Congratulations to Sky Ann Stinson, the 2015 Cydney Weir Award Recipient!
Sky is the 15 year old daughter of Paul and Crystal Stinson, and beloved older sister to Grayden. She loves spending time outdoors and has experience canoeing, kayaking, hiking, building fires, cross country & downhill skiing, summer & winter camping, snowshoeing, quinzee-building, snow-sculpting, firewood stacking, and is learning to snow kite. Sky has been fortunate to participate in the wonderful SOEEA ecotours, including Last Mountain Lake Bird Sanctuary and a multi-day tour of southwestern Saskatchewan from Wood Mountain to Grasslands National Park to Cypress Hills.
Sky has grown up in a home where everything is not necessarily done the normal or easy way. Her home features solar power and composting toilets. Much of her food comes from the garden, greenhouse, orchard, henhouse and apiary, or from produce through trades with neighbours. The family acreage is situated along the Arm River Valley, part of the Qu’Appelle watershed, and although in the heart of industrial agriculture, provides access to native prairie and a diverse variety of wildlife to appreciate. Sky lives on a lake and takes full advantage of it! She has her level 9 swimming class and takes as many opportunities as her parents will allow to go down and have a swim in the lake. For the past 4 years, she has accompanied her parents on a canoe trip from one end of the lake to the other.
Although having a quiet and thoughtful demeanor, Sky does not shy away from active leadership opportunities. When she was 9 years old, she accompanied her father to China to share Canadian-style education practices with Chinese youth, which culminated in a showcase evening co-emceed by Sky and another youth, in addition to giving a violin performance in front of the 100+ students and their families. In 2011, Sky and her brother co-presented at EECOM, a national level conference (the topic: raising backyard chickens). A highlight was meeting Annie Leonard, another presenter at the conference and founder of “The Story of Stuff”. In her school, Sky and her classmates started a student club called U and O, a group dedicated to being Upstanding and Outstanding.
For three summers in a row, after being told that camp was too expensive, Sky organized multi-day camps for other children, which included activities such as canoeing, crafts, hiking, and camping. Sky charged registration fees to cover meal and craft costs. For the last three summers, Sky has worked for the local library as a Play Leader. This fall, Sky and her family participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up, adding less than 1 km of shoreline to the over 3000 km cleaned up, but helping to make a difference. She is young, still finding her way, but knows that she is a part of something bigger. Sky is the great organizer, making sure her brother has packed socks. Doing head counts on bus trips organized by her dad. Trying to make sense of the world around her, and figuring out how to make it better. Sky has always been an old spirit who is also and will always be young at heart. It is an honour for her to be considered for the Cydney Weir Award.