The power of patience
Arivat camp counsellor says faith helps her listen and handle problems

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Arviat (Aug 02/00) - Mary Tagalik loves children, which is probably a big reason why the Arviat resident has been working with them for the past four years.

Tagalik, 17, is day-camp counsellor, and credits the immense patience she has when working with children to her faith in Christianity.

"My faith helps me with patience," she said. "If someone is talking on and on and not listening, I can handle it no problem."

She begins every morning at 10 a.m., gathering the 50 or so children for a morning session where they are divided into groups.

"We go out on the land to a place by a lake that has three cabins," she said. "Kids can go canoeing, swimming and there is lots of room."

She started working as a counsellor after she attended day camp as a camper.

Tagalik said sometimes, if there weren't enough workers, the program would be cancelled.

"So I decided to work so kids don't have to stay at home watching TV," she said.

She's not sure what she wants to do when she gets out of school, but there is one thing she is sure about.

"I want it to involve working with children," said Tagalik.

The camp is run through the Alliance Church in Arviat and is funded by Brighter Futures, a federal government initiative to strengthen communities.