Hi, I am Owen.
I have been chosen to be a Student Ambassador with the People to People program this summer! I will be traveling to western CANADA which includes British Columbia and Alberta. The P2P Program was started by President Eisenhower in 1956 to give students from all over the world a chance to meet others, travel and study in other countries. I will be a representative of the US and interacting with many students and adults.
My delegation has twelve 5th & 6th grade students from the area and I am the only one from my school district. We started monthly meetings in December with our leader and parents to get to know each other. We have been studying the government, geography, history, animals, money and foods of Canada. We have given presentations and taken quizzes on what we've learned. In April, we did an all-day local service project. These months of preparing are half the fun.
Our adventure begins at the end of June. We'll start on Vancouver Island to tour Victoria's Parliament and learn about Canada's political process. Then, the whales! I think I'd like to be a marine biologist so our boat trip the next day into the Straits of Georgia to search for pods of orcas has me really excited! After that, we will study the ocean's ecosystem at Ocean Discovery Education Center which has 17 massive aquarium habitats. Our next adventure is at TreeGo, a massive setup in the canopy of a Douglas fir forest with zip lines, scramble nets and swinging logs. Nearby is Petroglyph Park with rock carvings where an archaeologist will teach us how to use ancient stone tools to make an obsidian arrowhead that we get to keep.
In Banff, Alberta we get to have workshops with the Earth Steward Project and learn new ways to "˜reduce our carbon footprint'. Later, traveling east into the Canadian Rockies, we will see the Golden Spike and visit Roger's Pass Interpretive Centre in Glacier National Park to learn about avalanche control. I can't wait to learn about how glaciers were created and ride in a special vehicle to the Athabasca Glacier. Halfway up the 3.75 mile long glacier, we get to hop out and run around on the ice fields and taste the pure water. At the Northern Lights Wildlife Centre in Golden, we'll get to see and pet wolves. They will teach us how important it is to protect these amazing animals.
Later, a gondola will take us to the top of Sulphur Mountain to have dinner on the summit with a view of the peaks. Also in Alberta, we'll visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology~ the largest dinosaur museum in the world!
Another thing I can NOT wait to do is go to the First Nations camp and talk with the Blackfoot people. The elders will share stories with us and we can ask questions. We will dance and drum and sleep in a real teepee!
The last destination of our trip will be to Canada's Olympic Park where Calgary hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988. This will be fun since I just watched the winter Olympics and secretly want to be an Olympic snowboarder.
I am SO excited to have this opportunity to travel to a new country, meet many new friends and learn about so many things I am really interested in. We are encouraged to raise some of the money for our trip as part of our learning experience and to appreciate it that much more. I have my passport and am ready to go! If you feel that you can help me out with my fundraising project, I would love it. No amount is too small. I will even share pictures when I get back.
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