Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lac Brochet Youth Conference, Feb. 24-27, 2010

Two years ago, Charmaine, the daugher Rose and step-daughter of Kevin Carlson lost her life in a snow bank after experimenting with hair spray with some friends. Realizing that other youth in the community of Lac Brochet were in danger of coming to a similar tragic end, Kevin and Rose generously and courageously organized a youth conference to remember and honour their daughter, and also help out other youth. The conference brought in well known resource persons to address the topics of addictions and self esteem, such as former MP Tina Keeper, MP Ken Dryden (pictured about with Archbishop Sylvain at the airport) and other career/health organizations The conference ran for four days, with a dance, talent night and Gospel Jamborees in the evenings. + Sylvain presided at Eucharistic celebrations Saturday evening and Sunday morning, and gave a workshop on addictions and self-esteem on Sunday afternoon. The conference was attended by about 250 youth as well as many adults and elders from Lac Brochet and the surrounding communities.

Walter and Shauna Mason travelled from St. Theresa Point 23 hours on the road with 5 youth to contribute their talent to the event, serving as a back-up band at one of the evenings activites.

Part of the crowd who participated in the youth conference. They came from as far away as St Theresa Point on the winter road to the East, and South End in Saskatchewan.

Kerrie Samuel, a dynamic youth who is studying to be a youth minister, blossomed as a co-MC for the evening sessions.

Altar server Curtis and a friend sing a song during the Gospel Jamboree on one of the evenings of the festival.

Kevin and Rose Carlson, the parents who courageously and generously took a bold initiative to organize the youth conference out of their concern for other youth, and as a way to turn their tragedy into something positive for all, as a way of remembering and honouring their daughter Charmaine.

A group of youth who attended the conference, enjoying a break.

The site where Charmaine died has now become a small shrine dedicated to her and to helping other youth avoid a similar tragic death.

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