Véronique Blais joined the Jumpstreet office team in June. With a background in Language and Communications, the trilingual 23-year-old fit in right away, bringing a natural enthusiasm and work ethic to the Operations and Marketing projects that she supports. We recently sent Véro out on the road to experience a Jumpstreet tour of Québec City firsthand. She was gracious enough to write about it.
I didn’t really know what working for Jumpstreet meant until I went on tour to Québec City with a middle school from New Jersey. It is one thing to sit happily at my desk, coordinating educational tours from afar, but it wasn’t until I joined a group on the road when I realized how truly fun and enriching these trips can be for students.
Take one crowd of students from somewhere in North America and put them on a luxury motorcoach to Québec City; add one superstar tour leader, a crew of awesome teachers and chaperones and an action-packed itinerary, and you’ve got the makings of a trip of a lifetime. The supporting role that I play in this recipe à la Jumpstreet is both challenging and gratifying. I spend my days searching for fun, educational activities to fill our itineraries for our dynamic, youthful tour leaders to animate. I was so excited to see and feel the results of the work I was doing.
Almost immediately after we greeted the group, I could see all the hard work that was put into this trip come to life. Both my inner operations coordinator and youthful spirit were buzzing! As a Québecoise, it was a journey of rediscovery in la belle province. Every activity, every story that the tour leader shared with the group was familiar to me, and yet it felt like I was experiencing it for the very first time. Such was the thrill of it all, of rediscovering something like la cabane à sucre despite having been to them all my life. I saw my Province with renewed and reinvigorated eyes.
I experienced our bilingual tour leader team in action. Our tour leader spoke passionately about responsible tourism, culture, diversity and so much more. The love for travel and discovery that he transmitted to the students was infectious. At one point, a student on the trip came up to him while we were walking and said, very sincerely: “You are cool, you know that? I thought we were going to have a boring old tour guide!’’ In French we say la vérité sort de la bouche des enfants – out of the mouths of children come grains of truth. I couldn’t agree more.
I spent four days in Québec City, and the joy and awe I felt while exploring the city with these students will stay with me for a long time. The experience shed new light on my understanding of educational travel, and it was rewarding to know that my work played a small role in the lives of those smiling faces that filled the motorcoach. Those kids are returning home with lots of memories and stories to tell, and I am going back to the office convinced that what we do is so awesome, and so worthwhile.