Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tough Questions from Tough City's Future

This past Thursday I was part of a panel of "community leaders" (subject to quibbling, but that's what we were called) that gathered to meet with grade 6 children from Tofino and Ahousaht. The children had spent two days together at a "Sustainability Camp" put together by the Raincoast Education Society and held at the Tofino Botanical Gardens/Clayoquot Field Station. My daughter was part of this camp (and I participated in a too-late night as a chaperone) so she gave me as much of a scoop as a 12-year-old will divulge. They did activities on the mudflats and at the beach, talked about things such as water, food security, and personal responsibility and hung out and met a few new kids (okay, and some did their hair and make-up with a suitcase-sized make-up kit).

The kids asked us some great questions including: Why don't we have a sewage treatment plant? (good question; we will by 2013 thanks to new legislation); Can we have a community garden in Tofino? (apparently we might and the school does have one); and, my favourite, "Why don't we put special panels in the sidewalk so we can generate electricity from all of the people walking along them?"

Thanks to the RES for initiating this project. (And for the teachers who hung with those kids for three tiring days.) If nothing else, they were inspired to think about new things, learned where their fabulous drinking water comes from, got to play in the mud during school, and hung out with some fabulous young role models, as well as these groovy dancers in the gardens:

Update as of June 23, 2009: Here's a clip about the camp from our local paper, The Westerly.

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