Heartfelt feelings were shared at the closing Council Fire as students raved about the trip, the new friendships they had forged and the extraordinary beauty of the region. Round Square International Schools plan to send another group of students to Soaring Spirits Camp in the summer of 2013. They too should experience the genuine warmth of the peoples, the epic beauty of the landscape and reciprocate with their own contributions to the region – a gift from the global community.

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Summer 2012 Report

It has always been a dream that the Soaring Spirits Camp along the Skeena River would one day become a place where young people from all corners of the globe would come together with local and First Nation youths to rediscover themselves, each other and the natural world. No one every expected that dream to manifest itself as quickly as it did.

From July 18 to August 8 this summer, Soaring Spirits Camp had the privilege of hosting the first ever Round Square International Service project in Canada. Nineteen students and 4 teachers representing 11 countries took part in two major service projects: 1) re-opening the Boulder Creek Trail into Seven Sisters Provincial Park which has been overgrown for decades, and 2) building a beautiful cedar Council Fire pavilion in Kitwanga village so youths in that community have a culturally appropriate and safe gathering place at night.

Native youths from Port Hardy, Nisga’a and Wet’suwet’en territories joined the international youths for the 3-week project. In addition to 12-days of service work, the team enjoyed a mid project break, traveling to Hyder, Alaska to witness grizzly bears feeding on spawning chum salmon, to marvel at Salmon Glacier – the world’s largest ice field accessible by car and to enjoy sliding down some late season snow slopes.

Throughout the program the international delegation experienced the warmth and generous hospitality of First Nation peoples, being feasted in Morrice Town, New Aiyansh, Kitselas and Kitwanga. They also enjoyed fabulous meals in camp with wild salmon in abundance and fresh fruits and vegetables from the camp’s organic garden. Students were housed in large canvas wall tents with beautiful native house frontals, enjoyed daily gravity-feed hot showers and were constantly amazed at the level of comfort provided by a totally solar powered camp.

During the program each student crafted and painted their own elk skin drum that made for some rousing nights around the fire, and they ended their journey with a 3-day canoe voyage down the legendary “River of Mists” from Kispiox to Kitwanga.

Restoring the Boulder Creek Trail into Seven Sisters Provincial Park..

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