PARRSBORO - Carrie Goodwin considers it just doing her job. Others think it's a bit more than that.
The senior visitor services representative at Fundy Geological Museum was recognized for her outstanding efforts on the job by the Central Nova Tourist Association (CNTA) last weekend, receiving the SuperHost award at its annual awards banquet in Truro.
Goodwin is employed by the Cumberland Geological Society, but her responsibilities are for the provincial Visitor Information Centre, which was moved to the museum several years ago. Her responsibilities include ordering tourism materials, maps, and giving directions to visitors.
"If you come to Parrsboro and live here, it's easy to forget what's around," she said. "If you don't get out and you don't go to the beaches and the museums, how are you going to know the way to describe the experience for others to take it?"
She makes a point to ask visitors what their interests are. If they are older or have mobility issues, she might send them on the scenic drive to Advocate. She might direct someone younger to a local ranch that offers beautiful horse rides to the beach.
"Stuff like that is undiscovered," she said. "So, if you give it away, and give a little piece of yourself to someone who comes in here and tell them your favourite spot, it makes a big difference."
You have to be ready to help a visitor in any situation, according to Goodwin, whether it's finding parts for their broken-down RV or motorcycle, or finding the best spot to observe the tide ("an hour before low tide at Hawks Road.")
A little extra effort is also appreciated by visitors. One couple from Wisconsin wrote a letter to www.novascotia.com praising Goodwin after she spent 90 minutes with them, helping them plan their trip.
The museum is the best work environment she has ever experienced, she said. In fact, it also provided her with her first job as a student working in the lab 12 years ago.
Liking your job is an important factor in doing it well, she explained.
"The most important thing is to like your area," said Goodwin. "And I really like to play with people. You can sort of gauge how much fun a person likes to have with their experience, so you definitely have to be a people person. You usually get what you give."
Other Cumberland County winners at the CNTA awards were NovaShors Adventures of Advocate Harbour (Attraction Award,) Pugwash HarbourFest (Festival and Event Award,) and Tom Young (President's Award.)