Off to the show

Former Trail Princess 2009 Carley Henniger will be spending a week in Merritt competing in the BC Ambassador Program competition.

  • Aug. 13, 2012 7:00 p.m.

For the first time in the history of the Silver City one of its own will be carrying its colours to the B.C. Ambassador Program.

As the first Trail woman ever in the province-wide competition, Carley Henniger said most of her efforts went towards raising awareness for the ambassador program, as she was the first one to ever run.

The former Trail Princess (2009) left for the competition in Merritt yesterday and will be spending an entire week with 14 candidates in Merritt before the competition takes place next weekend.

But she began preparing for the competition in May.

“I grew up in Greater Trail so I knew that I would have a hard time getting people to step outside the box and look at what the youth of our area can do aside from sports,” said Henniger, while reflecting on her campaign for the B.C. Ambassador Program (BCAP).

“But Trail is a tight-knit community so I gained a lot of experience from the people I was able to educate about the program and my support grew. Support is honestly the only way a candidacy is possible.”

She said it had been “weird” doing all of the training by herself and not knowing how well she was doing compared to the other candidates, or whether or she had been doing things correctly.

The Trail Historical Society met with Henniger regularly to work on a speech about the community, while Bev Benson helped choreograph a contemporary dance routine for the talent show, and Sarah Benson encouraged her to learn more about the history and tourism of the area.

“I also had countless visits to my sponsors, the Knights of Pythias, as well as to the (Trail District and) Chamber of Commerce for guidance with my community presentation.”

The women in the ambassador program will be spending one week rehearsing their speeches and talents before talking to the BCAP committee later this week.

“My goal is just to tell people what is special about Trail besides our sports teams,” she said. “Trail is beautiful, so it pretty much promotes itself.”

Henniger is currently halfway through a degree at University of Northern B.C. where she’s actively pursuing a double major in political science and international studies, which ties perfectly into the mandate of the program.

“On Wednesday I take a three-hour knowledge exam about B.C., including our government, what our major exports are, major sports teams, national parks and geography of the province,” she said. “Then on Thursday I give a community presentation to the judges.”

The competition kicks off on Aug. 17 with a speaking competition and talent showcase. The following day will be a personal interview with the judges, modeling and an impromptu questionnaire.

“The thing I am most nervous about is the knowledge exam,” Henniger said. “Tests have never been my thing, and although I am heading into my third-year of university, I still dislike them in a big way.”

The aim of the B.C. Ambassador competition is to nurture provincial leaders of the future, promote and assist with the expenses of post-secondary education and to forge links of understanding and friendship throughout B.C. communities.

To learn more about Henniger, visit or

You can also show your support for her by voting online at until Friday.