One of the best things anyone can do in this life is travel. Seeing the planet’s geographical wonders and experiencing its cultural diversity can give you an education and worldview like nothing else. So, when we were afforded the opportunity to help the Rankin Inlet Northern Exchange send a group of hockey-playing youths on a trip full of memorable experiences, we jumped at the chance.
Experiences Canada, a charity supported by the Government of Canada, set out to fund a youth hockey exchange during the 2017-18 season. The funding allows 2 teams to participate in a reciprocal homestay exchange program with each other, enabling the kids to experience life in a new location. By having new cultural experiences, they’ll gain an appreciation for what the world has to offer, make new friends and create lifelong memories.
The Rankin Inlet Northern Exchange was selected to send their minor hockey league team, the Rankin Inlet Rock, to Mimico in Toronto, Ontario. In return, the Mimico Canadiens were chosen as the Rankin Inlet’s exchange partners. Both teams of hockey-loving youths would now be able to experience a way of living life different from their own.
But even with funding and support, travel to and from the Canadian Arctic was the single most expensive aspect of the exchange program’s trip. The Packaging Company, lovers of travel and hockey, were fortunate enough to be able to donate and help defray the cost of travel expenses.
In October, youth from the Rankin Inlet Northern Exchange flew into Toronto for a week-long experience full of making new friends and family, playing and watching hockey, touring sites and attractions, taking hikes, and enjoying living in a new location. Though they all agreed the trip passed too quickly and ended too soon, they’re happy to have made new friends and experienced a trip they might not have made otherwise.
Next May, the youth of the Mimico Canadiens will make their trip to Rankin Inlet, where they’ll get to experience life in the Canadian Arctic and meet back up with their newfound friends. Once both trips are complete, both teams will have learned new lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, community pride and respect for the larger world around them.
Here at The Packaging Company, we’re honoured to be among those able help the Rankin Inlet Northern Exchange enrich the lives of all these young hockey players. We look forward to the travel-loving, world-centric human beings they’re all sure to become.
The Rankin Inlet Northern Exchange would like to thank: