Allison Keen - "Little Bear"

Core Contribution: "Gentle Caring"

A camper is upset, the staff team is tired and needs a boost of energy late in a program, her crew needs an injection of enthusiasm to really immerse themselves in the first activity of the day, someone needs to take the initiative to lead a dynamic song. Whatever the need, Allison was there with wisdom and experience to strengthen the relationships, improve the program flow, and make sure the personal touch was a part of everything that happened.

Leadership Contributions: 1989 - ongoing

Little Bear attended the very first Sunship Earth campin 1989 and went on to lead in the program for six summers, including one as program coordinator. She also worked for four years in both the summer day program and Mysterious Encounters.

Personal Reflection

The AEC defined my career path. Because I have such wonderful memories of the summers I spent tromping through the woods at the Centre and Camp Mockingee, working at the AEC taught me to follow my heart and my passion in my work. This did, however, take me a little while to figure out. After studying Recreation Management and Biology in undergrad, I thought I should become a lawyer. So, I spent three years in law school, one year articling, and a lot of money to get there. Three weeks after I was called to the Bar, I was back doing environmental education! I now coordinate the Canada Revenue Agency’s Sustainable Development Program in the Atlantic Region.

One of my favourite quotes is from an interview of David Suzuki (Globe and Mail article, John Allemang, Sept. 6, 2008). I use this quote as the last slide in the PowerPoint presentations that I do explaining the Agency’s Sustainable Development Program. In September 2008, I did a presentation to all of the Directors in the Atlantic Region. I was extremely nervous. These people had all been working at the CRA for years and years; I’d only been at the Agency for three months, and here I was telling them what they should be doing… Well, where do you think you could find me twenty minutes before the presentation? In the parking lot collecting sticks, so that I could do Haathi’s demonstration!