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Hamilton Boys and Girls Club enjoys St. Anthony visit

St. Anthony and Hamilton, Ontario youth enjoyed their time together when members of the Hamilton Boys and Girls Club visited St. Anthony this past week. Their visit came after members of the St. Anthony and Area Boys and Girls Club visited Hamilton in March.
St. Anthony and Hamilton, Ontario youth enjoyed their time together when members of the Hamilton Boys and Girls Club visited St. Anthony this past week. Their visit came after members of the St. Anthony and Area Boys and Girls Club visited Hamilton in March. - Stephen Roberts

Local club took part in Youth Exchanges Program

ST. ANTHONY, N.L. —

St. Anthony is a long way from Steeltown.
And the Northern Peninsula town, built on the fishery and the legacy of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, is a far cry from the heavily industrialized southern Ontario city of Hamilton.
It was certainly something new for 15 Hamilton youth who visited here June 1-8.
Members of the Hamilton Boys and Girls Club were in town as part of the Youth Exchanges Program.
Their visit came after 14 youth from the St. Anthony and Area Boys and Girls Club visited Hamilton for a week in March.
The Youth Exchanges Canada program provides for reciprocal exchanges for individual youth or groups of youth, between the ages of 12 and 17.
The program, funded by the YMCA, has been running since 1976. This is the first time St. Anthony has participated.
Joanne Reinhold, regional coordinator for YMCA Youth Ontario, and Kristin McGaw, youth and education supervisor of the Hamilton Boys and Girls Club, accompanied Hamilton youth on their trip.
“The idea is they spend a week in each other’s communities and get to know a little bit more about what life is like in that community,” Reinhold told The Northern Pen.
During their stay in St. Anthony, Hamilton youth visited such sites like the Grenfell properties, L’Anse aux Meadows and Fishing Point, and enjoyed a boat tour.
McGaw says the boat tour, where they got to see whales and icebergs, was one of the highlights.
“Even though everyone got a little bit seasick, that was a great opportunity for them because we don’t see anything like that in Ontario,” she told The Northern Pen.
New relationships have been forged as well, as the two groups at each of the boys and girls clubs have developed a strong rapport over the course of each visit.
"They really only met each other in March and it’s been a long time in between, but they all get along so well, and you wouldn’t really know they were separate groups,” said Reinhold.
“It’s really cool to see the relationships build,” added McGaw.
She says the two groups have been communicating in the intervening months through social media.
Meanwhile, Cole Thompson, 14, was one of the St. Anthony students to make the trip to Hamilton. He says the aquarium was his favourite part of the visit. It was also a bit eye-opening for him, given how different life is in a city compared to the Northern Peninsula.
“It was a lot different out in the city than it is here,” he said.

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