YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada
From July 20th August 8th, 25 youth from St. John’s metro and Montreal participated in the 2010 YMCA Youth Exchanges Canada (YEC) program. The program twins young people of similar ages from another province or territory with the purpose of forming strong links between their own communities and communities elsewhere in Canada.
The first day we gathered at the YMCA residence in Montreal the excitement and hesitation was evident. Friendships were waiting to be formed but shyness, language, and culture were some of the barriers to overcome. In the days that followed we played sports, served side by side in a variety of community projects, explored Montreal, and enjoyed the beauty of YMCA Camp Kanawana. By the time the group from Montreal (consisting of youth from the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and St. Laurent YMCAs) arrived in St. John’s for the second phase of the exchange it was evident that friendships had indeed been formed. These friendships were solidified further as participants went whale watching, planted trees at Botanical Gardens, wandered the Regatta, and sang I’se Da B’y on other outings.
“I can honestly say that this exchange has surpassed my expectations. I felt that we got so much out of everyday ... This experience will surely never be forgotten.”
YMCA Montreal Participant
The Government of Canada through the YMCA Youth Exchanges Program covers transportation costs and in some cases accommodations. Participants in the program fundraise to cover activity and food costs to host their visiting peers. If you are interested in participating in future exchanges please contact Danielle Collins by calling 748-1082 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.