry wood paddles, hand stitched mittens and four very informative and interesting presentations. Not only were these projects fun and interesting to do, we also learned a great deal about the history behind these crafts. How paddles used to be carved by hand before the use of electrical work or other machinery as well as hand stitching mittens or other clothing for that matter without the use of machinery. It took a fair bit of time and a lot of persistent work to complete our projects but now that the finished products are in our hands we can feel a sense of appreciation and pride in completing them on our own.
There were many other surprises thrown our way throughout the day and the life in the Canadian Canoe Museum some relaxing and fun, others chaotic but satisfying when all said and done. The amount of things one can do at the Canoe Museum is endless from events to tours to children’s activities there is something for everyone and having the opportunity to be employed here was amazing. I would recommend it to anyone. It’s unfortunate that our time here is coming to an end, but we would like to thank all the staff and volunteers within the museum and community that were involved in making our time here memorable. I know for a fact that I will be staying close by to continue to be a part of the Canoe Museum and the many fun opportunities it has to offer.