I recently received an interesting email sent out by the South Central Ontario Chapter of the CAA (of which I am a member), asking if recipients had participated in their School Safety® Patrol Program. In 2019 CAA will celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Program and wanted to reach out to find those who may have been School Safety Patrollers.
As it happened, I was a CAA School Safety Patroller…way, way back in the 1969 -1970 school year, when I was in grade six. I must say, it brought back memories! They wanted to hear from some Safety Patrollers, “ To help celebrate this historic milestone…Did you… ·
- Wear a belt, badge or bright safety vest?
- Go on a monumental trip to Ottawa called the ‘Jamboree’?
- … attend a special safety camp in Oshawa?”
I did wear a bright orange safety belt and was equipped with a big red stop sign. However, my experience as a Safety Patroller was not in Ontario, it was at Westbrook Elementary School in Edmonton, Alberta. I do recall getting up early to be at my “post” on the crosswalk for just after 8:00 a.m. It wasn’t too bad in the fall or spring, but the winter months were a test of one’s commitment because the sun didn’t rise until about 8:30 a.m. or so and the weather was typically 40 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-40 C) or colder – not including the “wind chill” factor, of course!
As I was recounting my recollection to CAA, I started to think about how society as a whole has changed over the past fifty years. When I was a Safety Patroller, as one of the students in the top grade at the school, it was a privilege to participate as a volunteer in such a Program There was also no fear that younger kids – or even those in the same grade – would not be respectful. There was a regard for authority and a hierarchical system back then that would be questioned today.
So, I sent in my recollection and thought that I wouldn’t hear anything back – and if I did, it would probably take some time. Well to my surprise – and delight – I have received a “Thank you” from CAA about a week after sending in my submission and a limited edition pin that has been designed specifically for Safety Patroller Alumni. WOW! What an unexpected recognition and such a nice way to celebrate such a milestone in the organization’s history!
Just as before, I will wear my CAA School Safety® Patroller pin (mini badge) with pride. Thanks, CAA!
For more information on the CAA School Safety® Program and if you also participated as a School Safety Patroller, you can find a form to submit your recollection here.
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