Watching ‘firsts’ is a perk of the job


Staff member loves sharing experiences
Friday July 29, 2011 — Deb Bartlett

Organizing day trips that light up the faces of individuals in BACI’s summer recreation program delights staff member Patrick Trainor.

Funding wasn’t available to hire the summer students who usually run the service, and he was asked to plan it this summer.

He decided to run theme weeks, and every day a group of people visit a different spot relating to the theme.

Patrick has had two great moments so far this summer. One man was raised on a farm, and during museum week Patrick mentioned that they were going to a flight museum.

The man was enthusiastic about going on the trip. “When he saw all that machinery, he was in seventh heaven,” says Patrick. “It was incredible to watch his eyes light up. He and another fellow were in awe.”

It can be a little tricky, he says, to come up with outings that are slightly familiar and therefore comfortable, but still offer something new.

Another individual attended a tour of a recording studio. It was set up like a stage, and the individual walked right up and sat down at a set of drums. He started pounding on the drums, but Patrick, who plays himself, noticed the man had the bass drum going, then added snare, tom and finally cymbals.

“We had no idea he knew how to play drums,” says Patrick. “That may open things up with (the individual).” Patrick thinks participating in a music program may be something this man would enjoy. This would put into practice BACI’s focus on person-centred planning.

Patrick also enjoys watching people take chances on the outings. This week’s theme was “water world,” and the group went Splashdown Park in Tsawwassen. One young woman had never been on a water slide, and Patrick loved watching her try it for the first time. She enjoyed it, but only wanted to go once.

“I have a serious side, but I like to play. I like watching someone’s eyes brighten when they are touched by something or experience something for the first time,” he says. “That does it for me. That’s what I love about my job.”

Would you like to share some great workplace experiences? Contact Deb in the newsroom at 800-294-0051, or email deb(at)

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