Challenge Day crosses the line

On April 19, Fernie Secondary Students participated in Challenge Day, one of several to come to Fernie in recent years.

By Adam MacDonald

 

On April 19, Fernie Secondary Students participated in Challenge Day, one of several to come to Fernie in recent years. Founded in 1987, the 6.5-hour program challenges students to “Be the Change” through a series of eye-opening exercises that expose participants to the effects of bullying, celebrate the diversity of our schools, and hope to create a safe and welcoming community in which students can learn.

The emotional day leaves students drained, but also fills them with a deeper understanding of the hardships many of their peers face on a daily basis. Val Purdy, an adult volunteer who took part in the workshop, says: “I think it’s a great day. It is an awakening moment for many kids; you learn to appreciate what you do have.”

Val also speaks of the frustration many parents have in trying to understand their child’s experience, because the intense emotions experienced throughout the day are simply hard to articulate. “Unless you have been a part of Challenge Day you can’t really understand the effect it has; I am really lucky to have been a part of it,” says Val.

Many students who have participated in the experience say that their most prominent memory is of a group exercise called “Cross the Line.” The activity, which is done in complete silence, is a visible representation of the difficulties many students face in their lives. By having students cross an empty aisle to show that they have had an experience, such as losing a parent or being hurt by a family member’s alcoholism, Val says, “the kids realize that there are a lot of their friends or kids in their school that have big problems in their lives.”

Pam McLeod, Betty Robb, and Brenda Caldwell were the organizers of this year’s Challenge Day for Fernie Secondary School.

Just Posted

Komatsu announces plans for $40M, 85k-square-foot facility in Sparwood

Komatsu Mining Corp. has announced plans to develop a new 85,000-square-foot sales… Continue reading

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Motor vehicle incident in Sparwood results in death of dump truck driver

An individual has died after the dump truck they were driving went… Continue reading

Fernie chainsaw carver wins big at Logger Days

Michael Penny placed 3rd at Powell River Logger Sports, last weekend

UPDATED: RCMP confirm one death in accident

Two motorcycles ran into the back of a vehicle towing a boat trailer on highway near Cranbrook

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read