Celia Quigley

We want to thank one of our most loyal volunteers, Celia Quigley, for offering her time, energy, and kayaking expertise with us at the British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society (BCMOS). We are so fortunate that Celia has consistently been a part of our team for the past three years, making our kayaking and paddling clients, as well as the staff and other volunteers, feel comfortable, happy, and cared for.

Celia, a self-proclaimed nature lover and strong kayaker who has paddled everywhere from around Vancouver to Antarctica, said that when she was looking for volunteer opportunities, she knew that she wanted to “find something where [she] would be making a valuable contribution and receiving a sense of satisfaction.” She stated, “A friend of mine was on the Volunteer BC website and saw the BCMOS paddling page and […] she was like ‘oh my gosh this would be perfect for you’, and she was right!” Celia added, “I love that feeling of making a difference in someone’s life on an individual basis. I remember coming out to try it and I was like this is fantastic; I’m on the water!”

This past unpredictable and pandemic focused year has allowed many of us to see our lives from a new perspective. Celia took this opportunity to reflect on what she values, “This has been a year of self reflection, and one of the things that I was doing with my friends was putting together a mission statement, and it turned out to be like a Venn diagram of three different concepts that energise me. One concept is ‘relationships’, another is ‘experiences’, and the last concept is ‘dynamic’. By dynamic I mean that I don’t sit still, I like to be in motion, and I like change and growth. Where all of these concepts intersect, where I can have an experience that involves change with other people, is my happy place where I feel alive.”

Celia in an adapted kayak with a BCMOS client.

However, when Celia was making her Venn diagram of relationships, experiences, and dynamics, she realized that “it was about myself and one of the things I really wanted was to be impactful in the world. So, I took those concepts and diverted them from what I can get out of it, to what I can give back. For example, ‘relationships’ became ‘community building’.” Celia explained “BCMOS hits on all of those things, it’s a sense of community, I love the coordinators and the clients and sharing my love of adventure with them. It basically embodies the mission statement that I mentioned earlier.”

When asked if she had any words of inspiration for people who are interested in volunteering Celia replied “I’d say that it’s rewarding to kayak and share that experience with someone else, particularly if it’s someone who is experiencing kayaking for the first time. It’s so nice to see the smiles on peoples faces.”

Celia, thank you for all of the support and love that you have shown us and the volunteers over the past few years. Your mission statement is truly inspiring, and we are grateful to have you with us at BCMOS!

Want to volunteer with BCMOS, or any of our affiliated societies? Click here to sign up!