Posted by Tina Yarbrough on Aug 21, 2017
2017-08-21 Rotary Noon Meeting - Camrose Resort & Casino

Lou opened the meeting at 11:45 am.
Health of the Club - Good.
  • Executive Board Meeting Aug. 22, 2017, at Lou's house 5:15 pm.
Happy Bucks
  • Jerome - He is back after 3 weeks.  He spent 2 1/2 weeks at Lake Winnipeg enjoying the water, but not as much as his wife, who swam 3-4 times per day.  He also celebrated his granddaughter's birthday.
  • Ted - He spent two weeks in Scotland with his daughter.  The highlight was cycling the single track lanes up in the Highlands.  She's now off touring Spain, France, and some other countries for the next two months.
  • Ray - Attended a Bench Show (Fall Fair) with Elaine at Roundhill.  The entered some 72 items ranging from quilting to baking.  They won a total of 55 ribbons - 32 First's, 11 Seconds and 9 Thirds.
  • Shirley - She spent the weekend cleaning her parent's closet.  Sunday she went through all their photographs.  Small steps to get it done.
  • David - The President of R.I. is coming from the Bahamas which is a first.  He entertained guests and introduced them to downtown Bruce.
  • Sheila - Her parents are renting a place in Camrose for the winter so her mom won't have to drive back and forth from Edberg.  This is the first step in them moving to Camrose.
  • Ray Hook - $1 for not winning enough First place ribbons at the Bench Show.
Guest Speaker - Sabrina Ryans, Youth Leadership Canoe Trip
Sabrina Ryans works for Augustana as an Outdoor Education Assistant and she also teaches other Outdoor Ed classes.  She organizes the Augustana summer camps and programs including the Youth Exchange trip and the Youth Leadership Canoe trip.
Along for the canoe trip, Sabrina has two teachers, a School Resource Officer and four Outdoor Ed students.  She employs these Augustana grad students with the belief that keeping them employed in the community for the summer helps build community relationships as well as trying to keep these skilled individuals as future residents of Camrose.  Sadly, Sabrina was not able to go on this year's trip.
Rounding out the trip is the primary focus of this endeavor, the kids.  This year's trip was maxed out at 15 students from the Outreach school (Pace).  Normally, if they couldn't fill the spots, they would pull students from the High school.  Fortunately, as Sabrina stated, they had to turn away three students from the program, a state which they had never faced before.
The students are chosen by the principles and resource officers of the school and who "don't fit in the middle of the bell curve".  These kids face barriers, either financial or personal or lack the opportunity.  What they do have is a willingness to learn and to participate and to be part of a team.
The Youth Leadership Canoe trip takes place in early May,  This year it was May 13-19.  It takes place over six days and seven nights canoeing by day and camping in the wilderness, not your ordinary camping trip.  And as such, it takes a lot of planning and organizing before it gets underway.
They all must first travel 600km in a convoy, a bus carrying students and equipment, a truck pulling the canoes and another truck pulling the Voyageur, a large pontoon,  to Nordegg then down a trunk road that crosses the North Saskatchewan River to arrive at their destination.  But before even that, there is one more stop they need to make and that is in Rocky Mountain House.
Sabrina and her staff aren't so heartless as to throw 15 students into canoes they've never been in and send them on their way with a wave and a "good luck!". I'm sure that would be the first and last year this program would run.  Instead, the stop at a lake in the Rocky area and have the students board the pontoon and have them be blown around for awhile.  Much better!  The purpose of this maneuver is to act as a gauge, which is two pronged.  The staff need to see who the nervous ones are, in which they will be placed in the larger pontoon, and to see how they can work together.  For the students, they acclimate themselves to how frustrating canoeing is, what they are getting themselves into and to comprehend why the student instructors call it the "Divorce Boat".  It is the day after this that the trip gets underway.
The river trip itself is 120km.  They average 20km per day.  This number doesn't take into account the two half days, one at the beginning where they unload the equipment and food, and the last day when the trip ends and they have to load everything back up.  Also, in the middle of the week, they have one day either as a white water play day or a snow day, depending on the weather. The canoe trip takes place regardless of the weather and in early May, anything can happen.  And it did. They endured rain, hail, snow, and frost.  The students went from sunburns in tank tops to watching lightening and rainbows during this trip.  The lightning and rainbows were the highlights of the trip. 
But this is no pleasure cruise.  Everyone has a job to do.  From cooking to cleaning up, no one is exempt.  The students may complain and groan, what teenager doesnt, but they soon learn that for things to run smoothly, everyone must take part and have some responsibility to get things done.  For one short week, this is their community, their every day, and everyone has a role.
The goal of the Youth Leadership Canoe trip, in my opinion, is a teaching tool.  It is intended to teach the student instructors how to lead.  These instructors are young grad students who don't have children of their own.  They are given grumpy, annoying, sometimes unruly, sometimes uncommunicative teenagers for a full week and expected to teach them a new skill.  It doesn't matter if that skill is tying a knot,  making a great meal or just sharing a thought.  They are there to draw out whatever is good about that student and praise them for it. 
Sabrina likened it to teaching your child how to ride a bike.  You can show them what to do but it is ultimately up to that child to do it.  You have to watch them struggle and fall, get back up and try again until they have mastered it.  It is in that brilliant moment when you see the light come into their eyes when they know they have accomplished it on their own, you know you have done your job.  Sabrina told us every evening, they have a Sharing Circle in which everyone shares what they liked.  For the staff, it is the last one that is the best.  She says it's not the depth of the answer from these students that's telling but the change in the answer from the beginning of the trip to the end.
For the students, this exposes them to an extrodinary experience they would not otherwise have the opportunity to share in.  It teaches them that there are people who are willing to give them the care and guidance to succeed and overcome regardless of how frustrating they can be.  This trip allows them to open up, however small that opening is, to share and participate in this small community and be confident in their abilities to learn and grow. 
Every trip ends.  In this Youth Leadership trip, the students, instructors and teenagers alike, hve faced challenges they never thought they would.  But together and individually, by building community, learning from each other, establishing trust and the confidence in each other and one's own ability, they overcame those challenges have have acquired skills they can take into the future.
50/50 draw - Shirley won but pulled the 9 of spades.  The pot thickens at $442.
Lou closed the meeting at 1:00 pm.
Next Meeting - Aug. 28, 2017, Casino Resort & Casino
Club Assembly