Potential Gold

In each person’s brain there are 100 billion neurons firing, full of information, at any given point. Even in utero, our minds react, change and grow as a response to stimuli. Therefore, our environment is truly our first and our greatest teacher. Human potential is then sparked into high gear at birth. Our senses come alive as we begin to explore what is possible through sensory exploration. Fernie Mountain Mamas understand the importance of exposing their children to new environments to increase their potential for progress. Adina Koran is one such Mama.

Hailing from the medical field, local bee keeper and entrepreneur, Adina Koran, has a thirst for adventure and a passion for the outdoors. Since day one, her daughter Quinn has been exposed to the joys of mountain life. Time outside is refreshing for Koran. “Nature is a space to recharge and put everything into perspective. I still feel very humbled by our mountains.” From paddle boarding in utero to hiking and cross country skiing in her first few months, Quinn is all smiles in the fresh Kootenay air. Nature has a calming effect on children and the outdoor exposure is crucial for one’s cognitive development. Human learning yearns for paths of positive interaction and our brains seek to create and repeat such patterns. By Adina sharing what she loves with her daughter, Quinn in turn is forming tremendous brain synapses at a rapid rate due to the richness of the sensory environment surrounding her.

Each mother and parent wants to give their children the best possible beginning in life. When discussing human potential, Koran stated that her “biggest wish for Quinn is that she feels confident and free enough to pursue whatever she wants to, and that she is able to feel fulfilled and balanced in her life.” Adina believes that by teaching Quinn to find solace in the outdoors, she too in future will be able to escape to nature as a healthy stress release. Adina and her husband love to take Quinn panning for gold. The sport has received a resurgence in the last few years and is a fun activity for individuals and families alike. On top of enjoying a summer’s day by the river, there is also a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air as one could potentially strike it big! In BC today gold is worth $1600 per ounce. Panning is also an opportunity for young ones to get their hands dirty, to run through the river, and get their feet wet. The sport also teaches children to find their own flash in a pan by following their intuition and being patient. All you need to pan for gold is “optimism, a gold pan, a bucket, a shovel, and preferably some delicious snacks.” The Korans pan for gold at Gold Creek located in the south country, an hour’s drive from Fernie. A day of quality time is a win whether you find a nugget of gold or not. Koran says that panning is light hearted fun for all. Bottles full of flecks of gold line their window sills. Not one panning trip has left them without a fleck or two. This summer, I encourage you to pack up the family, dip your toes in potential and search for gold!

Just like a panner’s loot, each child’s potential success will look differently as “reaching one's full potential is defined by the individual themselves.” I asked Koran if she ever worries about Quinn’s potential being stifled as a woman in today’s world. Adina quickly brushed the idea off. “I hope that Quinn does not even have to think about her potential being any different than anyone else's. She should harness her feminine energy to kick some serious butt!” I couldn’t agree more.

Are you also a Fernie Mountain Mama? Please feel free to share your outdoor adventures, family stories and photos by writing to ferniemountainmamas@gmail.com, or hashtag #ferniemountainmamas to encourage more parents to take their little ones outdoors and share in all the fun that Fernie has to offer.

Happy panning!