Visiting Rotary Youth Exchange students enjoy Hot Chocolates hospitality while discovering downtown Courtenay last Saturday.

Whirlwind tour for Rotary exchange students

35 students, representing 24 different countries from around the world

If you happened to be on Fifth Street on Saturday afternoon, you may have wondered about several groups of teens seen exploring the downtown core.

While that in itself may not have been unusual, what set these students apart were the blazers they wore decked out with all kinds of pins, badges, and country flags.

These were visiting Rotary Youth Exchange students – 35 in all, representing 24 different countries from around the world.

This particular group of students are being hosted for the year by individual Rotary clubs in northwest Washington State and Vancouver Island.

The four Rotary clubs in the Comox Valley invited the students here for five days last week in an annual event called Rendezvous. This was the 36th year for the event and was a great success.

Their time here was a whirlwind of activities starting with a welcome dinner and parade of flags.

Subsequent days included yoga, dance instruction, swimming, skating, cosmic bowling, karaoke, outdoor adventure, and a fabulous presentation by Andy Everson and the Kumugwe dancers at the K’omoks Big House. One of the final activities was scavenger hunt in downtown Courtenay supported by business owners along Fifth Street.

The highlight of the scavenger hunt was a special ice cream treat at Hot Chocolates for each of the students as they finished, courtesy of Jorden Marshall and Michele Henry.

The students were overwhelmed by the warm welcome and generosity of everyone they met in the Comox Valley and will carry these wonderful memories with them for years to come.


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