Scout Island, Nature Trust announce writing contest winners

The response to the Scout Island writing contest brought smiles to the faces of the judges who got to read them all.

The response to the writing contest jointly sponsored by Scout Island and The Nature Trust brought smiles to the faces of the judges who got to read them all.

It’s truly heart-warming to know how much our gem of nature in the city means to people.  We got entries from near and far, from little kids to grandmas.

Here are some brief passages from the winning entries:

Adult – First prize goes to Maggie Ranger, who wrote:

“…my grandson Ryver says: “Geese! Ducks!” and that is his way of asking to go to Scout Island.  A few weeks ago, when we heard thunder there, Ryver rubs his fingers together and makes a kissing sound.  He says “Rainbow, rainbow…kiss, kiss, kiss.”  Lo and behold, we turn to walk back to the car and there is the most vivid, spectacular rainbow I have ever seen…magic…yes, years of magic…thank you, Scout Island”

Maggie wins a catered lunch and nature walk for four, Nature Trust toque and carabiner.

Adult – Second prize goes to  Monica

Lamb-Yorski, for her free-form ode to

Scout Island:

“For 30 peaceful minutes you shared your paths, even revealing a surprising height of land where you enticed me to pause, view the lake, appreciate the breeze, and reflect on everything I have to be grateful for.  I departed knowing I’d made a new friend.”

Monica will receive a Scout Island t-shirt, Nature Trust toque and carabiner.

Adult – Third prize is shared by

Jennifer Thuncher and Chris Hornby:

They receive stainless steel water bottles, Nature Trust toques and carabiners.

Jennifer wrote: “We made our first trip to Williams Lake as a family in the summer of 2008.  As with all merged families, it is sometimes awkward when you are in a place where most of the memories are from one person’s old life, however on this trip Mykel…wanted to take us to Scout Island.  …We spent a wonderful few hours discovering the Island together…and Mykel shared with us memories of the area from his childhood. Scout Island… has become a peaceful respite every time we come to Williams Lake!”

Chris Hornby said: “When my mother was passing away … I went to a special bench … on a hill up a narrow path, just west of the cache pits.  I prayed for a sign if I should go to my mother.  My prayer was answered when I got home … At Scout Island one finds peace, quietness, happiness and often spiritual questions are answered in nature.”

The high school winner is  Sam Delacherois:

She beautifully expresses a wealth of memories, including this touching moment:

“Scout Island is a place to let go

A place to say your final goodbye

Watching the balloons float to the sky

A note of desire and hope fastened on the string

As it soars through the clouds

That Sunday of every May.”

Sam will receive a pair of binoculars, toque and carabiner.

Intermediate first prize winner

Mia Leblanc:

Age nine, of Marie Sharpe school, Mia gets to bring her friends to Scout Island for a birthday party, where she can also show off her Nature Trust toque and carabiner.

She wisely says: “I think Scout Island is a good place to be because it’s calm.  So when you’re upset or mad, you can go there and you will forget why you were even mad and upset.”

Another tie – Intermediate second prize winners Carter Vallerga and Maia Vitoratos,

Both are in Grade 4 at Chilcotin Road elementary.

Each can choose a nature book or viewing scope from Scout Island, along with their toques and carabiners.

There were so many great entries from Ms Sacchetti’s Grade 4 class. It was very hard to choose.  The whole class gets so come to Scout Island on a bus paid for by the Nature Trust.

pressed with all the swimming and eating that goes on at the Nature Centre. His poem reads:

“The geese fly around and the ducks swim in the marsh.

The fish eat flies and the river otters dive into the water and swim.

The swans swim in the marsh.

And the coyotes eat ducks.

What a great place to be!”

Maia wrote about the many faces of Scout Island through the seasons.  About summer she said:

“There are so many things you can do.  There is a camp where they teach you all about animals and you can do art and fun games!  Also suntan on the beach and swim in the lake.  Also take a nature walk!  Even watch fireworks!  It’s extraordinary….Scout Island ROCKS!!!

Intermediate third prize goes to Cory Mapson, a 10-year-old home-schooler from 100 Mile House.

Cory will receive a toque and carabiner.

Cory drew the duck blind beside the Willow Trail to create a delightful shape poem, which reads:

“Peeking through the bird blind is very cool and fun

But I get upset when I am done,

But I can come back, and then I’ll go

On a trail again. “

Primary first prize

Candice-Rose Mapson, also home-schooled in 100 Mile House

She wins (birthday party, toque and carabiner) for her letter inviting a friend to visit Scout Island.

She writes: “Dear Keleey:  I hope you get a chance to visit Scout Island.  It is sooo cool with all its little paths and boardwalks.  I just love it … Just watch out, it’s animal friendly so don’t hurt any of the animals there.  But I’m telling you, you really should go because it rules sooo much.”

Primary second prize  goes to Tyana Ross,

Age 9, from cyber-space.

Tyana can choose a nature book or viewing scope from Scout Island for her lovely memory:

“Me and my dad went to Scout Island and went to my favourite part, the bridge and we quietly looked out and saw a fat beaver nibbling on a piece of wood…. At Scout Island I like to think how blessed I am to know about it.  Scout Island is a very special place.  I like to think there… And of course I love imagining I am a bird or fish”

The Primary third prize comes from Lorene Fennell’s Grade 2 class at Marie Sharpe,

The class will also be bussed to Scout Island, courtesy of The Nature Trust.

Madison Boston will receive a Nature Trust toque and carabiner for this nicely-connected sequence:

“Scout Island is birds flying.

Scout Island is birds swimming.

Scout Island is tadpoles swimming.”

The Grade 1 Class from Chilcotin Road School,  special mention.

For writing the only song submitted, and it’s a dandy!

They will receive a copy of “Do Moose Have Big Feet” for their classroom, and share the bus ride to Scout Island  with the Grade 4s.

Here is part of the lyrics, to the tune of Down by the Bay (where the watermelons grow):

“Down at Scout Island

Where plants and animals are alive

Back in the Nature House

Habitats to thrive

For if we care

Nature will always be there…

Did you ever see a frog

Eat a worm in the bog

Did you ever see a smart crow

Put ants on his feathers in a row…

Down at Scout Island.”

Heartfelt thanks to all who entered our contest and shared their appreciation of Scout Island.

Many people do not realize that we might not have this place that means so much to our community, without The Nature Trust’s foresight all those years ago. By purchasing the land in 1973, TNT’s forerunner The Second Century Fund made possible all the enjoyment, wonder and memories that are reflected in these writings. Congratulations to the winners!  Scout Island staff will be in touch to get your prizes to you.