Each year, local school children come to us on work practice placements as much to learn how to work with the dogs as to experience an international working culture (and to practise their English!). Many return to help us out at key parts of the season or simply come back from time to time to feed or play with the dogs or to have fun with family and friends.
We have also invited nearly every grade of child in the local school, as well as participants in the MLL (Mannerheim League for Child Welfare group), as pictured here, to experience safaris with the dogs. All of these outings have either been for free or with token payment, just to give the area's children a chance to interact with and become open towards dogs, to see some tourist enterprises at work, and to have some fun in the process.
In the summer months we have a couple of days, each season, when we also invite folk with younger kids to come out on a family canoeing and kayaking session free of charge. In that way, we try to give youngsters from families who don't have water equipment themselves (or from families who would be maybe unsure about taking their children out on water without more experienced people around) the chance to experience the fun of being active when outside in nature during the warm summer days.
Farm visits and free safaris have also been offered to all that want it from both our local old folk's home and disability training centre and those days have been a lot of fun all round. We have also tried simply visiting the home with the dogs to provide alternative stimulation / dog therapy and we open our farm, free of charge, to the local dog club whenever they want to practice agility with their dogs or simply to work with their dogs to socialise them with others. In other words, we make every effort ot make our farm and its resources accessible to the community in different ways through the year.
Similarly, when there have been calls for people to participate in fixing things in the community (for instance the old buildings in the ski centre when it was under development) we have always been one of the first companies to volunteer time or money.
From a personal perspective, we both have a number of motivational and inspirational talks that they are often asked to give in addition to team-building and management training-focused events that have been designed around corporate and incentive groups. give at least 50% of these talks and run at least 50% of the group events they have designed pro bono, or for a minimal contribution to cover costs, for nature-based, charitable and youth-centred organisations.
We also support a number of organisations including Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics and MUSH with pride as well as volunteering time and effort towards a pretty large number of committees and projects which are working towards the general development and 'health' of the region.