This year has been particularly special for two major reasons: the first being that NYA is celebrating its 20th year anniversary, and secondly that NYA is running three programs for the first time in NYA history.
Once again, Northern Youth Abroad held this year’s Orientation Camp at the MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre. Running three programs at the same time meant we had a massive group of Participants, Staff, and Volunteers all together this year at MacSkimming. With participants totalling at 58 this year, it was awesome to finally get everyone together and the summer started!
Orientation was a great mix of fun and learning delivered by our facilitators, group leaders, and several guest speakers. Sessions covered a range of topics. For the Canadian Program participants, sessions focused on goal setting, cultural awareness, communication, job preparation and leadership. Our NYA Next participants focused on goal planning and execution, teamwork, career or post-secondary opportunities, leadership and budgeting. Lastly, the International Program participants focused on cultural and language learning, international citizenship, travel, and tourism.
Orientation also included a variety of guest speakers who spoke on a range of topics including: smoking cessation & sexual health, first aid certification, work place safety, and financial literacy.
We also had some fun outings! Canadian Program Participants had the opportunity to spend an evening at the pool completing a swim lesson. Afterwards, the group was able to walk from the pool to the nearby Parliament buildings in downtown Ottawa. Also, the whole group travelled one afternoon to take in an Ottawa Champions baseball game.
We were also thrilled to take time one night to award Angela Nuliayok Rudolph our 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of her outstanding personal and professional achievements. NYA is so proud of all of our alumni and were so happy to have 8 alumni join us this year in facilitator/volunteer roles this Orientation.
All in all, Orientation was once again an incredible experience this year! We feel our participants are now prepared and poised to have incredible experiences throughout their summer placements!