News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3239
Last updateTue, 28 May 2024 4pm

Tyrrell, Encana partnership offers unique camper experience


    Representatives of Encana were able to see firsthand the impact the Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Science Camps are making on the young participants last Wednesday.
     Encana has been a sponsor of the Encana Badlands Science Camps for the last four years. The camp offers young people, ages 9-15, a unique experience of learning about the natural history of the area, and of course dinosaurs. On July 7, a group from Encana toured the camp and participated in activities including fossil hunting. Councillors and campers directed the guests in what to look for when prospecting for fossils.
    The guests also toured the Tyrrell’s 25th anniversary exhibition.
    “We are appreciative of the sponsorship, and we want to show our gratitude,” said Jason Martin director of operations and finance for the Royal Tyrrell Museum, who invited Encana out for a day of fun and learning in the Badlands. “The camp touches people from all over.”
    In fact, he said this year they have registrations from as far as Australia and the United Kingdom as well as the US and strong representation from points across Canada.  For the last three years the demand continues to grow, even as the Museum increases capacity.
    Tyler Eddy founded the camps in the vacuum left when Dinosaur Country Science Camps, operated by Robin Digby, ended. Today, Morgan Syvertsen coordinates the program.
    The impact of the camp on young people’s lives is evident. Martin explains in the early years it was difficult to staff councillors, and now they do not even have to post the positions. This is due to a contingent of former campers completing the program and enrolling in Leader in Training and Councillor in Training programs offered at the camp.
    One of the councillors on site this day, Greg Funston, started as a camper and is now a councillor. He is also studying Palaeontology at the University of Alberta.

Golf tournament hosted for local boy’s drive for kidney disorder solution


    Sinking a birdie on a par three is a feat most adults would love to pull off on the golf course.
    But to hear of young Daylen Ostapowich, 7, sinking it is a story in itself, let alone the fact the young boy has been fighting kidney disease for all of his known life.
    Daylen suffers from Nephrotic Syndrome, a disease that inhibits his kidneys from filtering out toxins that spill into his blood.  Mixed with the immune suppressant medication he’s prescribed, this can even make a bug bite or common cold a week-long ordeal.
    “Daylen knows this is his life, he knows he’s different, but for him this is the norm. He just trudges on, through hospital visits and daily medication,” says his mother Theresa. 
    “I get my strength from him… he’s my inspiration.”
    The cause of his health problems isn’t nearly as profound as what the young “trooper” is doing about it.
    Daylen can sure golf, and for the first time he and his family, spearheaded by his mother, will be hosting a fundraiser with the Drumheller Golf and Country Club to raise money for the Daylen Ostapowich Kidney Research Fund with his favourite pastime -  golf.
    Their goal is to get a chair at the University of Calgary in Nephrology, and in order to do that the Southern Alberta Chapter of the Canadian Kidney Foundation is planning on raising $1.5 million, which will be matched by the Alberta government, in order to set up a field of research into the syndrome at the university.
    Drumheller’s golf course will be hosting the tournament on July 30 where all proceeds will be directed to getting a chair in place to study the disorder affecting Daylen.
    “We are wanting to raise funds as much as possible to get the chair going, and hopefully get some more money into this kind of research to find a cure or other possible medications to help people with kidney disease,” says Theresa.
    Their goal for the tournament is $10,000 to be put into the fund.
    To participate in the tournament, tickets can be bought at the Drumheller Golf and Country Club, or by contacting Theresa at 403-823-9833.

Summer school in session for student performers


    As much as students count down the seconds on the clock as the school year ends, you would think that most teachers are eagerly awaiting the summer to begin.
    For Tom Stolz, he heads back to his office and blows up his air mattress.
    The Canadian Badlands Performing Arts Summer School is already in session. In all, 54 students have made their way from throughout the province and beyond to board at St. Anthony’s School, work on their performing arts craft and earn high school credits. Along the way they get valuable stage experience performing in the Canadian Badlands Passion Play.
    This is Stolz’s eighth year with the school, and it has been affiliated with the Christ the Redeemer School Division for four years. Through this partnership, students are able to earn their Advanced Acting 15-25-35 credits, and now this year they are able to earn credits in TEAM Leadership.
    “In my 23 years of teaching, this is the best thing I have done,” said Stolz.
    Summer School began on June 30 and continues to July 18.
     While to some it sounds like easy credits, it is a rigorous schedule for the students. Stolz explains that every day at the summer school is like 10 regular school days. The fundamentals of singing, acting and dance are all explored. The students work with professional educators and performers to hone their skills as well as develop confidence, self-awareness, auditioning and leadership skills.
    He says why it works so well is because the students are motivated and make a considered decision to enrol. Because of the students’ focus, he says discipline is not an issue. There is a also a strong camaraderie among the students.
    The theatre school keeps students coming back as well. He says many of this year’s councillors are former students wanting to come back and support the program.


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