Whistler2020 Task Force Member
"I'm bored. There's nothing to do." Repeat this mantra 25 times a day and you are starting to relive many folks' youth.
Repeat the mantra of boredom in Whistler, where active citizens are supported by a litany of things to do, and it's funny to think that anyone here could be bored. But if you roll in Whistler's youth circles, boredom is in the house. In an effort to get youth more involved in issues and activities, and engage them to participate and be meaningful members of the community, a series of events this winter and spring have focused on engaging and integrating youth. From Peer Mentorship to ziplining, Whistler wants our young citizens to be more active, engaged and working together to help create the Whistler of the future. These programs will get to the core of the bore.
Whistler Secondary School and community service groups in the Sea to Sky Corridor have partnered to create a Peer Mentorship Program for students in Grades 10-12. The program will begin after March break and will meet every Friday over six weeks. Youth workers, prevention based educators, counselors and public health nurses have agreed to work together and educate peer leaders in the community about important issues affecting youth and the resources available.
The sessions will highlight: Drug and Alcohol Education, Sexual Health and Exploitation, Body Image and Abusive Relationships. Ten students have been selected for this program and they have been identified by the community as engaged and active learners, well respected by their peer group with a willingness to build their leadership qualities. These peer leaders will take the skills and knowledge they have learned from this program and encourage and engage other teens in this community.
The program developed at Parent Advisory Council discussions and education evenings where parents identified a stronger need to engage, target and empower teens ages 15-18 in Whistler and to give them the tools and skills to be educated and meaningful members of their community. This program also supports a 2009 action developed by the Whistler2020 Learning task force to get more youth involved in the annual Whistler2020 action planning sessions. These peer leaders will provide a youth's voice and opinion at the Whistler2020 Health and Social and Transportation task force action planning sessions in April.
Erin Stewart, Community Capacity Builder for Sea to Sky, of B.C. Healthy Living Alliance, is hosting a Youth Engagement Meeting at Millennium Place on Wednesday, March 25 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. (dinner included at 5:30). Adults and youth from the entire corridor are asked to answer an important question, "What steps can we take to get youth involved in Healthy Living in the Sea to Sky Corridor?" Participants will evaluate project ideas that involve or impact youth and help move the projects forward to action, developing strong relationships across the corridor. Ultimately a forum for youth where they feel they have an equal voice in developing successful projects which promote resilient communities and healthy lifestyles will result. Youth participants will receive a $25 honorarium for attending.
The Whistler Alcohol and Drug Committee hosted a successful Family Dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Whistler Secondary School. The focus of the committee is organizing and supporting events that educate children, youth, and families on alcohol and drug issues, as well as strengthen the family bond within a community context. The admission by donation event attracted over 70 people. Community members alike sat down and enjoyed a healthy selection of curries, pastas, fruits and vegetables and most of all, yummy desserts while learning more about the various community resources. Whistler Alcohol and Drug Committee's final event for the winter season, will take place on Thursday, April 9. Whistler families are encouraged to kick off the Easter long weekend with a Ziptrek Bear Tour at $50 per person. To book your tour contact the Ziptrek desk directly, specify the Family Fun Day event and be prepared to provide local identification.
To learn more about actions that are moving our resort community toward continued success and sustainability visit www.whistler2020.ca .