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2018 Experiences Canada Award
Girl Guides of Canada, Elgin, Ontario
In collaboration with her twinned Girl Guide group in Nova Scotia, Pat Watson seamlessly connected ideas of community stewardship — both formal and informal, historical and in present-day society.
She built an engaging itinerary that fostered a greater understanding and appreciation for Canada’s history and heritage through visits to key sites such as the Parliament Buildings, the Canadian War Museum, Fort Henry, and Sir John A. Macdonald’s home. The Girl Guides also learned about the natural heritage of the region through camping and canoeing activities.
Consistent with Guiding traditions, they also participated in a community service project. The youth made colourful fleece capes for a local women’s shelter so that children who access the shelter’s services could have toys to play with and something warm and soft to comfort them.
As Ms. Watson explained, “History is intrinsic in everything we experience, from the ways people interact with one other, to the geology of the earth that underpins and informs the landscapes we live in. All you have to do is look at your surroundings with a different eye and imagine someone else being there for the first time.
That’s how you make your heritage and history come alive, and give these young Canadians an educational experience that will expand their horizons and resonate with them for the rest of their lives.”