Girl Guide leader, environmental ambassador and humanitarian Christine Thompson has won the Lynn Papp Community Service award this year.
“It’s just really nice to be recognized and to know that people are at least seeing what’s going on in the community,” said the Pitt Meadows resident, who was initially surprised when she was told she had won the award and was even more surprised to find out her parents weren’t the only ones to nominate her.
Thompson loves camping and canoeing in the summer, snowboarding in the winter and music all-year-round.She frequently plays the bass.
For the past three years, the 18-year-old Thompson has volunteered more than 350 hours as a junior leader for the Pitt Meadows Girl Guides, leading games, crafts and songs, attending meetings, teaching children camping skills and sharing with them her love of the outdoors.
Thompson has dedicated more 70 hours helping to run and supervise summer day camps through the Ride Meadows Parks and Recreation Youth Futures program.
For five straight years, she has organized the a shoreline clean-up on the Alouette dike and has volunteered with the Alouette River Management Society, planting trees and helping get rid of invasive plant species in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
She participates in the Pitt Meadow’s Remembrance Day ceremony every year.
Thompson recently spearheaded a monthly project with her Venture Scouts group to prepare, pack and deliver care packages to the homeless people on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – a project Thompson felt was amazing because it was face-to-face and personal.
Thompson helped organize Halloween for Hunger 2012 with the local food banks and has spent 240 hours teaching environmental stewardship and ecology at the North Vancouver Outdoor School.
She has raised money and awareness for We Day, volunteering as a ‘crowd pumper’ to keep participants motivated throughout the event.
Thompson attends Pinetree secondary in Coquitlam for its Global Perspectives program, which teaches students about issues in developing nations. It was with this class that she spent three weeks in Cambodia, helping build a Woman’s Centre and teach English to a kindergarten class.
Thompson, who loves travelling, was amazed at how welcoming the people were. Next, she wants to go to India.
“I love the culture, the food and I know there is quite a big need right now for health care,” said Thompson adding that she loves working with children in developing countries.
“If I could teach English, that would be fantastic.”
In June Thompson will be receiving the highest Guiding award for her level, the Chief Commissioner’s Gold Award, and will be working towards the Duke of Edinburgh award.
She also started the Gay/Straight Alliance at her high school.
Thompson, who is graduating this year, is considering sociology or psychology programs the University of British Columbia or Simon Fraser University.
“I really like the idea of [becoming] a humanitarian aid worker. We recently had the Red Cross come to our school and it kind of blew my mind, the types of things they get to do. I’m also looking into the idea of being a counsellor for troubled youth, I think that would be a great job,” said Thompson adding that she was also considering a career as a motivational speaker because she enjoys public speaking.
Lynn Papp was a longstanding member of the Pitt Meadows Day Society who volunteered with many other organizations, including the Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball Association.
Papp passed away suddenly in February 2000.
The Lynn Papp award is given to a Pitt Meadows youth who displays her spirit of giving without expectation of personal gain or recognition.