“I learned so many things at Moorelands. Every kid has strengths and it’s our job as leaders to put them in the position to succeed.”
Moorelands is so pleased to welcome Keith McShan, aka Alpha, (back) into the fold. Although he’s been connected to Moorelands for many years, Alpha has recently returned to a position in the Moorelands’ office as Programs Coordinator. In this role, he’ll be heading up our after-school youth leadership programs Youth LED and VITAL, for middle school and high school students. Later in the summer, he’ll get the opportunity to head back up to camp.
“When LT calls…You pick up!“
Although Alpha plans on moving down to the States in the fall to begin a PhD in Sports Psychology, the opportunity to help Moorelands out for a few months was too good to miss. “When LT calls,” Alpha explains, “you pick up!”
Alpha was first introduced to Moorelands when he was in the last year of his undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor. He knew that he wanted to spend the summer before Grad school working with kids and using his skills on the sports field. When he saw the job posting for Moorelands Camp on the OCA website he knew it would be a great fit.
Moorelands Camp is Disneyland to these kids
But it wasn’t until he got up to camp that he truly understood the magic that is Moorelands.
“Moorelands is Disneyland for these kids. They have so much fun but more than that, they also gain something. At Moorelands, they get a chance to just be themselves. There’s no pressure to put on an image or try and fit a certain mold. They can just be kids. Some of these guys, they’re 10 or 11 and are running a household.”
Every Kid Has Strengths
Alpha ended up working at Moorelands Camp for three summers; going from a cabin leader to a program staff and ending up Head of Sports. How did the experience shape him?
“I learned so many things at Moorelands. Every kid has strengths and it’s our job as leaders to put them in the position to succeed.
“But working at Moorelands also helped me personally because it gave me the leadership skills I needed for my professional roles as a coach for High School and Grade School kids.”
Since his time at Moorelands, Alpha has earned his Master’s degree in Sports Management. He has worked as an Events Coordinator with Football Canada, a high school basketball and football coach with the Massey Mustangs High School Program in Windsor, Ontario and the Windsor Valiants Basketball Club. The Valiants serve girls in grades 1 through 12. Alpha has also served as Basketball Coach at Duke University in North Carolina for their boys’ basketball camp. In each of these roles, he’s used the skills that he developed at Moorelands to uplift the players and help them develop their skills and grow in confidence.
“At Moorelands I realised that whatever you’re doing, it’s important to bring the enthusiasm and energy. That kind of positivity draws positivity out of the kids. You’ve got keep moving forwards. Like I always say, ‘Giddy Up! Today’s gonna be a good day!’”
Alpha believes in the work that Moorelands does so much that he was convinced to uproot his life and move from Windsor to Toronto.
“Moorelands means a lot to me. One goal I have in life is to give back. The relationships that both the kids and staff develop at Moorelands are so strong. It’s like a family. So many of the kids who I’ve worked with at camp have told me as much themselves. They tell you, ’Alpha, you’re like family.’
They only come to Moorelands Camp for one week a year but they spend the year looking forward to it.”