For a group of young enthusiasts from Nanaimo's Dover Bay Secondary School who had been fund-raising since September of 2000, four days and nights of the Whistler/Blackcomb environment was a great way to celebrate being a senior in high school. Packed with food, clothes, snowboarding and skiing gear, the group left Nanaimo with a crew of 28 students, 3 supervisors, and 1 bus driver to arrive triumphantly (albeit tired and cramped) at one of the mountains local hostels. Despite the fact that the accommodations were cramped, the cooking supplies few, and the bedding was primitive, the crew was hyped about being at one of the finest mountains in the world and ready to hit the slopes.
In fact for two days that's exactly what did happen. The slopes delivered some of the finest snowboard and skiing conditions possible, as well as, a snowboard park that most of the students had only seen the likes of on television.
However, what had started out as a trip to remember for all its good times, took a turn on the morning of the third day. At some point during the night, someone had broken in and walked off with eight high performance snowboards and one set of shaped skies. When you're 17 and 18 years old and your possessions are few, the fact that one of your most prized possessions has been taken by someone else isn't necessarily the best news to wake up to.
Neither is the fact that you have no money to rent equipment to finish the last two days of boarding and skiing.
Yet, the last thing they expected at a huge, world-renowned resort (busy entertaining a multitude of American vacationers on their President's Week) was to be shown compassion and understanding. When a parking attendant heard of their plight, an immediate rental for all victims was put into place for the day. When the rental shop realized they still would have no rentals for their fourth and final day, they graciously extended the rentals one more day. If that wasn't enough, the rental technicians ran around to several other rental shops to secure proper board lengths with similar board performance to what was stolen from the group.
As a supervisor on the trip, I still shake my head in disbelief. I watched the sincerity in these people's expressions when they heard what had been stolen and for no monetary gain, graciously gave what help they could. I find it odd that in a world where one day one person decides to think only of themselves and pocket cash for stolen boards, there are still others out there who give from the heart to try and make up for the atrocities of other people's selfishness.
Dover Bay Secondary School would like to publicly announce their appreciation and gratitude for the humanity shown by a resort that didn't really have to care if they didn't want to. Bravo and thank you to Whistler/Blackcomb Guest Services and Mountain Adventure Centre Rental shop. You made our trip better than what we expected.