I chose the theme "Journalism and Communications".
The main highlight of the Journalism theme was visiting the National
Press Gallery and talking to several members of the Board of
National Directors. We were also able to take part in various
workshops on freelance writing, television production, media
relations, and radio broadcasting.
My favourite workshop was the freelance writing workshop.
During that session, we learned that the art of being a good
writer and communicator is to accumulate as much life experience
as you can and to take risks. By meeting all types of people,
you will hear many different views and opinions, so you are less
likely to be biased. Another important characteristic of a good
journalist is being curious and analytical.
For people who are interested in going in to the field of
journalism, the members of the Board of National Directors recommended
that you are fluent in a minimum of two or three languages. Also,
it's important to have a strong academic background in whatever
field you want to go into and report on. After all, how can journalists
inform the public of an issue if they don't have any background
in the area they are writing about?
The experience of Encounters with Canada was great. For many
of the participants, it was their first time seeing Ottawa. Ottawa
is a gorgeous city with incredible architecture. Many of Ottawa's
buildings such as the Parliament Buildings and the church of
Notre Dame are very old and detailed.
For myself, and the majority of the other youth taking part
in Encounters with Canada, it wasn't the workshops and activities,
the traveling or seeing Ottawa that made the trip so incredible
-- it was the people. At the beginning of the trip nobody knew
anybody, and by the end of the trip we had made friendships to
last us a lifetime. Even the shyest people were outgoing because
everyone felt equal. We all came from different places and different
backgrounds, which brought us close together.
The only downfall to Encounters with Canada was the greasy
cafeteria food. After a week of it, a fresh garden salad tastes
Encounters with Canada is sponsored by the Royal Canadian
Legion and in most provinces, by the Ministry of Education. If
you are interested in taking part in Encounters with Canada talk
to your school guidance counselor, or get in contact with the
legion. After my experience in Encounters with Canada, I would
definitely recommend it to other teens.