QHS students visit the Rockies!

Photo: provided by Sarah Sweeney

Zoom [Here] QHS students are awed by the beauty of the majestic Rocky Mountains

Quebec High School students recently spent one week taking in the Rockies, visiting Canada Olympic Park and bonding with host families as part of a SEVEC cultural youth exchange trip to Alberta. Twenty-four Secondary 2 and 3 students and three QHS organizers took part in the voyage.

While the rest of the country was engrossed in the Royal wedding and the Canadian election, these students were participating in First Nations workshops where they created a community quilt, made friendship bracelets and prepared bannock, a traditional bread.

Students also spent two days travelling to Banff where they soaked in the hot springs and visited the spectacular Banff Springs Hotel. The tour continued on to Lake Louise and Jasper National Park where everyone was awed by the beauty of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

“They were mind-blowing! It was like I was in a dream!” said Krissie Tremblay-Hogan, secondary 3 student.

Other activities included partaking in a Liberal Arts Festival at the University of Alberta, shopping at West Edmonton Mall, and going back in time at an 80s themed roller skating party.

“Roller skating was a cool experience! Everyone participated! We all dressed in neon clothing and the hall had flashing lights and music to add to the atmosphere. And afterwards, the parents made a pot-luck dinner for us,” stated secondary 2 student, Jordon Cloutier-Gregoire.

Host families in Edmonton kindly opened up their homes to the students during their stay.

“They made us feel at home right away. It was like we were part of the family,” said Sarah Sweeney, secondary 3 student.

But it wasn’t only the students who had a great time. QHS organizers, Fannie Cayouette-Marsh, Pierre-Paul Binet and Meg McDonald also enjoyed the experience.

“The trip was amazing! We had beautiful weather, saw lots of interesting sites, and got a chance to see a different part of Canada – and to top it off, we did it with a great group of kids. Our students did us proud!” said Marsh.

This trip was the second part of the exchange. Edmonton students and teachers had a wonderful time visiting Quebec City during Winter Carnival this year. The exchange was made possible through SEVEC (Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada), an organization that offers a variety of travel experiences to young Canadians at a minimal cost.
Students relished the experience so much that some of them have already made plans to return to their host families this summer and many are keeping in touch through Facebook.

“I’m going back in August!” exclaimed secondary 2 student , Jordan Cloutier-Gregoire.

Pierre-Paul Binet said he is scouting out other SEVEC travel opportunities for the students for next year.

“It was such a rewarding experience and one that none of us will forget! We’re already looking forward to the next trip!” said Binet.