Ten Cape Breton youth will spend a couple of weeks living as rural Gaels and be paid for it this summer at Highland Village Museum/An Clachan Gàidhealach, Iona. The students will receive instruction in Gaelic singing, dance, music and storytelling. Island of Youth is an innovative apprenticeship for Cape Breton youth age 14 to 18. Managed by the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia, the program is a paid learning experience in Cape Breton’s Gaelic culture, history, and language. The program takes place from July 23 to Aug. 3. The program leader is Mary Jane Lamond, who with guest tradition bearers will introduce participants to Cape Breton’s living Gaelic culture. Apprentices will experience the Cape Breton Gaels’ rural lifestyles by joining with museum staff in activities such as weaving, gardening, soap making and milling cloth. Island of Youth encourages teamwork, cultural appreciation and community volunteerism. Gaelic apprentices will also be required to organize an event for youth in co-operation with Christmas Island’s Comataidh Féis an Eilean. Highland Village features 11 period buildings, chronicling the history of Scottish settlers, arranged over a 43-acre site on a hillside above the Bras d’Or Lakes. It provides an exceptional venue for Eilean nan ñg. Highland Village Museum/An Clachan Gàidhealach is located at the heart of central Cape Breton, settled by Gaels from the Isle of Barra in 1802. Youth wishing to apply for the Island of Youth program are required to write Comhairle na Gàidhlig/The Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia at P.O. Box 123, Iona, N.S., B2C 1N8. The letter should be about a page and describe why he/she believes Gaelic language and culture is a valuable community asset. The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 9. Inquires and applications can be directed to Jim Watson at the Highland Village Museum by phone at 902-725-2272, e-mail [email protected], or fax 902-725-2227.
A blast from the past is about to show Nova Scotia’s youth that smoking is uncool, as the provincial anti-tobacco campaign kicks off again today, Nov. 8. “There was a lot of buzz and support among youth, parents and the health community when we launched the campaign last winter,” said Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health and Wellness. “We know that youth are heavily influenced by their peers and what they see around them. This campaign will continue to show them that hardly anyone smokes anymore.” Teens believe that about 42 per cent of their peers smoke, when in fact, it is only about 15 per cent. Using social media and creative displays that depict ashtrays as dinosaurs will help teens understand that hardly anyone smokes anymore. During the second phase of the campaign youth 13-18 years of age, and enrolled in a Nova Scotia school are invited to take part in a video and photo contest. Youth are asked to show their creative side with either a photo or two-minute video that shows what 85 per cent of youth are doing, while the other 15 per cent are smoking. The grand prize is $5,000, and 20 secondary prizes valued at $250 each will be awarded. The contest starts today and runs until Feb. 29. “We must take a proactive approach to addressing tobacco use in Nova Scotia. That’s why I strongly encourage youth to take part in the contest,” said Ms. MacDonald. “We want youth to demonstrate that in reality the smokers are in the minority.” In 1999, the youth smoking rate in Nova Scotia was 30 per cent. Through smoking reduction efforts the number dropped to 14 per cent by 2008. Since then, youth smoking rates have leveled off at 15 per cent. The province wants that number to drop to 10 per cent by 2015-16. For full contest details, youth can visit www.15andfalling.ca or go to www.facebook.com/15andfalling and click on the contest link.