Royal assent for former Trail Princess

Former Trail princess takes one of three top spots in royal win at the B.C. Ambassador program

For the first time in the history of the Silver City one of its own will be representing the province in the B.C Ambassador program.

Carley Henniger, the Trail Princess from 2009, was dubbed royalty at the 2012 version of the show at the Merritt Civic Centre on Saturday.

After a week-long competition the B.C. Ambassador program (BCAP) crowned three girls to represent the province, including Castlegar’s Mariah Morris and Kamloops’ Acacia Schmietenknop along with Henniger.

“It was really stressful,” the 20-year-old Henniger said in Gyro Park on Monday. “All of the girls were really talented, and I was so surprised that I won.”

But the win didn’t come easily. Henniger said the week was one of the hardest in her life, and it began on Aug. 17 with a speaking competition and talent showcase.

That was followed by a three-hour knowledge test about the government, major exports and sports teams, national parks as well as the geography of the province.

On Aug. 18, all 14 candidates participated in personal interviews with the judges, modeled their gowns and participated in an impromptu questionnaire.

“I was really worried for the three-hour knowledge test because I don’t usually test well,” said Henniger. “But my grade was actually in the top five.”

In fact, Henniger placed in the top five for every category except for the talent show.

“But that’s okay,” she said, while praising her competitors. “All of the girls worked so hard and I’m so glad I got to know all of them.”

The aim of the BCAP 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.

Henniger is halfway through a double-major degree in political science and international studies at University of Northern B.C. (UNBC), which tied perfectly into the mandate of the program.

Her efforts have not been ignored: Henniger will receive a scholarship at the end of the year.

“That’s why I want my reign and my title to represent all of the candidates and the past ambassadors. I want it to represent their commitment and all of their hard work as well. They’re my motivation for this year.”

Henniger plans to return to the UNBC this fall, continue volunteer work in both Greater Trail and Prince George and she plans to attend more than 20 pageants to raise awareness about the BCAP over the next year, starting on Friday.

Prince George doesn’t have a program yet,” she said. “So I’d like to raise awareness about it up north and I’m going to help coach some of the girls in Trail while I’m back.”

Henniger was pleased about the support she received from the community and expected to see the program flourish in the area.

The BCAP is an annual event open to anyone between the ages of 17 and 23 who have previously held an ambassador title within the province.

For more information about BCAP visit http://www.bcambassador.com/2012-bc-candidates.