marlou de rijk
Forest Play Program Leader
Quite literally, Marlou stepped off the plane from the Netherlands and into the forests of Canmore. Hailing from Breda, Marlou moved here in September 2019 to try Canadian life on for fit. She is the assistant leader of the Alpenglow Kindergarten Forest Play program and a welcome addition to our staff. Her unrivaled enthusiasm and elaborate imagination enable her meet the children at their level of play and empathize with their learning journey.
In 2016, Marlou graduated from Fontys Hogescholen (Public University of Applied Sciences) with a Bachelor of Education in Tilburg, Netherlands. Upon graduating, she worked as a counselor in the Netherlands for children with emotional, social or behavioural challenges. Her work also focused on re-integrating youth back into the school system. Adding to her international experience, Marlou established a children’s gymnastics program to facilitate the integration of all levels of physical and mental abilities in Tanzania (2015). Using movement and physical literacy to develop the program, Marlou learned first-hand the value in cultural differences, respect and communication. She also has experience in facilitating and hosting Scouts programming in the Netherlands.
Regardless of where her feet are planted, Marlou finds a sense of awe and gratitude for nature’s wonders. Marlou personifies playful curiosity which explains her motivation for tree climbing, exploring, playing games, building fires and singing songs. Marlou is grateful for every moment to foster connection with nature to self, others and place.