In grade nine, because of the curriculum change, we learn about WW1, and Canada’s impact on the war. As you may know, Canada’s biggest influence, in World War 1, was during the battle of Vimy Ridge. This is why, for our field study, we went to Ottawa to learn about Vimy Ridge.
Encounters with Canada is a program that sends kids from all around Canada to Ottawa, where they participate in a week-long camp. Each wee has a different theme, to cater to more people’s interests. The battle of Vimy Ridge took place on April 9th, 1917, so the week we went was during the battle.
As I fore mentioned in my Destination Imagination Blog Post, the day we left for this trip was also the day of the Destination Imagination Provincials. This presented logistical challenges, with transporting all of our stuff, and whatnot. We had to leave early from the tournament, to catch our flight. It was 2:00am EDT by the time we actually got to Ottawa.
Our day started early the next morning. Well, actually, we didn’t do much the first day. Some people were still arriving, so they couldn’t start the activities yet. This gave us lots of time to work on our books, which was the project based on this trip.
As you may recall, when our class went to Oregon in grade 8, we had to create a ‘Oregon Book’. Each day, there was a page to fill out. So when we went to Ottawa, the teachers made a book for us. Except, everything was a lot more vague, because they had no clue what we were doing in Ottawa, other than learning about WW1 and Canada.
So in this post, day by day, I’ll be explaining what we did, and what we learned. At the bottom will be the full book, where you can watch all the videos and sounds and stuff!
We pretty much just got hoodies and hung around the centre. We also played with a parachute.
Monday was the 101st anniversary of Vimy Ridge. We got to witness the commemoration ceremony at the National War Memorial. It was really cool to see how even now, the people who died are remembered.
We also did ‘Vimy modules.’ In groups, we did different activities pertaining to Vimy. There was a huge map of the ridge that we got to walk on, a monument making thing, and a propaganda poster thing. It was super cool.
Then, we did these different activity things. I did yoga!
Tuesday was a really cool day. We got to go to the Canadian War Museum. We had a tour, did activities where we could hold artifacts, and had a bunch of free time to look around.
Wednesday was, I think, the coolest, most Canadian day I’ve ever had. This was the day when we went to parliament.
It was so awesome. We got to see the library,
go inside the peace tower,
and do so much more. It was amazing!
We also went on a walking tour of the different war monuments in Ottawa. It was all so cool.
During the Cold War, Prime Minister Diefenbaker commissioned a underground bunker in case of a nuclear attack from Russia. It is now a museum, and we got to visit it!
It was really cool to see how prepared they were in the event of a nuclear explosion. Also, it was in the middle of nowhere, which makes sense, but it took a while to get there.
When we were down there, we did this really cool activity where we were the different ministers and we had to figure out what to do because ‘the US had just been bombed’. I was the minister of communication, and had to come up with a press release. It was awesome.
When we got back, we also got to do the coolest thing ever. We got to talk to veterans. My group talked to a World War 2 veteran, and a Navy Logistics officer. It was amazing to here their stories.
Then, we had our own commemoration ceremony at a war gravesite. We put candles on the soldiers headstones, and had a minute of silence.
Friday was the end of the week, so we did a lot of wrap-up stuff. We had three-hours of free-time downtown, so me and a person I met went shopping.
Then we did a bunch of wrap up activities, and had a really nice dinner.
Finally, we had a dance. It was interesting.
This was the day of all the tears. I met so many amazing people on the trip, and today we all said goodbye. It was really sad. But I’m so glad I went on this trip because I made connections from so many people from across Canada.
We had a lot of free time before we left on our flight. So, our teachers decided to take us to Quebec. Not just Quebec, but the Canadian Museum Of History. It was super awesome, and I now I can say that I’ve had poutine in Quebec!
This is my book.