Last week our Pathfinder unit took part in the Canada Line tour which is offered free to school groups. I’d heard great reviews from younger units such as Sparks and Brownies, and how the girls had a great time – so was a little unsure whether the older girls would gain as much from the experience. However, I am pleased to report that the Canada Line tour and its great staff are perfect for all ages.
The organizer sent us a questionnaire to complete prior to the tour, asking us what we would like covered – so for older girls who were perhaps just starting to take transit on their own, we asked for a “how to” tour, that concentrated on safety for the girls and what to do if they felt unsafe while taking transit. This fit in nicely with the Safe at Home and Out and About badges. Well, transit certainly delivered – we had wonderful guides in Greg and Yoko, were accompanied by their supervisor Diane (who organized the whole thing), plus two transit police constables, and a bonus visit from Lucy the bomb sniffing dog and her constable handler. Who knew that they sniffed for explosives on Canada Line!?
We started at the ticket machines, and learnt about buying tickets and compass cards, reviewed the safety features in the stations such as cameras, and emergency phones, and received a personal welcome over the intercom for our girls. A personal train was brought in for our tour alone, we learnt about how the trains are controlled, and the safety features on the train itself. Then the bonus round (which caused us to miss our Seabus home – but was worth it) was a visit with Lucy the bomb sniffing dog and her handler. We even witnessed Lucy in action practicing an examination of a waiting area which revealed semtex explosives in a compartment – luckily this was only a training episode and her handler had placed the explosives there! According to him, they had never actually located a real threat – good to know. Our transit constables had to leave us, as they received a call into action during our tour. At the end, we finished with Taps on the platform and the Canada Line staff presented us with a lovely package containing a crest, snack bar, maps and information. Plus a pop out cardboard train to construct, which although designed for younger children, our Pathfinders happily put together while waiting for the Seabus. All in all, a great experience for all ages.
Sarah Grierson Bishop the leads 8th Crown Pathfinders.