Some of you know me as Collete. Others may know me as the ‘Drill Sergeant.’ Here is my story.
I am an 18 year old person of the female persuasion, embarking on a journey into a male orientated business. No, I am not a radical feminist trying to liberate the world, but I am a stubborn daughter who knows what she wants out of life. As far as I’m concerned, choosing guide outfitting as a career is the best decision I could ever make. Having to live up to my life expectations forces me to believe in that fact (If I’m going to work my life time, then I’m going to have fun doing it.) Unfortunately not everything in life reads as easily as a cliche. Let me explain.
-Spend two weeks away from everything familiar, alone and without help?…I can’t.
Yet, once I met the staff, those two weeks flew by. Before I knew it, I was saying my heart felt goodbyes.
-You want me to know all these rules and procedures immediately? I can’t.
Well, they all seem like common sense, so consider it done.
-It’s filled with groceries and now I’m expected to lift this 65 pound box onto the horse? I can’t, but with my partners help, we did so without difficulty.
-Now you expect me to remember that 3/4 diamond hitch? I can’t.
A thoughtless thought as I tie the last knot.
-I am to run that noisy chainsaw? I can’t.
The before and after of a chainsaw safety program. Give me another log.
-You want me to intentionally spook this 1,500 pound beast (a horse:) with a tarp as my only shield? I cant.
But calming words spoken softly soon allowed me to completely wrap her body in that shield.
-HORSE SHOEING!.. I can’t.
Following the steps allows anyone to be a successful farrier.
-You can’t be serious, cook?…I can’t.
This remains as one of life’s mysteries.
-find the horses and chase them in bareback?..I can’t
(next day) Can I go?…
-Question: how do you convince people to listen to and respect a young girl?…
-Answer: the only person I had trouble convincing was myself.
The experienced guides of Chilcotin Holidays taught me how to say “I can,” and now I’m ready to live my life in the work force. The only problem now, is that the season is over and I’m expected to leave..I can’t.
Colette, Kamloops British Columbia