Next July, 22 Niagara Pathfinders, Rangers and their leaders plan to take the trip of a lifetime. Thanks to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Kinsmen, that dream is a little bit closer.
To help make that happen, the Kinsmen have presented members of the unit with a cheque for $1,000.
Youth members previously made a presentation to the club about their travel plans to visit two International Guiding Centres next summer.
The Kinsmen are strong supporters of guiding in NOTL, providing meeting space for Sparks, Embers and Guides in the Kinsmen Scout Hall, and sponsoring youth members to attend the interprovincial LEAP camp in 2019.
While the guiding program is well-known for building skills such as camping and community service, purposeful travel is also an optional part of the program for the older branches.
However, the pandemic put a hold on many youth members’ plans and ability to participate in this life skill and character-building opportunity – and for many, this is their first opportunity to travel outside Canada.
Over 12 days in July, the group will visit London, Paris, Lucerne, Adelboden, Liechtenstein and Munich, and will experience many cultural, historical and geographical points of interest, including several sites related to the Second World War.
Visiting these places will help youth to learn about other countries, world history and politics, and how breakdowns in governmental and democratic systems can affect societies.
Youth members will have a voice in selecting and engaging with places that are relevant and of interest to them, with a focus on building life skills such as planning, leadership, independence and exploration of post-secondary education and career opportunities.
Trip participants are taking an active role in researching activities and destinations prior to departure, including similarities and differences to their lives here in Niagara.
In addition, youth will develop a presentation on Canada for sharing at Pax Lodge (in London) and Our Chalet (Adelboden, Switzerland).
At these Guiding World Centres they will meet and learn from other youth from around the world, which will enable them to experience the sisterhood of global guiding first-hand.
While trip participants are excited and actively working to raise funds for their journey, the cost of such a trip – even travelling economically and with a student tour company – can be prohibitive.
In order to make the trip as accessible as possible, regardless of families’ economic circumstances, the unit hopes to fundraise as much of the cost as possible – a total of $81,000 for the group.
While this may seem like a challenging target, there are several ways to help these youth achieve their goals – by buying Girl Guide cookies from the unit, or sponsoring a case for donation to social services such as Newark Neighbours.
If you belong to a business or organization, you can also help by providing a space for unit members to sell cookies, or buying cookies to provide to clients or staff as gifts.
If your organization has funds to spare, contributions to the trip are much appreciated, and go directly to subsidizing costs for youth members.
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We appreciate the support of our community, including the NOTL Kinsmen, and we can’t wait to share tales of our travels in 2024