Recently I was fortunate to attend the ACTIVATE! 2008 National Youth Leadership Conference on Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. It was an amazing experience and I was able to meet some extraordinary people from across the country. Learning about the different cultures from across Canada was one of the most interesting things. Within my room I had a very diverse group, one roommate was from St. John’s, Newfoundland, the other from Iqaluit, Nunavut, and the third from Norman Wells, North West Territories. It’s amazing how different but also how similar some of the cultures within Canada are. One of the most memorable things was learning about the Arctic Winter Games (See video below) and some of the traditional events such as the two foot high kick. I can’t wait to try and incorporate some of this new cultural knowledge into my teaching if I have the opportunity. I believe it would be very beneficial for students to learn about the northern cultures and very fun to try out some of these events.
At the conference one of the big themes was networking. My professor, Alec Couros, continuously demonstrates how powerful ones network can be and it has motivated me to strengthen and build my own. Thus, at this conference I was able to learn more about networking as well as expand my own network. I was able to meet with people/organizations from various sporting and physical activity fields, get to know other pre-service teachers and most importantly build relationships with 40 people from all parts of the country. It’s nice to get the perspectives of people in different places and to see what type of things are being done there. I was blown away by the list of things some young people have already accomplished in their lives, they really fit the category of “making a difference.”
Lastly, technology was also incorporated. As part of the conference, all of the delegates created an action plan with ways to help improve sport, recreation and physical activity in their communities. These action plans were then added to a site where each delegate has their own profile and page explaining their goals and activities. There is also the option of posting resources, deadlines and each person can edit their own information or plan as it changes and grows. It was nice to see technology incorporated in this conference and it is helpful to view other projects/action plans.
Overall it was a great experience and below is a video of Rick Mercer giving an in-depth look at the Arctic Winter Games.