Yesterday students selected from across Canada embarked on the Vimy Foundation’s Beaverbrook Vimy Prize! Follow our 2018 Beaverbrook Vimy Prize recipients as they blog about their First and Second World War history education experience! (Please note: participants will blog in their language of preference.) Today’s first blogs come from our five chaperones.
And we’re off…We made it to Pearson Airport, met with our Toronto student and her parents, and are waiting at the gate for all the other students to arrive on flights from their hometowns! I’m so excited to meet everyone in person and begin the England part of our program!
Katrina: Since the moment they learned that they have been selected as recipients of the 2018 Beaverbrook Vimy Prize, this group of students has been busy preparing for the program by completing academic readings, organizing group presentation materials, and by preparing a presentation about an individual who is buried or commemorated overseas. Over the past few months, each one of these students has already contributed something unique to this group with their work ethic and dedication to learning Canada’s military past.
By leading on-site lectures, asking thought provoking questions, and sharing in respectful historical debates, myself and my fellow chaperones will guide these young scholars across the landscapes, battlefields, memorials, and museums in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and France. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity that not one of us will forget.
Everyone has made it to Montreal and we are ready to ship off to London. I’m looking forward to meeting our two European participants and getting the 2018 BVP started. We have a great itinerary lined up and a fantastic group of students. Having the opportunity to learn about the two world wars while experiencing the sites and battlefields is a tremendous opportunity for the students to immerse themselves in the stories that marked this critical period in not only Canadian, but also world, history.
This will be my second program with the Vimy Foundation and my first time on the BVP program. This time around, however, I had the opportunity to be on the selection committee. I was fortunate enough to read a lot of the applications and I can say without hesitation, that the 16 students who were selected to participate will be an amazing group to share this incredible experience with. I can’t wait to get a start on the program and I am looking forward to returning to many of the sites we visited in April, and then some. Most of all, however, I am excited to participate in a program with such an enthusiastic group of students and chaperones, and see the positive ways this learning experience will impact everyone of us.
I’m writing from the Eurostar, on my way to London from Paris. Preparations for this programme have been intense and I can’t believe today is the day when it finally starts! Though I am only meeting one of the participants tonight, I feel like the BVP2018 has already kicked off. Knowledge in our programmes tipically flows from all directions, and I can’t wait to share my passion for the history of warfare with our students but also learn from them and with them. As usual, I have a few poetic and anthropological surprises prepared! This will be my third programme with the Vimy Foundation and my first BVP, and I am excited to lead the students through the country of my ancestors, where I studied and where my career as a First World War specialist began. I am also looking forward to rediscovering the beaches in Normandy and refreshing my knowledge about the Second World War. Most of all, I am looking forward to meeting such an enthusiastic and proactive group of young people (and not-so-young too, as I have missed our chaperone team!) and learning from them about the beautiful country of Canada.
-Julia Ribeiro Thomaz