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Thank You to an Aikens favorite

mars 14, 2016

From housekeeper to waitress, from bartender to babysitter, Reanne Chamberland has served many roles for Aikens and the Turenne family, and she’s done all of them well. After six summers at the lodge, she’s moving onto an exciting career opportunity in graphic design and so we'd like to officially say "Thank You" to an Aikens favorite.

“Reanne is a great person!” said Pit. “She is a fairly quiet person in camp, but she is ultra-reliable and well-liked by staff and guests alike.”

Reanne’s parents have operated the ground transportation for Aikens guests from Winnipeg to Silver Falls for the past 15 years, and her family has been close to the Turennes since Reanne’s father started up the Winnipeg Fire Department and became friends with Gerry Turenne. Pit and Julie trusted Reanne to babysit their kids when she was younger, so when Reanne graduated high school and wanted to work at Aikens it was a no brainer.

“I had the chance to go up to fish at Aikens with my family when I was 16 and knew right away I wanted to work there one day,” Reanne said. “The management and staff at Aikens are amazing and I’ve made many lifelong friends while working there.”

Reanne also met her boyfriend, Jesse, Aikens’ head guide, at the lodge.

Several years ago she painted a few lures to give him as a gift, but they haven’t caught anything yet because Jesse’s afraid to use them in case he might lose them. Last year, Reanne put her creative design skills to use by teaching herself how to carve lures.

“I carved the lure from scratch and I was really happy with how it looked, but when we tried using it, it kind of just looked like a dead fish floating on top of the water so it’s back to the drawing board, I guess.”

One of Reanne’s all-time favorite fishing memories occurred with Jesse a few summers back. “We trolled all night for pike, after a few hours Jesse got a bite and it was a trophy pike. It was the first trophy I had seen caught and it was a really fun and exciting experience to be a part of,” Reanne said. “I’ll always remember that night.”

Over the years at Aikens, Reanne has experienced many special moments with guests and staff alike. “From the North Star parties, the nights spent burbot fishing, the bonfires on the beach, the “three shots and see what happens” nights … there are so many memories from Aikens that I will remember forever.”

Reanne especially enjoyed the various theme parties at Aikens. “There have been many theme parties in my six years, but one of my favorites was the Christmas theme party we had at the lodge in July,” she recalled. “There was a Christmas tree decorated with fishing lures hanging in the rod lockers, and we all picked names for a gift exchange the day before. Everyone got really creative with their gifts!”

As a graphic designer, creativity is a strong suit for Reanne, who brought energy and dependability to her job, every single day.

“We work every day at Aikens which may seem like a lot, but we work in such a beautiful place with great people that it sometimes doesn’t even seem like work,” she said. “Honestly, the hardest part of the job is probably having to wait all winter to go back up.”

Reanne admitted that waking up early for a morning coffee run after a night at Big Molly’s also deserves consideration for “hardest part of the job.”

As for “best part of the job,” Reanne said without question it was the people she met. Having fun with co-workers and guests alike made the job enjoyable every day. It also produced a nickname: Ray J.

“One of the girls told a guest to call me Ray J when I was bartending because he kept getting my name wrong,” Reanne said. “I kept ignoring him all night because I had no idea who Ray J was. The name kind of just stuck from there.”

While we are sad to see Ray J go, we’re thrilled for her with her new career opportunity and know she will be successful.

“I would like to praise Reanne for being a huge part of the Aikens family over the years,” Pit said. “We are proud to have her as part of the team, and I am sure she will continue to be a part of the Aikens family for a long time to come.”