This time of year, the staff are in their rhythm (they run the place). They take care of us and each other—they are the soul of Tuscarora. We have grown to love each one of them—let me introduce them to you.
Anna is the one who quietly comes in after work hours at a hectic moment and fillis in. She senses when we need her, she steps up, she maintains the institutional memory for cleanliness…she’s in her 4th summer here, and it is hard to imagine summer at Tuscarora without her calm presence and hand in everything.
Kate is the one who remembers birthdays, who notices when someone is working too hard, who gets genuinely excited about creating a dessert that is well received. Her caring spirit is contageous and certainly felt by all of us—including Andy and me.
Meet Chadd (in the back—teaching a family of visitors how to fish). When I asked Chadd at the beginning of the summer how it was going he said—“this job suits me.” It does. He’s a good guy.
Amy goes to St. Olaf college and she comes from Grand Marais. Need I say more? Amy is quietly is in tune with the moods of the staff . She gently finds ways to urge us to contine to improve our ecological practices here—compost, paper recycling systems, cloth napkins, etc. We love her cheerful enthusiasm for the geeky things that we do around here—heads up 7 up, treasure hunts, etc.
It’s Noah’s 5th year on the Gunflint Trail—towing on Saganaga. At Tuscarora we have been proud to have him for 3 of those years. as a senior staff member, he knows all there is to know about outfitting….and soccer.
Debe from Ohio is always looking for warmer weather. She can bench press an 18.5 aluminum canoe on top of a suburban without even having to use the “girl” way (I have to bounce and duck under, and lift with my legs like those weightlifters on TV). Andy trusts Debe to pack the food packs (no small thing)— arguably the key person packing for a canoe trip. She’s very precise.
Stefan makes it shine. We’re lucky to have him and his teal cap—I predict that he’ll be well known someday and our photos will be worth money. Stefan is a man of many talents—he does everything here, his soft skills with staff and guests are very polished, he teaches our kids guitar and piano, and he knows every bird you’ll ever hear. After spending the year as naturalist at Wolf Ridge, he can’t help himself and he leaves rock specimans out for the staff to learn—teachable moments at every turn.
Jamie worked just until the beginning of July–but made a big impact on us with her goodnatured willingness—always up for any job, always finding something to laugh about or someone to laugh with.
Michael is so covertly witty sometimes, when I’m not paying close attention, I forget that he has it in him. Then I hear him go stomping down the steps at 50 miles an hour (hoping to imitate Andy, and scare any slackers into attention). His sense of humor is good for morale. Don’t ask Michael about his totalled car, or about the dwindling moose population.