Search icon.

Catching the Spirit Youth Society

Youth Leadership through Outdoor Experience

CTS Newsletter for October 2012

Issue No. 2 | October 2012

Ubuntu Feet

From the Director's Chair

Hello CTS! How you doin' out there?  It's Sandra here - your new Program Director. I am currently writing this from my lovely new CTS office (aka my kitchen table) while a great beast of nature (my 'festively plump' cat) snoozes nearby. Ah, life with CTS can't get much better!  Fall has been so beautiful and I'm enjoying all the time I get to spend outside, whether it's picnicking with my friends for Thanksgiving, riding my bike around my neighbourhood, or working in the sunshine during a CTS event.

I hope you've all been out taking advantage of our unusually un-rainy autumn and doing the things you love to do! At Burnaby Lake camps we always ask a question before each meal - a fun way to get to know each other a little better. So I'm going to ask you a question: what is your favourite outdoor activity this time of year? Post it on facebook, tweet it to CTS, or email it to me! I'll put them up & we can all delight in the many, myriad ways to enjoy the autumn glow~  But beyond the wonderful weather, I know school is in full swing for you all. I hope your teachers are just as awesome as the CTS Mentorvisors, and that each activity you do brings you more knowledge and understanding of the world around you. (and I hope your homework piles are never taller than you!) School is just as much work as work in the 'real world' and I just want you to know I'm rooting for every one of you - show 'em your stuff! 

And if you happen to have some time for CTS in your busy schedules, there are lots of great CTS events that happen year-round! I know I wasn't aware of this when I first started with CTS...I wasn't even aware of it later on! So just so's ya know...we'll be posting the events on our website on Facebook on Twitter (@CTSProgram) and in the monthly newsletter - like this! Often the events help CTS to raise money, since we're a free program we need to have a lot of money in order to keep our camps running & keep them free for all! The events also offer more ways to be a leader, to get involved in our communities, to help others, and to create long-lasting CTS friendships - you also get Volunteer Hours for every bit of time you put in.

So if you had fun at one of our summer camps or Ranger programs - come out to an event and help us keep the magic alive!  And finally...with Hallowe'en coming at the end of the month I'd like to invite y'all to participate in some pumpkin carving! Go out & pick a pumpkin from your garden or a local community garden, or buy one at your favourite shop. Make sure you have all the right tools handy, and are doing it in a safe way. Then get carving! Once your Jack O'Lantern is glowing with your cool, scary, unique, wacky, CTS-inspired design - take a picture! Post it on facebook or email me the photo and we'll share the spookiness of Hallowe'en! WooOoooooo!

You've probably noticed our summer contest on our website asking youth to share what CTS means to them. Why are we doing this? Because we want to the amazing organizations who support CTS to know the difference their money is making. And if someone is thinking about supporting us, we want them to know why CTS is important to youth.

And we need you to tell them.

So we're asking CTS youth to take a moment to write a blog post for our website or (even better) a short video of you or your CTS friends. Tell us why CTS is important to you. Your words will help us get the support we need to continue offering our programs at no cost to Metro Vancouver youth.

Better yet, we'll be choosing someone this month to recieve a $10 iTunes gift card and a berry bush to be planted in your honor in the CTS community garden. So ... send in that blog post! Make that video! 

Upcoming Events

TRY Rubber Ducky Race - Cheer on runners, get CTS some money!

Help CTS raise some money! (this means more marshmallow-eating at camps!)

Come out to Burnaby Lake for a morning of cheering on runners in the Rubber Ducky Half Marathon. It's an easy, fun way to spend a half-day & it helps CTS out so much!

WHEN: Sunday, October 21st - 8:30am - 1:00pm
WHERE: Burnaby Lake Clubhouse, 3760 Sperling Ave, Burnaby
WHAT: cheering on runners, pointing runners in the right direction, giving water to runners, enjoying the beautiful fall weather with your CTS friends!
WHY: get volunteer hours! help CTS raise money!

To answer the call of duty email or call Sandra: / 604.562.0583

Soaring Eagle Nature School

You are invited to join Soaring Eagle Nature School for a unique woodland experience.

Once a month for seven months they will meet to study awareness and survival and tracking in the beautiful coastal forests of BC. They will cover skills such as friction fire, finding and purifying water, emergency shelter building and finding food. As well as these physical skills you will look at your relation to the landscape we are learning to understand - How can humans learn to relate to the natural world without harming it? Where is our niche in the ecosystems we used to survive in? And how can we use this ancestral knowledge to build a better place both for ourselves and the world around us?

Join Soaring Eagle Nature School for this opportunity to sink back into the land, overcome challenges both individually and as a group and take a closer look at the forest and animal life around us!

*Vancouver: Pacific Spirit Park- 7 months 9am-3pm Nov 3, Dec 8, Jan 12, Feb 2, March 2, Apr 6, May 4 $335

Please contact Danielle at

Recent Events

Starlight Foundation's Walk and Run for Smiles

Oceanwise Fishing at Walk for Smiles

Starlight Foundation's Walk and Run for Smiles fundraiser was held at Pacific Spirit park on Saturday, September 29th. It's an event that CTS has helped with for the past 4+ years, and every year we make it better & better! This event helps to raise money for kids with life-threatening disabilities, much like Make-A-Wish Foundation. There's a 10km run in the morning - such as our own CTSers Kate McMurchy (Peer Leader at Burnaby Lake in 2011 & at Cap River in 2012) and her brother Noah McMurchy who's come out to many CTS camps & events. These two speedy runners came in 2nd & 3rd overall in the race - way to go Kate & Noah!

Salmon Survival Plinko at Walk for Smiles

Once the run finishes, the walk begins and this is where CTS really leaves it's mark. There are many families that participate in the walk, but just walking around the trails isn't always that fun for little tikes, so CTS sets up 5 really cool games along the way to keep everyone's spirits high (that's our magic power!) and to teach folks about the environment while we're at it (we're sneaky that way!) The games were a huge success, especially the 2 new ones: Eco-Jenga; a giant Jenga game to learn how our ecosystem is so perfectly balanced, and Goodie Grab; learn the proper set-up of a bear cache and why it's important not to let animals become dependant on human food.  It was Nat's last event with CTS and those 23 youth who came out to the event helped make her send off a special one with lots of laughter, silliness and hugs! Thanks y'all - hope you enjoyed those DQ Dilly Bars!

International Rivers Day

International Rivers Day happened the day after Walk & Run for Smiles, on Sunday September 30th, making it a busy weekend for CTS! It was Sandra's first event as Program Director, and having been a Mentorvisor at Burnaby Lake for the past 2 years it was only fitting that 4 Burnaby Lake youth came out to help. Oh yeah, Burnaby Lake representin'!

The event was really just like our usual stewardship projects at camp - we met at BCIT outside the CTS community garden, then wandered up the road to Guichon Creek for some invasives removal - be gone knotweed & blackberry! Then we planted over 2 dozen native species once the earth was cleared of the foul knotweed roots (so stubborn!) This will hopefully keep soil from running into Guichon Creek and blocking it for the fish that live there, and also bring about a more balanced eco-system around the creek. Guichon Creek, it turns out, was nearly lost when BCIT was first built around it, but through the hard work of many volunteers such as CTS it is slowly being restored to a healthy, happy creek! For a video on this lovely little creek, check this out.   And many thanks go to Bob Gunn, President of the CTS Board for putting on this fun, important day...and for providing us with lots of yummy donuts!

Facebook iconTwitter icon