How do you get 580 teens out of bed on a Saturday morning?
For starters, you could tell them they get to relive the best week of their summer—and reunite with some of the most incredible people they’ve ever met. Reunions were definitely one of the main attractions at the ME to WE Annual Launch Party, held September 12 in Toronto. You only had to walk a few steps into the entrance of the Cineplex theatre where the event was held before being greeted by a cacophony of excited chatter. Every few feet, another group gathered, each reminiscing over their shared experiences on ME to WE Trips and at Take Action Camp over the summer.
“We’re all lifelong friends now and we have this deep connection—even though the trip was only two weeks, we feel like we’ve known each other forever,” says Ashley, 18, who spent the reunion catching up with several fellow travellers. The group was thrilled to get to see their facilitator, Lindy, again, who had flown in from Arizona for the event.
“The best thing about camp was definitely all the people I got to meet and all the new friends I made,” says Chloe, 14, who met up with a group of fellow campers while waiting to meet ME to WE Speaker Spencer West. Spencer was one of several special guests at the launch party, also joined by ME to WE co-founder Marc Kielburger and the Kenyan Boys Choir, a choral group that showcases Africa’s rich culture through their music.
After all the squealing and hugging and reuniting was (mostly) done, the rest of the launch party was a whirlwind of activity: speeches from Marc and Spencer, a performance by the Kenyan Boys Choir, a special session for parents and a (more fun) session for campers and travellers filled with sneak peeks about the upcoming year and exciting updates about the impact everyone helped make in the past year. Everyone loved seeing a video from the first graduation at Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School in Kenya and a highlight reel from a nationwide WE Day broadcast. Plus, there was no shortage of photo ops, chances for campers and travellers to share their stories, and even a chance to get a head start on planning the next summer’s camp and trip experiences.
At the end of the day, everyone was a little bit sad to go home, but mostly they were excited about what’s to come—because although their trip and camp experiences may be over, it’s really only the beginning of their journey with ME to WE. Everyone left the launch party more inspired than ever to make a difference in their local and global communities.
As for us? We’re already counting down until next year’s launch party.
Start your journey at metowe.com/trips.