Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day Three

On Monday April 15th we went to the Toronto Island. To get there we took the ferry across Lake Ontario. Once we got there we did games and a cleanup of the Island and YMCA day camp areas to prepare for the summer. We had a bbq hot dog lunch bonfire. After that we had marshmallows before Rein put a cut down spruce tree into the fire.

We went back to the YMCA for dinner hosted by Ben’s family, Cole’s family and Bailey’s. The dish was Portuguese churrasco chicken and chocolate brownies and after the meal, Ben entertained us with his steel drum. Some of us got up and did a conga line.

After the performance, many students went to shop at the Eaton Center but some including me stayed at the school and watched the Maple Leafs game. The Leafs won and it was fun to hang out and spend time with our friends. After the game we went home.

By Cole and Gavin

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

Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day Two


 
On a very rainy Sunday morning we met the exchange group at their hotel and went to Spadina station to do some icebreaker games. Then we went on a scavenger hunt on the TTC. We had to find things about the TTC with the kids from New Brunswick. We started at Spadina station then we had to go to the different subway stations. Some of the subway stations were on line 1 and some were on line 2. We had to end at a food court in the underground path where we had to wait for the last teams to arrive. Rein’s team was victorious and received Spadina station buttons as a prize.

After lunch we walked to the Rogers centre to see a Blue Jays Game. Many of our visitors were excited for the game, including some who had never who had never been to a baseball game before. We all sat together in the 200 level outfield section. Some people bought Blue Jays clothing and lots of snacks for the game. It wasn’t always an exciting game, but it was fun to hang out with everybody.

After the game we came back to the school and a delicious meal prepared by parents was waiting for us. We ate in different classrooms and got to know each other better. After dinner some students chose to play basketball in the gym and others stayed at the school and hung out. This was the first full day of the exchange week and despite the weather it was a lot of fun!

By Bailey and Alex

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

Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day One

YMCA Academy students with the exchange group on Day 1
 
On our first day of the YMCA Youth Exchange a small group of our students went to go and greet the exchange students from New Brunswick who had just landed after their flight. We guided them on the TTC from their hotel to one of our exchange student’s neighbourhood where we had a feast at the local community center. Each student’s family had to contribute at least one dish to the feast, and those dishes ranged from pasta salad all the way to mini pulled pork sandwiches.

Before the feast started we introduced our new guests to a brief history of Toronto, which included the Indigenous history, and what the city was used for in the past. We then introduced them with a traditional Indigenous song and drumming. We then had Pauline Shirt, a Native elder who lives in Toronto, welcome all of the guests.

After that was finished we all ate the food brought by the parents, and then socialized with each other to get to know each other. Some teachers led the group back to the hotel and we said goodbye, before we met the next day.

By Phoenix

YMCA Youth Exchange Silent Auction

On Thursday March 28th, 2019 the YMCA Academy hosted a silent auction to help raise funds for the Youth Exchange program. Parents and community members/organizations graciously donated a wide variety of items which drew lots of people over to our auction. We had tons of books, shoes, pottery, gift cards, appliances, and 3 bikes!

We raised over $2500 which will significantly help us create an amazing experience for the exchange group. 14 youth and their leaders will be visiting from Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick and we have planned a full week of activities.

Thank you to all of our donors for making this event a great success!

  • Everyday Bikes
  • Massage Addict, The Beaches
  • A Good Sleep
  • Mud Makers Studio
  • ARTAX Taxation for artists
  • The Monarch Tea Co.
  • Tiffany Clare, Author
  • Ampersand Inc.
  • Penguin Random House
  • House of Anansi / Groundwood
  • KidsCan Books
  • bella wella
  • And thanks to our community of parents for their many generous donations!

    Academy on ice: Building community through skating and hot chocolate

    Students skating at Nathan Phillips Square

    By Jonah Milo

    On February 22, the YMCA Academy went on our annual school skating trip. The entire school including all grades and teachers walked down to Nathan Phillips Square and participated in skating and enjoying the trip as a community. Students with years of skating experience as well as students who have never tried on skates before all participated with enthusiasm in skating, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the -6 degree weather we were blessed with.

    The skating trip is a good opportunity for the school to do something as a community. During the trip you will see all the students participating in skating as well as more experienced skaters helping the less experienced. The skating trip is one of the many trips the school has throughout the year. The community at the YMCA Academy is something that is important to us and is why we have many trips throughout the year such as the skating trip as well as our Cedar Glen trip, and Toronto Island trip. These trips help us get to know each other as we grow as a school and as a community.

    Check out more photos from this event on Facebook page!

    Jonah is a Grade 12 YMCA Academy student.