The Trail and Rossland scout chapter received a financial boost and an extra surprise from Teck and the David Thompson Columbia Brigade to help out with the second Youth Summer Camp this year.
Teck provided $700 worth of funding to the group, which allowed them to purchase safety kits, badges for the kids at the completion of the week long camp and t-shirts, among other things.
When camp co-ordinator and Scout leader Heather Hamer was working out funding with Teck, it came up in conversation that they would like to use their canoes for the camp, but didn’t think they would be able to because they lacked an appropriate number of life-jackets and paddles.
So when she got a phone call from Dave Watson, member of the 2011 David Thompson Columbia Brigade (DTCB), Hamer was thrilled.
“He told me they had ‘approached Teck to help cover costs of the team and demos along the way and that Carol Vanelli Worosz (Teck’s communications manager) said they had to give back to the community (at the end), so we’ve got equipment that Carol said you needed,’” she explained, adding that she literally jumped at the opportunity.
The 18 life-jackets and paddles were used by the DTCB’s program, People in Boats, which allowed the public to paddle along the Columbia River with experts in a voyageur canoe at stops along the 1,800 kilometre trip that recreated the path Thompson originally paddled in 1811. It began June 1 in Invermere and wrapped up July 15 in Astoria, Ore.
The Scout group has two canoes, but over the years life-jackets and paddles have broken or gone missing, so they haven’t been used as much as Hamer would have liked.
But with the donation by the DTCB, now there are more than enough and the kids at camp were able to paddle their hearts out.
Clara Halbert, from Fruitvale, had never been in a canoe before but had a blast her first time out.
“I want to do it again, I had so much fun racing,” she said with a big smile.
“It was just a perfect fit,” said Nona Kucher, public relations assistant for Teck. “Just being here and seeing the kids, it warms my heart because every kid wants to get in a canoe and they’re going to get to now.”
The donation also means the group can expand their canoeing experience, including fishing and longer trips.