Rideau Hill Camp Inspired OTHS Student

Focus on Youth, By Phill Potter

Name: Emma Smith

Age: 17

School: Osgoode Township High

Grade: 12

Parents: Neil and Sandra Smith

Brother: Michael, (15) grade 10, OTHS

Pet: “We have a 17-year-old goldfish named George.”

Pet Peeve: “One of my biggest pet peeves is when people consistently run late.”

Part-time Work: “I currently work part-time as a swim instructor at Poplar Grove Pool, but I spent my summer in Algonquin Park as a Camp Counsellor at Camp Arowhon. Also, last fall I was a cashier at Greely Foodland.”

Favourite Subjects: “I’m definitely a social sciences person, with my favourite classes being World Cultures and LINK Crew. Our school has an incredible Communications Technology class, which is also a personal favourite of mine.”

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure? “I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy books. One of my favourites is the Atlantis Grail series, written by Vera Nazarian. I’ve also currently been working my way through Becoming, President Barack Obama’s new book.”

Who is your favourite author? “My favourite author is Vera Nazarian. When I read her books I feel like I’ve been picked up and placed in the shoes of the main character, and I find something new every time re-read them.”

What is your greatest accomplishment?

“One of my biggest accomplishments was my work this summer as a Counsellor at Camp Arowhon. After attending Rideau Hill Camp as a child, I always knew I wanted to be a camp counsellor. I worked towards finishing my lifeguarding qualifications so I would be able to work there, and attended numerous leadership programs to learn the skills.

“I had been hired at camp for the 2020 season and lost my first job due to COVID-19. Despite the challenges of these past 2 years, I found a camp that was prepping to run this past summer, and applied, hoping for the best. Although it wasn’t the camp I had dreamed about as a child, it quickly became a second home, and I had the opportunity to change a lot of lives.”

School Activities: “Osgoode has given me endless opportunities to grow. Since grade 9, I’ve been involved in our school’s Student Council, and have been elected Co-President this year. I’m also apart of our school’s LINK Crew program (designed to help grade 9’s transition to high school), and involved in our school’s International Certificate Program.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have incredible mentors, such as our Student Council teacher supervisor Ms. Chapman, support me throughout my years at OTHS.”

Other Activities/Interests: “I can be spotted across the community in a Scouts uniform, as a member of the 1st Greely Venturers unit. We’re currently fundraising for a trip to Finland next summer. I’m also a member of the Ottawa Medical Venturers, a youth team sponsored by the Ottawa Paramedic Service. We do volunteer first aid at numerous events across the city, such as Winterlude and Canada Day.”

Career Goals: “I hope to someday work for a humanitarian organization, such as the United Nations or a non-profit, but I’ve also considered a career in teaching. I’ve decided to go into a field I currently love for university, and not make any firm decisions on what I want to do until I do a co-op placement, or something similar in university. Recently, I’ve been accepted into University of New Brunswick for Leadership Studies, but I’m also exploring some options across Ontario for International Relations.”