Baccalieu Beat: A Voice for Youth on the Baccalieu Trail
"Column is first of monthly feature on local youth issues"

By: Patrick Whalen, Baccalieu Trail Youth Council

June 24, 2020


The Baccalieu Trail? Sorry, but I really don't know where that is! That seems to be the usual response when we tell someone outside the province about Newfoundland and Labrador. What is even more surprising is some people who live within the province do not know where the Baccalieu Trail is located.

It is very difficult for youth on the Baccalieu Trail to be recognized and have their voices heard if people do not even know we exist.

You may assume this is because our youth are inactive and not given an opportunity to voice their issues and concerns to the appropriate channels.

This, however, is far from the truth. For several years there has been a community youth organization, the Baccalieu Trail Youth Council (BTYC), which is giving young people a really voice.

"Art Showcase? What's that?" That was the response from most youth in the area when asked if they were attending the BTYC's first Baccalieu Trail Youth Art Showcase held March 22, 2003. It was not the response we were hoping for, but after they were told this was a spectacular show of not only youth artwork and sculpting, etc., but a showcase of live bands including the up and coming Laxitives and Ocean Skye, they were only too pleased to attend the free show and share the accomplishments of their peers.

This is only one fabulous example of what the BTYC does for both the community and youth. The BTYC is an organization of thinking, building, and cooperation which not only promotes education and employment for youth, but prepares them for future endeavors and gives them the initiative to strive for excellence in their future.

The BTYC is comprised of 13 elected volunteers, one of whom will serve as a Youth Representative who will liaise between Mariner Resource Opportunities Network Inc. (M-RON Inc.) - the Regional Economic Development (RED) Board for Zone 17, The Baccalieu Trail - and the youth of the region.

All members serve to encourage youth involvement in regional economic development, along with promoting programs; highlighting achievements of youth within the region and encouraging them to become more enterprise-oriented.

Members of the BTYC are interested in developing their communication skills, as they are essential for clear expression of though and voicing of concerns.

The council shows youth that their voice can be heard and their opinions matter. The BTYC is something every region should have and our communities should be thankful it exists.

The council is an important part of our society. Its mandate should be one that is recognized because the future of our province rests in the hands of our youth. Young people are concerned about the decisions and policies being made today as they will have a direct impact on their future.

You can play a role in the future of youth on the Baccalieu Trail and the province by joining the BTYC. This column is the first of what is to become a regular monthly feature in The Compass. Each column will discuss different issues as they pertain to youth of our area. The BTYC strives to represent the needs and concerns of youth in the region. The column is one way to open up the lines of communications between youth of the area and the BTYC.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the council or becoming a member, please contact Robyn Frampton (Youth Coordinator, M-RON Inc.) E-mail: [email protected]