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Bailey Giroux's Story

I was 16 when I was first hired by the City of Thunder Bay as a Play leader. My first day on the job I felt like any other kid would: nervous, anxious and excited. I came home from my first day on the site exhausted, covered in face paint and glue and beyond thrilled at the prospect of doing it all over again the next day. Four years and three summers later, I can't imagine myself spending those summers doing anything else.

Every year I hear a lot of people my age complaining about working their boring run of the mill summer jobs, and I have to tell myself not to brag about the 30 little friends I get to spend time with every day. In reality though, I guess my job isn't so different from theirs. While they wear high heels to the office I sport running shoes in the sand box. My hard hat is a baseball cap, and my first aid fanny pack is my trusted toolbox. Just like them I have paper work I need to fill out, like planning when to play dodge ball and coordinating obstacle courses, or writing out instructions to the daily craft.

There are definitely perks unique to the job, though. I have a drawer full of portraits hand made by some very talented young artists, and my pony bead covered wrists are never bare. I never leave work without a high five or a hug and grass stained knees are a sign of a job well done. Finally, my personal favourite, is the celebrity status that comes iwth the title of Play leader. Whether it's the movie theatre, the waterfront, McDonalds or the CLE, you are guaranteed to hear at least one fan calling your name.  

When I was a child, summer was always the best time of the year. Now that I'm older, I still feel that way. I am proud to work for a city that provides children and families with the ability to enjoy the summer in a safe, healthy and friendly environment. My job can be exhausting and sometimes physically demanding (hey, being "it" is tough) but it is always rewarding.