Memories, Magic and Meeting Moe
Ambiance. Camaraderie. Chemistry. Whatever you want to call it, the B.C. Student Voice (BCSV) meeting at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville, B.C. had it. Our busy weekend, from September 19th to the 22nd, was scheduled to include work, fun activities, and great food. We had such a successful weekend because of the location, the Tigh-Na-Mara staff, and of course, the people involved in BCSV and the results were unforgettable!
On Thursday night, people from all around B.C. converged at beautiful Tigh-Na-Mara Resort. There were many familiar faces along with several new ones. The atmosphere was lively as more and more people came in to the ballroom, which would be BCSV headquarters for the whole weekend. People socialized for about an hour, renewing friendships from the previous meetings, catching up, and meeting new people, Then, we all participated in one of BCSV's famous ice-breakers (we do these fun activities all the time). Afterwards, we had free time in which everyone socialized well into the night.
Over the next few days, we woke up early in the mornings and stayed up as late as we possibly could. No one really complained about having to wake up early since they had the delicious buffet-style breakfasts to look forward to. Needless to say, with all the eating and sitting, everyone gained a little weight by the end of the weekend! Between all the meals though, the teachers, administrators and students involved in BCSV really got down to business. Among the issues that were discussed was the role of assessment in our schools, Career and Personal Planning (CAPP), B.C. Life Skills and a proposed program about role models, youth crime and a resource package for student leadership. In all of these presentations, it was clear that students' input is now considered very vital to anything in B.C. education. All the presenters wanted the members of BCSV to give their honest opinions, including those of the students back home whom they represent. One thing is certain, BCSV is definitely heard!
The best example of how seriously BCSV is being taken, is the Honorable Minister of Education himself, Moe Sihota, came to us to discuss CAPP. Despite an illness in his family, he managed to find time to come and hear what we have to say about the implementation and curriculum of CAPP, Though we are aware of the many problems surrounding CAPP, we made sure that a positive attitude was maintained while deliberating what we need to do to solve those problems. This is one of the many reasons that BCSV works. We know how to look at both sides of the coin. I know that I wasn't the only one impressed with Student Voice. Moe Sihota made a deal with BCSV to make a report and proposal on what needs to be changed in CAPP, what works, and how to go about revising it. We agreed and are now currently working in our individual regions to get as much student input as we can. We hope to hear from you!
Among the less serious events that happened over the weekend were the evening activities. Given only one statement as a clue ("Get out your dimples"!), everyone figured out by Friday night that we were going miniature golfing. Randomly grouped into teams, everyone had a blast at a very colorful, hilarious mini-golf course which graciously stayed open past their closing time, just for us! Despite the rain towards the end, everyone benefited from the activity with new friendships, prizes for great golfers, and even a foot massage won by a bet! Of course, the other evening activity on Saturday night was just as fun. Our clue ("Please sir, I'd like smore") led to a great way to use our breathtaking location and cap off our last night together - with a campfire on the beach! Roasting marshmallows, singing songs, laughing and talking, this year's BCSV members definitely had great chemistry.
And that's really what it's all about: The people of BCSV. We made so many awesome memories. From the many attempts at all-nighters watching videos together in one cabin, to the inside jokes at group discussions. In the mornings on the beautiful beach, to the nights wandering through the woods from cabin to cabin. Each personality with unique, talents and opinions.
The location and the service were definite contributors to the atmosphere that weekend, but it was the people who provided the chemistry. I hope to see everyone at the next provincial meeting, including some new faces who won't yet know what an amazing group they're going to be a part of.