Passions surged at the Miners Hall last Wednesday as grades eight and nine from Rossland’s Seven Summits Centre for Learning presented their ROPE projects to friends, family and neighbours.
As explained by Mentor Sue McBride, The Right Of Passage Experience (ROPE) is a program intended for kids to be able to take what their passionate about and what their interested in and be able to independently explore that passion.
“This is without the help of their parents, without simply doing it for them, which many parents typically want to do.”
McBride previously worked with in California, with an institute similar to what the Seven Summits Centre is. Down there, they ran a program nearly identical to ROPE and is where she drew inspiration for the project.
The students took to the stage for around five minutes to give a presentation on their project. This included a brief section on history, what they learned and how they did it, followed by a demonstration of whatever it was they were working on.
The ROPE program teaches the kids valuable lessons and gives them a taste of what being an adult will entail, including meetings and deadlines.
McBride explained, “They have to find a community mentor — someone in the community that has an interest in the students project — coordinate with them, set up a schedule and of course figure out if their initial project is truly what they want to do.”
“Some kids, actually many of the kids changed their project. They thought they were interested in this or that but then thought, ‘Maybe this isn’t what I want to do.’ This is okay, because it was a year long project and an evolution process. It’s for them to learn what it is they want to do.”
It’s all about growing and learning about yourself, the mentor added.
Almost all the kids had never done public speaking or formal letters or set up schedules with adults so this whole experience was extremely enlightening for them.
The whole idea of growing and maturing to be more independent is why it was targeted towards grade eight and nine students.
The quality of the end product, definitely took some people by surprise.
“I was blown away.,” McBride admitted, “First of all, because of the projects that they all chose, each of them were so different from forensics to building a bike rack to dancing and violin playing. They all had such incredibly different interests it’s just mind-boggling to think that we are able to provide support for all these different interests for the youth. Not everyone wants to play soccer or mountain bike and ski.”
The staff at Seven Summits would like to acknowledge all the community mentors that shared their knowledge and time with our learners. They have made this journey for them memorable and life changing.
Additional acknowledgement would be given to Logan Merringer who donated his project to the Centre. He designed and built a bike rack with Matt Titheridge from Mofab.