150 youth from across Canada gathered at the Cheakamus Centre in Squamish for the first ever MEC Outdoor Nation Summit in Canada. I must say that it was an amazing experience to partake in this conference! Arriving at 9am downtown Vancouver, almost all attendees were shuttled off to the Cheakamus Centre for this event. Chattering on the bus, time flew by and we had already arrived at the outdoor centre where we were greeted by the extraordinary staff who had organized this conference. We all settled down for a quick breakfast (after receiving free goodie bags gratuity of MEC!) to hear more about the schedule for the weekend.
It all started with some lovely icebreaker games where delegates started to mingle and get to meet others with similar interests. At the summit, delegates pitched grassroots projects that addressed barriers to getting outside (eg: access, safety, education) to implement in their communities. The top three projects (as voted on by delegates) received funding ($1,500 each) from MEC. After the summit, more funding (additional $5,500) for various projects is available from MEC until October 31st. Sessions at the Summit were interspersed with outdoor activities, hands-on workshops and inspiring speakers.
Delegates camped overnight, with gear provided by MEC and sponsors. Evening highlights included live music and sleeping under the stars. The summit was completely free thanks to MEC’s commitment to 1% for the Planet!
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