A few weeks ago, some students from Big Valley School had the opportunity to head to Quebec on an exchange; during the second week of May, it was their turn to host.
In a whirlwind week of activity, the Big Valley students and parents showed the Quebec students the best of what Alberta had to offer.
The Quebec high school students flew into Calgary on May 7, where they were met by a bus of students from Big Valley.
Instead of immediately returning to Big Valley, the students, and chaperones, they proceeded to Banff where the students could check out the hot springs, the Cave and Basin, and shop in Banff Town Centre.
That evening the students stayed at rented condos in Canmore; the next morning they boarded the bus and visited Lake Louise, Johnstone Canyon and the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington before returning to their billets in Big Valley.
On May 9, the group was on the move to Halkirk’s Circle Square Ranch. While there, the students had the opportunity to ride horses, try archery and learn canoeing and kayaking.
The next day, the students had the opportunity to visit Castor Colony in the morning before having some programmed downtime to spend with their host families in the afternoon.
Bright and early on May 11, the students were back on the bus headed to the big city, this time Edmonton to spend the day at the West Edmonton Mall Water Park and do some shopping.
On May 12, the students headed to Drumheller to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the hoodoos, and look around the town site itself.
The final full day of the exchange had the students stay closer to home. After having a chance to sleep in, the group headed to Stettler and hopped onto the Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions train and rode it back to Big Valley.
On May 14, the exchange students caught the bus to take them back to the Calgary airport.
“It was a whirlwind of a week with loads of activities and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the kids,” said Jenni Houle, one of the coordinators of the exchange.
“The word from all the host families was that we wanted more time with the kids. A great time was had by all.”