|The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
The George McGee Service Award is given in recognition of members who have contributed significantly to the smooth running of the club over several years.
Barbara Gaertner and Diane Kitching are excellent choices for this award, recognizing their years of hard work, reliability and dedication as volunteer leaders for the Macoun Field Club. This is the nature club for youngsters in grades 4 through 12 that is sponsored by the OFNC and the Canadian Museum of Nature. Barbara`s and Diane`s contributions, supporting and assisting Rob Lee, have been critical to the success of the club and its operations.
Over the years, Barbara and Diane have shared some responsibilities and alternated others. Both attend most of the young naturalists` indoor meetings, give talks at the indoor meetings, come on nearly all the field trips and sometimes lead a sub-group, deal with parents when new youth come in, act as the contact person for new members, make sure all members are properly registered, and find speakers for the indoor meetings. They have represented the Macoun Field Club at public venues such as the Wildlife Festival display at Billings Bridge. Both have been, and Diane currently is, the Macoun Field Club representative on the OFNC Council. They also have their own study trees and write about them for the Little Bear - the annual publication - thereby encouraging the young naturalists to do the same. Coincidentally, both of their study trees were later killed by lightning. Barbara and Diane have become better naturalists after all these years as leaders for the Macoun Field Club and are very valuable people to the group.
Barbara proofreads the Macoun web page, goes on camping trips, prints out a customized trip list of youth attending field trips, and takes field notes on field trips to the Study Area. Diane is the contact person for calls from parents wanting field trip information (every two weeks), and she makes carpooling arrangements and ensures kids are properly dressed. And even if Diane didn't go on a camping trip, she would supply the now famous cream of chicken soup! For a time, Diane produced the monthly newsletter when there was no young person to do this. She also provides art supplies for drawing workshops.
Barbara and Diane have provided very valuable service to the Macoun Field Club, and therefore to the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, and we are pleased to recognize this service through the 2010 George McGee Service Award.