Rotarys Get to Know Contest is accepting applications! Meet Ellen, one of their youth ambassadors.
The Rotary Get to Know Contest aims to encourage young people to engage with the nature around them. Reconnecting with the outdoor world promotes environmental awareness and education and combats our indoor, sedentary lifestyles.
Today and tomorrow, we’ll introduce you to two inspiring young people, who act as youth ambassadors for The Rotary Get to Know Contest. Today, we shine the spotlight on Ellen Rowe.
Ellen became involved in the contest through one of her teachers: “He suggested going outdoors, creating one of the categories and entering it. I love to paint the images in the photographs I take around my house, cottage, and the local parks. I decided to include the Black River and beach in Muskoka, Ontario. In the other two out of three sections in the painting, I added the creatures and plants that live and grow in the surrounding area. I entered the painting to show the importance of biodiversity, how all organisms live together in one community.”
She feels that as a youth ambassador, she is responsible for promoting the contest and getting people outdoors. “I want to help others see what is around them, whether at school, home, the cottage, or around a downtown area,” she says. “I love to promote the contest as I like to create paintings, videos, photography pieces, music, and writing.”
As for getting outside? Ellen believes it’s crucial for all age groups! “Even if you don’t know the specific name for a bird that flies by your house or a rabbit that eats your garden, getting outdoors will give you a new perspective on things. When you first step outdoors, you may not notice the small robin grabbing the worm from your front lawn. Grab a chair and look and listen all around you. You may notice something you may not have otherwise seen. When we connect with nature, we are able to understand that it is important to protect and respect what is around us. I have connected with nature by being able to notice the neighbourhood hawk in a tree or the rabbit who eats my lettuce.”
Finally, Ellen encourages young people to enter The Rotary Get to Know Contest. “Just go for it!” she says. “Do not second guess your ability to create something about the outdoors. Submit your work and go for it. All of the opportunities that have been presented to me would never have happened if I didn’t enter the contest. Amazing friendships, groups, and events have been created over the last several years from this contest. And what’s more, all of the entries will be showcased in the Gallery on the contest’s website.”
The Rotary Get to Know Contest is currently accepting applications from talented young people (19 or younger). To enter, or to learn more about the rules, check out their How to Enter page. The contest closes November 1. As Ellen says, “you will never know until you try. So get outdoors and have fun.”