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Hello.

Kim McCray 
Owner of Featherfin Family Services
M.A., M.S.L.S.

Former Museum Director, Former Children's Librarian
Certified Play Based Educator, Certified Connection Centered Discipline Childcare Provider, Certified Virginia Master Naturalist, Certified Level 1 Eco-Therapy practitioner

My journey to Featherfin really is the journey of my life, of every step. My personality traits, my interests, lessons learned, my dreams, the way my brain works, my calling, my hang ups, everything! Every chapter of my life story led me here to this place! To learn more about me and what makes me tick, read on.

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In my earliest chapter, I grew up as an only-child on a farm in the rural Shenandoah Valley. With no neighborhood kids to play with, I spent a lot of time alone and developed an immense imagination. I lived in an orphanage, was in a rock band, and operated a cat circus, all by myself! I took solo hikes to the back of the property line carrying my Snoopy canteen and sporting my coon skin cap. I watched the birthing of lambs, carried thermoses of ice water to my dad in the summer while he pruned Christmas trees, and went fishing any time I got a chance. I still feel the most at peace when alone and in nature.

After graduating from James Madison University with a History degree, I went on to serve as a teacher in the US Peace Corps in Ukraine and  earn graduate degrees in library science and public history. With a love of the past meeting the present, I then worked as the director of two small-town museums, an invaluable experience. We operated on a shoestring and survived through the grace of volunteers, donors, and hometown buy-in. I loved the scrappy community collaboration, the referrals, and the many offerings of community support inherent in the small museum world, and have brought those lessons forward to Featherfin. Partnerships, bartering, volunteering, and DIYing are vital to my vision of how Featherfin can and should exist, as a regenerative creation from and for and with the people it serves. 

Though I never felt called to "become a teacher", I suppose I inherited the teacher gene from my parents who both were lifelong educators. I have tutored or taught teens and adults in some form for most of my adult life. The gene began to express itself in relation to early childhood more recently though, when I unexpectedly stepped into the role of a public storytime librarian in 2018 and absolutely LOVED it. I found that children warm my heart, but more than that, they inspire me. Their silliness, their curiosity, and their bravery are all traits to which I aspire. They also challenge me to be in the moment and to release control, states that have traditionally been difficult for me. 

What gets and keeps me going besides my Featherfin muse? Well, therapy and medication for one, haha. But also live music, cooking, documentaries, history, camping, river floats, running, antiquing, good friends, and any excuse to sit around a fire! 

My truest hope is that Featherfin programs provide children and community members with small moments of time in which they feel free to connect to each other and the beautiful and inspiring world around them. 

This chapter is just beginning. Hope you come along!

Four year old me in my signature overalls with two of my outdoor play pals. We are standing in front of the English Walnut tree that I got as a first birthday present from my great grandma.  It still stands.

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