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Spreading the goodness of summer

Teens prompting peers to enjoy great outdoors

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A local advertising and marketing company is hoping to get more teenagers breathing fresh air, soaking in Vitamin D and enjoying what a Winnipeg summer has to offer.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/07/2015 (2709 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A local advertising and marketing company is hoping to get more teenagers breathing fresh air, soaking in Vitamin D and enjoying what a Winnipeg summer has to offer.

McKim has launched its second edition of Get Out of the Basement, an initiative geared towards the generation that too often sees the world through a smartphone.

It has hired 12 students for eight weeks this summer, up from four students for one month in 2014, who have been tasked with promoting festivals and other summer events to their peers and getting them engaged in what’s going on around them.

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press These teens have been hired to promote to their peers events and festivals happening around town over the summer as part of the Get Out of the Basement initiative.

“Summer is really short. We don’t want teens staying in their basements all summer and missing out on all of these experiences, some of them they’re not even aware of,” said Kathryn Patrick, McKim’s project manager for GOOTB.

“Too many teens are disengaged. We want to get teens excited about going out and seeing the city so their summer doesn’t pass them by.”

For example, the plan includes descending upon the Winnipeg Folk Festival and visiting the campground and getting side-stage access, and visiting Folklorama next month to get interviews with youth ambassadors, explore the many pavilions and take in the music, culture and food.

The students are also going to visit Lower Fort Garry and the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden as well as take in some Blue Bombers and Goldeyes action. Other themes include “Things to do for $40 a day” and “A day in the life of St. Boniface.”

They will be promoting their activities on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@getoutofthebasement).

Ben Boxall, 17, freshly graduated from Grant Park High School, is returning for his second run with GOOTB. He said he enjoyed last year’s experience of seeing what takes place during a Winnipeg summer.

“I was into playing video games, staying up until 3 a.m. and sleeping till 11. Last year, I found out Winnipeg has a lot more to offer,” Ben said.

Part of GOOTB’s target market are friends of his, who spend an inordinate amount of time watching movies, gaming and texting.

“The summer is not a good time for that. It’s one of the few times of the year when you can go out, do stuff and not freeze to death. There are better times to be inside,” Ben said.

One student joining GOOTB for the first time is Georgia Xu, 17, who just graduated from Kelvin High School. She’s looking forward to spending the summer in Winnipeg after visiting Quebec and Africa the last two summers.

“The amount that you spend on travelling and accommodations can be spent on concerts and events in Winnipeg that many people really don’t know about,” Georgia said.

She said her friends are connected via social media, which she can use to to promote events she goes to.

McKim has signed on a couple of corporate partners. Red River College will host workshops to teach the GOOTB team how to operate DSLR video cameras and work with Photoshop software, while Shaw TV will help them produce their own half-hour television show at the end of the summer.

Patrick admits McKim has a vested interest in giving the teens exposure to several different industries because it hopes to convince them they have futures in Winnipeg, ideally in the marketing field.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

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