Two local students got the trip of a lifetime this past weekend where they took in the Grey Cup in Vancouver and spent time with the B.C. Lions as part of a Skills for Life youth summit.
Ty Arscott and Brandon Archibald, both Grade 8 students at Laurie Middle School, were the chosen recipients out of the entire Southeast Kootenay school district to attend the two events, along with just over a hundred other students from across the province.
Under the eye of LMS principal David Standing, they arrived in Vancouver on Saturday and attended the Grey Cup on Sunday. On Monday, then headed over to the Richmond Oval for team-building and leadership workshops with the B.C. Lions and also participated in skilled trades stations organized by WorkBC.
SD5 staff chose LMS to be the recipient school for the summit, and school staff were given the freedom to select two deserving students, according to Standing.
“Guys that know what they’re doing in the shop, guys that we could trust — good students of the school that we could trust to go away because it’s the three of us,” Standing said.
Arscott and Archibald were the lucky students who were given the two SD5 spots, flying out early Saturday in advance of the CFL championship game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday.
After seeing the sights on Saturday, the three headed down to B.C. Place along 51,000 other fans to take in the Grey Cup—the first CFL game ever for the two boys.
If getting into the Grey Cup wasn’t enough of a surprise, Arscott and Archibald also got to head down to the field and close to the stage for Imagine Dragons, which performed the halftime show.
Arscott noted they were in the Ti-Cats’ end zone right near the end of the game when Brandon Banks made his near-miraculous kick-off return, which was eventually called back by a flag on play.
“The boys weren’t CFL experts, we had to explain some of the rules, but [it was] a great game,” said Standing. “Right at the end there, we thought Hamilton was going to win.
“We were kind of pulling for Hamilton because their logo is similar to ours.”
The three got up early the next day and headed down to Richmond for the Skills for Life summit, where they got to participate in team building and leadership exercises with members of the B.C. Lions.
Those activities included little games where everyone had to work together to complete an objective, while other aspects included listening to personal stories from the players, as part of a campaign to stop violence against women.
“We participated in the B.C. Lions Skills for Life summit,” said Archibald. “We worked a lot on team building and anti-violence against women. Lots of team building and playing games.”
In addition to their activities with the B.C. Lions, the boys got to check out a WorkBC-organized area where they could check out stations that featured different kinds of skilled trades.
“You can find out what you want to do, then go to different stations and find out pretty much what you can expect for job numbers in the future, if you decide to become a computer programmer or a welder or whatever, and what you’d make,” said Standing.
Archibald enjoyed the team building, while Arscott got a chance to climb the rock wall, which he said “was pretty sweet.”
After the summit, all three flew back home to make it in time for school the next day.
Highlights from the trip for Archibald: “Being at the concert was pretty cool at the halftime show. The summit was good too.
For Arscott: “The game. Just being at the game was pretty sweet.”
Standing noted that the two students will carry what they experienced back to their peers within LMS.
“The program itself, bringing these guys together, the one thing they’ve asked them to do, is to come back to their school and continue the work [continue] to be leaders, be positive in the school, and as they get older, any message that they can give to others about treating women properly,” Standing said.
“…The workplace stuff was, ‘what do you do about your future?’ but in thinking about that stuff, treat people properly.”