Enderby ready to SOAR
Enderby residents have the welcome mat out.
Organizers for the 2014 Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous are currently making their way to Enderby and between Saturday and July 25, the community will host 2,500 Girl Guide leaders and youth.
“They will have this place absolutely buzzing,” said Howie Cyr, Enderby’s mayor.
“People are chatting about it more and more all of the time.”
Along with B.C., there will be participants from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Washington State, New Zealand, Australia, Britain, Japan and Grenada.
“Everyone is really excited,” said Laurie Hooker, B.C. Girl Guides public relations advisor.
“There’s a lot of anticipation of the fun that’s to come.”
SOAR rotates around the province every three years and Enderby was selected over four other Interior communities.
Extensive planning has gone into the event which will be based at Riverside Park and double the City of Enderby’s population for a week.
“The City of Enderby has been amazing at helping get us ready. They have been doing grounds work and security,” said Hooker.
“Police, fire and medical personnel have been co-operating with everything we need.”
Cyr is impressed with the logistics of the Guides.
“This organization is probably the best organized I’ve seen in a long time in terms of planning. They know exactly what they are doing,” he said.
An opening ceremony and community parade launches SOAR July 19. Activities are scheduled for every day and that means the participants will also explore the Okanagan-Shuswap and beyond.
“From Kumsheen Rafting in Lytton to dairy farms in Salmon Arm and into Vernon, they will be there,” said Hooker.
There will also be traditional camping activities such as cooking, campfires, sing-alongs and crafts.
“The friendships made are for a lifetime,” said Hooker.
It’s expected that SOAR will pump about $1 million into the regional economy.
“That includes everything from the money the girls spend on their own to supplies we have purchased,” said Hooker.
Businesses in Enderby are bracing to be busy during SOAR, and it’s expected the event could have a long-term benefit financially.
“All of the people here will go home and tell their friends and relatives about Enderby and our region. We want them to come back for a visit,” said Cyr.