This mission was one of the most intense itineraries I've put together yet. Many people think that a Best Practices Mission is a holiday - all fun and excitement. They are definitely lots of fun and very exciting, but they are also long and busy days, with little downtime, not a holiday at all. In just 5 days, the participants traveled from various communities in the James Bay region in Northern Quebec to fly to Calgary, then drove to Canmore, Jasper and Edmonton, to fly to Vancouver, then drive to Squamish and then finally fly back home. There was a mix of driving and flying and we got to see some of Canada's most iconic regions.
We visited a range of organizations, each chosen for different reasons:
- Ghost River Rediscovery Society
- Outward Bound and the Sage Program
- Palisades Stewardship Education Centre
- North Vancouver Outdoor School
- Punky Lake Wilderness Camp
We met with the management staff of each organization to learn about:
- Challenges overcome
- Lessons learned
- Strategies implemented to stay sustainable
- Innovative partnerships
- Funding opportunities capitalized on
- Unique programming ideas
There is still a long road ahead for the CNYC in the development of the CWTC, but I truly believe with champions like Cassandra, Jamie, Abel and Stella and a young and motivated leader like Joshua, this project can become a reality in the very near future.