Spirit of BC Launches Altitude Youth Experience

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It was a weekend of new experiences and new friendships when 60 youth from across the province met in Vancouver and Squamish for the first Altitude Youth Experience Retreat 2007.

Altitude participants, aged16-18, heard presentations by adventurer Colin Angus, Olympian Deidre Dionne, ultra-marathon runner Jason Terauchi-Lotitte, Vancouver-Burrard MLA Lorne Mayencourt, and West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA Joan McIntyre.

Youth travelled to Camp Summit in Squamish and participated in leadership activities, workshops and planning sessions designed to give them a foundation in leadership and community involvement.

"Everyone has their own styles of leadership," said Vanessa Wattamaniuk, an Altitude youth from Coquitlam. "The [Altitude] workshops helped me define and identify those styles for me."

Altitude participants are members of their local Spirit of BC committee and help to organize youth-oriented events in their hometown. For these youth, the retreat was about more than learning new skills. It was about meeting new friends and connecting with others from around the province.

"I really enjoyed myself and I'm totally amazed at how fast everyone opened to each other," said Madeline Francis, one of three youth from Mackenzie.

"[It was good] to meet with other young people who share the same goals and interests," said Randi Edmundson from Kamloops. "If we wouldn't have come to this, we wouldn't have known who was out there."

Altitude Youth Experience provides youth, aged 16-18, opportunities to get involved in their communities and learn leadership skills by joining their local Spirit of BC committee. The program is supported by the Province of British Columbia. Visit SpiritofBC.com for more information.