For the Independent
Lions Club Youth Exchange participants listen to wise words of canoeing wisdom from Doug Wilton (right) before departing on their canoeing adventure at Canoe the Nith.
The world was represented on Sunday at Canoe the Nith when the Lions Youth Exchange took part in a “Canadian Canoeing Experience.”
Twenty-one kids, ranging in age from 16-18, came from 13 different countries including Austria, Belgium, Mexico, Sweden, St. Martin, Poland, Slovenia, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Germany, and Czech Republic.
The exchange students are staying at 5 Oaks Campgrounds in Paris from July 16 to 26 as apart of their four-week stay in Canada.
The canoeing trip took them upstream in the morning, back to the site for lunch, downtown New Hamburg for ice cream in the afternoon, and then back to the site. This is the fourth year the group has taken part in this event.
One participant, Ida from Denmark, was familiar with the New Hamburg scenery. Kevin and Kelly Williams, of the New Hamburg Lions Club, has been her host family.
“This experience has been great,” says Ida. “The people here are all so kind. Even complete strangers are super nice.”
Deb and Dave Wilton, owners of Canoe the Nith, are very familiar with the program. Their son, DJay, is currently in Australia on the same program. Like all the participants, he had to give a presentation to the Lions Club on why he should be sponsored to take part.
“They don’t have peanut butter in Denmark,” says Callum Williams, son of Kevin and Kelly, when asked about cultural differences he’s discovered.
Chris Thomson, for the Independent
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