WE Day

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Last Thursday I went to WE Day Vancouver. For those of you who don’t know, WE Day is a celebration of hard work to help social and environmental causes, however you can’t just go online and buy your ticket, you earn it. There were many speakers and entertainers that taught us things I’ve never thought about. It was such a fun day and inspired me to put in more time to Me to We.

WE Day is founded by two brothers, Marc and Craig Kielburger. When Craig was 12 he saw in the news paper that a boy his age was killed for taking a stand about child labour. Craig then went on and started a club at school with twelve other kids, and eventually it grew, now having a Free The Children club in 12,000 different schools. In this club you participate in things such as WE Scare Hunger, Backpacks for the Homeless, service days, service trips and more.

There were many amazing speakers that came to WE Day, speaking about topics such as why girls need to respect each other more, how to reach your goals, how to treat sick people, residential schools, transgender rights, and so much more. The one speaker that screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-7-48-19-amreally stood out to me was a young girl who is dying from a disease in her lungs. Her ‘Make-A-Wish’ was to speak at WE Day, and tell people that her whole life she has been called a sick girl, but she is more than that. It was quite inspirational.

There was one part of this day that made me jump with excitement like a toddler. While I was eating my lunch my friend ran over to me and said ‘STEPH LABBÉ IS HERE WITH HER BRONZE MEDAL’. Steph is the goalie for the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team, and if you know me I am OBSESSED with that team and aspire to be on it one day. So naturally, I started in a dead sprint to locate one of my idols. I saw her, started crying, and eventually had the amazing opportunity to meet her (I may have gone back to meet her four times). She signed my hoodie, and even liked my Instagram photo that I posted with her. Quite the day!

WE Day was filled with so much inspiration and motivation that you couldn’t find anywhere else. The environment was always drowned by joy and happiness. Everyone there were there for the same reasons; they want to make a change. even at 8am. I am so glad that I got to go to WE Day, and hopefully will earn a ticket for next year!

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CAIS Leadership Conference 2016

 

From September 22-26 I embarked on a journey along side ten other grade eights from my school across Canada to learn how to be a better leader. This conference was based at Camp Onondaga which is about three and a half hours north of Toronto. In this post, I’ll give a day to day look on what I experienced at this camp.

Day One:

We arrived in Toronto and spent the night there. After our flight we went straight downtown to The Eaton Centre to have dinner and just chill out after a long day of travel. We went to sleep early, excited to arrive at camp the next day.

Day Two:

We started our journey in our minivans to the conference. We stopped in a few small towns for food, and finally arrived at the camp. We handed our devices to our teachers and started to get to know the people we would be spending the whole weekend with. By the end of that first night, I knew I had made friendships that I would love to last forever. We had one easy workshop that night called ‘The Leadership Disco’. It was to get us to understand that everyone can be a leader, when we were learning the disco steps you couldn’t always see the instructor so you had to watch your peers, and they had to be a leader to you with out even realizing it. That was our first step into our weekend of leadership.

Day Three:

We had two workshops on the morning our third day of this trip. The workshops were lead by a group of people from ‘Friendship in Action’ who taught us about the different types of leaders and how to run meetings with certain groups of people. After that we had three hours of camp activities. I did arts & crafts, ball hockey, and the high ropes course. We then went in for dinner. After dinner we had a presenter come in who talked about Aboriginal Education. We did exercises in which we had a problem that had to do with Aboriginal Education and we had to think of a solution. After our final workshop of the day we had a ‘Wacky Talent Show’ that everyone had to take part in. There were many different categories such as most pushups, best whistle, weirdest contortion, who can say the alphabet backwards the fastest, it was a very fun and entertaining night.

Day Four:

Day four of the trip was full of leadership. We had four different workshops; bullying, social media, sexual and gender diversity, and student mental health. During the bullying workshop we learned how to take a stand if we see someone being bullied, and how to shut down that issue. In the social media workshop we learned about our digital footprint, and how to use technology to promote good leadership. We talked about our values and how we need to always remember that when on social media. The sexual and gender diversity workshop was very interesting. We learned new vocabulary, read children’s books about this topic, and a lot more. I took a lot away from this workshop. Our last workshop was student mental health. We learned how to cope with someone who might not have strong mental health, and the correct use of words to use when comforting someone. This day was about learning more about the main issues that youth in Canada are facing. After these workshops we had another two hours of camp activities. I went on a zip line that went from the top of a mountain and finished in the lake, and also went canoeing. We closed the evening with  a camp fire.

Day Five:

The dreaded day came when we had to say goodbye to all the new friends we had made across the country. We exchanged numbers, and all departed home. When we arrived home in Victoria it felt strange saying goodbye to the group of thirteen that I had spent the past five days with. We were our own little family at that point.

This trip was the best five days of my life. I learned so much about how to help my peers, and how to be a better leader. I met 105 new people from across Canada. The students that I travelled with from my school weren’t really in my circle of friends, but I’m more than glad that those were the circumstances because now I know each and everyone of these eleven people as a friend, and not just as that kid who’s in my English class. I feel like this camp changed me as a person. I wish it never ended.

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Sunset on the lake
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One of the leadership activities
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Exploring downtown Toronto
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A surf shop in one of the small towns we stopped at

It’s Been a Pleasure Doing Business With You

So. It’s over. Now what?

I am so lucky that I got to take part in the ultimate Tragically Hip experience. Together, my family went to 6 concerts. Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, Ottawa and Kingston. The ones I went to were magical. I’ve been to other bands concerts before, but it’s never even close to being as enticing and eye opening as a Tragically Hip show.

Best moments of the Man Machine Poem tour:

  1. Being front row at the Edmonton show, just my dad and I. That was a night I will never forget.
  2. Sitting around the campfire with our relatives in Thornbury, live streaming the Calgary show
  3. Watching the Hamilton show with my cousin, we were probably the youngest kids there, and certainly the best dancers
  4. Singing ‘Music at Work’ with all my cousins and siblings while my uncle played the guitar by the fire
  5. Sitting in the living room with my aunt, watching the final show in Kingston.

August 20th. The end. My parents were there in Kingston while we live streamed it. I don’t even know how to describe that show. As the second encore rolled around they played ‘Scared’. I lost it. That was probably the most emotional song of the night for me. It’s hard to believe that song was written in 1995, cuz it’s bang on how Gord’s probably feeling, how I’m feeling and how the whole country is feeling over twenty years later. We are scared. Scared of what’s going to happen to Gord. Scared of what life is going to be like without any new Hip songs. The last line of that song ensured that there wasn’t a dry eye across the nation. “I gotta go, but it’s been a pleasure doing business with you”. As Gord sang that, my aunt and I made eye contact and shook our heads, wiping tears from our eyes.

As my dad has said, this tour was really Gord Downie’s own marathon of hope. He did the impossible while there’s still time. He blew the minds and touched the hearts of millions. I am so lucky that I was able to witness Canadian history being made.  Gord Downie is a hero. Well, at least he’s mine. Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 1.09.39 PM.png

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My First Hip Concert

I didn’t know how to start this post. My dad always said he couldn’t explain Tragically Hip concerts, and I never understood why until last night. There’s no way to explain Hip concerts. It’s a feeling, a sensation not a concert. At concerts you dance, sing, laugh, at Tragically Hip concerts you connect. Whether it’s with the band itself or the people sitting beside you.

Everyone gathered was there because they wanted to celebrate this amazing band. They all have the same musical interest, and everyone has everything to talk about.

Last night my dad and I started playing a game where we guess which songs were going to be played next. The man beside my dad joined in and we all had a great time.

Before the concert I was sitting in our seats while my dad went to go get some drinks and I had a conversation with a few people behind me about our experience with the Hip and how much we are going to miss Gord. They loved that a thirteen year old was at the concert because the band’s main audience are adults, and they also loved my custom T-shirt! (Thanks Dad!) The people there were all gathered for the same reason, to celebrate this amazing bands’ accomplishments and have a great time- and I certainly did.

And for the record,  I’ve never seen so many Gord Downie, T-shirts in one place.

I also connected with the band, and of course Gord. It wasn’t directly, but after the concert it felt like he and I had a three hour conversation. He somehow has the ability to make you feel like you are just chatting away with him just by his use of facial expressions and dance moves.

I was pretty upset after the concert. I want to go to a million more! I want to hear newly written songs live! Well, I can’t. But for now I am very grateful to be attending two more concerts, in Edmonton and Hamilton.

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The Guitar

I have been playing guitar for almost a year. I have fallen in love with it. There’s something about playing the guitar that’s so much different from playing the violin, or any other instrument. Once you know a few basic chords you can pretty much search up any song and master it with a simple strumming pattern in a matter of minutes. But learning guitar wasn’t easy. It took me a while to get to the stage of being able to play tons of music.

I picked up my little brother’s mini toy guitar one day thinking, ‘How hard could this be?’. Little did I know how many chords there are. I don’t think anyone could learn all of them in their life time. It took hours and hours of practicing, memorizing, and dedicating so much time to this instrument. I made flashcards to test my memory of how to place my fingers to correctly make a chord. It was so frustrating when I kept getting them wrong. But after weeks and months of practicing and reviewing constantly, I mastered the most common 20 or so chords.

After learning the basic chords, you can pretty much play anything. I played in a pub in Australia after only four months of playing guitar. I played without challenging myself for a few months, but after a while I wanted to learn more. I didn’t want to continue to play the same chords on and on forever. It was boring. So, I started finger picking, and playing challenging songs.

Ask anyone in my family. I play guitar A LOT. This and soccer are pretty much all I do. When I’m stressed, I’ll just sit in my room and play guitar for an hour or so and I’ll immediately feel relieved. “Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.”

(I would put videos in this post of me playing but it isn’t working so if you would like to hear me play email my parents or me and I’ll send some videos)

Provincials 2016

This year my club did not win playoffs, so we wouldn’t be going to provincials. But to my surprise the team that did win, ‘Saanich Fusion’ were down two players and asked my friend and I to join them to play in provincials. I was thrilled and couldn’t wait.

After months of training in the hot summer heat, we finally departed for Penticton, where provincials would be held. The way provincials works is that there are eight teams in each age division, and you are in two groups of four.You play against every team in your group. Let’s say you come third in your group, you will play the team that came third in the other group for fifth place. You play one game a day.

Our first game was against Chilliwack, the winners of Coastal Cup (a tournament where all the winners of playoffs  from different leagues from Vancouver Island and Vancouver get together and compete just for fun to prepare for provincials. I was not a part of Saanich Fusion yet so I did not go to Coastal Cup). This team was good, but so were we. In our game, we had more possession than them, and a million shots on them. They only had four shots, however all four of their shots went in when only one of ours went in. This team ended up winning provincials.

On the second day we played Nelson. We played amazing this game, and ended up winning 4-0, and I assisted every goal. The third day was our last game just playing against teams in our group. We played Kelowna, a strong team that had a very strong defence line, but not strong enough to stop us from beating them  2-1. We finished strong in second place in our group, so we would be playing for third against the team that came second in the other group. This team happened to be the team that creamed Saanich in the semi finals of Coastal Cup 4-1. We knew it would be a tough game. After the first half went by with no goals for either team, we went back on the field confident we could get the ball into the net. Well, I scored the first goal and after that we kept firing balls into the net. The final score was 3-0 and everyone was very happy. We were the third best team in British Columbia!

This trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I made 15 new friends, and a few of them are now some of my closest friends. I really bonded with these girls, wether we were going on giant bikes, swimming in the lake, wrestling in the pool, or watching the Euro’s- I had so much fun. I’m really sad that I won’t be playing with these girls anymore, but I will never forget this. I can’t wait to play against Saanich Fusion next year!
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Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

 

Why my parents are the best:

  1. They drive me places (sports, friends houses, etc.)
  2. They make me good food
  3. They spend a lot of time working for me
  4. They buy me a lot of things I probably don’t entirely need
  5. They enrolled me in a good school
  6. They pay for all my soccer tournaments, uniform kits, hotels, etc.
  7. They are forgiving
  8. They help me if I’m in a bad situation
  9. They keep us healthy
  10. They love me

Mom and Dad; you guys are the best parents someone could ask for and I’m proud to call you mine. Thank you for everything you do for me, I hope you have a wonderful anniversary- you deserve it:)Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset