On Wednesday we went to Variety Village. As part of the YMCA Youth Exchange Canada, we have to spend a day doing community service. As a group we brainstormed different organizations that we could volunteer with. After voting, we decided to volunteer with Variety Village.

Variety Village is an organization that for over 65 years has been working towards “improving the quality of life and integration into society of all people, regardless of their abilities. By offering specialized programs and services, they create a level playing field without barriers, intimidation or other obstacles. Dedicated to people of all abilities, Variety Village is a great place to get fit and have fun.” (http://www.varietyvillage.ca)

Once we arrived, we were given a tour around the building and we learned what they did there. Their gym is filled with equipment for people of all abilities. For example they were on one floor so all people could get around. The equipment could be altered so that people in wheelchairs could use them. There were different sections for the track. Some were for walking, running and wheelchair use.

After the tour we got to work preparing their outdoor space for the summer. We cleaned up the outside of the building. We were raking leaves; we tore down a shed, and put out the picnic tables. Some of the picnic tables only had one seat. The other side was left open so people using wheelchairs could also use the picnic tables.

After refueling from lunch we played a game of wheelchair basketball. It was really fun because it created a level playing field for everyone. We were surprised that it wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be and we were able to move the ball pretty well.

In the evening, at the school, we had an event with the organization, PEO which is the Professional Engineers of Ontario. We all met in the cafeteria room to listen to instructions of what the activity was. Our challenge was to build a boat out of different materials, such as pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, foam etc. and a little motor. Every group came up with a different design for their boat to make it look cool and good for the competition. The two judges were Sue and Russ. They had to time how fast each boat went through the pool of water and how much weight it could hold. This was fun because we were all cheering on each other’s teams and it was surprising because at the end the teachers came into the competition. This activity was a nice break from all of the running around we had been doing this week and it was good to just hang out with our twins.

Congratulations to the top two teams.

  • Team 1: Kali, Lindsey, Bracken and Alex G’s boat carried 440 grams
  • Team 5: Heather, James and Eben’s boat carried 408 grams

Sorry teachers, your boat did not even compare as you only carried 188 grams. Better luck next time.

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day Four

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