For 39 years, the Calgary Stampede and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary have partnered together to remove garbage from the Stampede grounds. For the past seven years, Waste Management of Canada (WM) has been sponsoring the work experience program.

This year, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary has recruited, hired, and trained 220 youth and 45 adult supervisors to clean the grounds as part of the WM Green Team during the 10 days of Stampede in a unique learn-to-work project that teaches young people how to work, and take pride in what they do.

The youth who are hired as team members of the WM Green Team will learn team work skills, time management, and expectations of the workforce. For many of these youth, this is their first job, and many will come back for several years, as they enjoy the experience so much. Some participants are new Canadians and even improved their English as they were working with many different youth. In the end, the WM Green Team receives valuable work experience, training, references, a pay cheque, and hopefully, a sense of belonging in their new country.

Each year youth tell the Stampede about their experience, many of them highlight the smell of the food on the Midway and meeting new people as their favourite moments.

“I think it is important to lead by example, so when people see me working on the WM Green Team, I hope it makes them think to pick up after themselves and recycle.” – Joey, 13 years

“My experience working on WM’s Green Team has taught me how to work with others and make positive choices” – Samantha, 16 years

“WM is dedicated to helping young Calgarians develop a strong sense of civic pride, teamwork and respect for the environment. We’re proud to support the Green Team program, because it provides fantastic opportunities for youth to learn important life skills,” – Diane Kossman, WM Communications Manager.

The Boys and Girls Club programs and services focus on identifying and creating opportunities that help young people acquire the building blocks to transition into self-sufficient adults. From recreation and leadership programs to a shelter for homeless youth, our programs and services are community-based providing life-enhancing skills to create positive outcomes for children, youth and their families.