Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Field trips to Vintage Wings … inspire BGCO children and youth

Reprinted from the Ottawa Citizen, by Andrew Mah

Staff of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa believe that inspiration doesn't end with good role models and safe clubhouses.

New Club programs and field trips are taking children and youth beyond after-school recreation and out into the real world.
The BGCO has been a familiar fixture in the community since 1923, reaching out to more than 4,500 children and youth each year through after-school, weekend and summer programs.

Bold new initiatives are being carefully designed to inspire them, stimulate their minds and introduce them to professions and ideas that may reside outside their realm of experience.

For instance, the BGCO's Super Tech Engineers program took an exciting jaunt in February. STEP is a new initiative that allows members to learn about the fundamentals of science through fun experiments, observation, and discussion.

Children are introduced to a variety of topics from Newtonian physics to chromatography, all in a hands-on and interactive way.
The February field trip was an inspiring and educational visit to Vintage Wings, a unique facility that commemorates untold stories of aviation history by maintaining and actively flying their rare collection of vintage aircraft of Canadian historical significance. Vintage Wings was founded by former Cognos CEO Michael Potter, who provided an official welcome and accompanied the STEP program visitors on the tour.

"This was a perfect opportunity for our kids to receive a fun and informative introduction to the field of aviation science and engineering," says Jerrett Defazio, Boys and Girls Club director of programs.

"We aim to inspire members to dream big and work hard to achieve those dreams," says Daniel Brunette, Boys and Girls Club acting director of fundraising. "The stories Vintage Wings shared and the people behind the organization, such as Canada's famed astronaut Chris Hadfield, now a pilot with Vintage Wings, helped reinforce that message."

For more information on 'real world' activities, please visit the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa website at

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