International dinner concludes 27th Annual Rotary Canoe Trip
Tim Brody - Editor
The 27th Annual Rotary Canoe Trip came to a close on July 16 during a trip-end international dinner hosted at St. Andrew’s United Church.
Rotary trip participants, leaders, host families, and Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout members packed the church for a buffet-style dinner that featured flavours from across the globe. Every International Canoe Trip participant brought a food dish that represents their culture back home.
This year’s 16 participants represented Hungary, Denmark, Turkey, Taiwan, Wales, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Czech Republic, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, and England. Some of this year’s dishes included spaghetti alla carbonara and pesto pasta from Italy, Norwegian smoked salmon, Mexican quesadillas, Danish meatballs, Swiss fondue, Turkish baklava, Turkish delight, Taiwanese curry, Belgian waffles, Canadian wild rice, and Canadian moose meat stir fry.
Following the dinner, participants and guests had the opportunity to share remarks and well wishes.
“Congratulations Rotary for doing this once again, thank you for the wonderful food, and congratulations canoeists. Your task is complete,” said Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance.
“You should all be very proud of what you’ve accomplished and the friendships you have made… Not only have the participants benefitted, but also the leaders, the host families, and the Rotarians of Sioux Lookout,” said Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout Past President Klaus Knorz on behalf of current club President Tara Drew.
“It was amazing, but really exhausting… We ended up with… mosquito bites, blisters, and stinky socks but, in between, we created the best memories of our lives. We were singing to the sound of the ukulele around the campfire instead of listening to speakers, playing games together, having political discussions, accepting different opinions and minds, and making friends for life,” shared Switzerland Canoe Trip participant Michelle Serena Von Arx, who gave a short speech on behalf of all the participants.
Participants received a certificate from Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa, a completion certificate from the canoe trip, a description of the legend of Sioux Lookout, a t-shirt, a pin, a map of their canoe trip route, and small gifting paddles to remember their trip.
When asked about their time on the trip, participants shared that they enjoyed their time even though the trip was difficult at times.
“I really enjoyed the trip. I took about 1600 photos in just eight days, so I really hope there are some good ones in there… I’ve been on three previous Rotary trips, and I think this Rotary club has really figured out how to arrange all this. It was great,” said Daniel Ribe, who is from Norway.
“I didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as it was, but it was really good. I think it was Tuesday, we canoed two days’ worth of distance in one, so the next day was a rest day. That was the best day because we already had camp set up, so we just woke up and chilled,” said Francesco Pedrini, who is from Italy.
“It was amazing. I had such a great time, and I’ve been able to make so many new friends,” said Kerem Camlitepe, who is from Turkey.
Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout member and trip organizer Susan Barclay said she got to know this group of participants better than others in recent years.
“They’re a lot of fun… They’re great. They’re very capable young people. They had lots of fun and they seemed to get along really well with each other too, so it’s a good group,” said Barclay.
Over the years, participants have made lifelong friendships through the Rotary Canoe Trip. The Rotary Canoe Trip is one of many International Youth Camps around the world and, after participating in four now, Daniel Ribe said he’s planning on going on a road trip throughout Europe in the near future to visit some of his closest friends that he’s met through different Youth Camps.
“Now that I’ve been to four different Rotary trips I have friends all over the world. I’m going to take a map, get all their addresses, rent a car, drive all over Europe and visit my friends. I’m really looking forward to that,” said Ribe.
For more information on the Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout, visit the club’s website https://portal.clubrunner.ca/992.