Megan’s Summer Recap in Sarnia-Lambton

This past summer has been my second year as a summer student at Tourism Sarnia-Lambton. It has been so rewarding making connections, learning everyday, making friends, and experiencing Ontario’s Blue Coast for all it is. Before starting this job, I thought I had seen and knew it all, but I was so wrong. TSL has taught me so much and really opened my eyes to the beauty of Lambton County. I only have a few more days at home before I head back to university, so I’m reminiscing on this summer of fun. Come take a look at everything I’ve been able to do this summer in Ontario’s Blue Coast!

We were very lucky to have started in May this year, which meant more time for fun. On May 26th, we went to the Lambton Food and Film Festival in Forest. I had never been inside of the Kineto Theatre, but I’ll be sure to be a frequent visitor now! The entire festival was so cool to see; students drew chalk art, there were films being presented all day, an art mural trail, and even high tea! This was such a neat event. We asked plenty of questions, were shown so many cool things, and got to enjoy Forest thoroughly. This town is full of heart and I highly recommend visiting, especially if you can do so for the Lambton Food and Film Festival!

On June 2nd, we had our open house at 1455 Venetial Boulvard to showcase our revamped storefront. While getting ready for the open house, I researched all of our vendors. Learning so much about all of these amazing local businesses was so cool. The talent that we feature in our store is incredible and I’m glad I have been able to connect with these vendors. By shopping local, I’m able to support friends, family, and neighbours which is wonderful. The Downtown Market is a favourite of mine!

On June 8th, we visited the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery. When we visited, there was an amazing exhibit by the talented Nico Williams, which was titled, “Biskaabiiyang | Returning to Ourselves.” Nico’s work was amazing to see and it’s no wonder that his work has been featured by both National Geographic and CBC. It was amazing to see such fascinating art within my community, but it was even more amazing that Nico is from Lambton County! He is a member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation community. He has had so many amazing accomplishments and I am so glad that we get to see his work showcased. 

On June 16th, we went to the Alvinston Pro Rodeo. All of us were beyond excited! I wasn’t really sure what to expect because I had never seen anything quite like it, but it was really interesting. The events were neat to see and it was clear that a lot of practice and hardwork had to go into it. Now I can truthfully say, “not my first rodeo!”

Bluewater Borderfest weekend officially began on June 22nd. The other students and I were split into different shifts, but we each worked everyday. While working during the day, our role was to pick-up food orders and bring them to each artist’s management, do any last minute shopping, and help anywhere necessary. In the evening, our role was to capture as many pictures and videos as possible, pick-up food orders, and help with the merch tent.

I’d have to say that Bluewater Borderfest was the highlight of my summer! We were able to meet some of the artists as well. Everyone we interacted with and worked with at the event was so nice to us. It was awesome to see the community come together for the event; it was clear how well loved Borderfest was!

At the start of our summer, back in May, we discussed our goals for the summer. We jokingly said that our biggest goal of the summer would be to meet and interview Col. Chris Hadfield. We didn’t think that it was a realistic goal, so we moved on. However, our manager told us that the worst thing that would happen is receiving a “no.” Ethan took the initiative to send an email to Chris’ team, and we waited. Luck was on our side and we got to meet and interview Chris Hadfield on July 14th. This was such an amazing experience. I was blown away by his humility, kindness, and knowledge. I am so grateful for everyone who was a part of this journey. 

On July 25th, we embarked on a county-wide roadtrip. Our roadtrip was a lot of fun! It gave us the opportunity to get to know the newest summer student working with us, Janel. It also gave us the chance to check out and appreciate every part of the county. We were able to visit local businesses, sit by the beach, eat fresh, farm-picked raspberries, go for walks along the many trails, and stand under a waterfall. Where else can you swim under a waterfall, go parasailing, and have a picnic in a lavender farm all in one day?

Only a few days later, on July 27th, we spent an evening on London Line. Our night started off at Hi-Way Bowl, where we played two games during Rock ‘N Bowl! After some serious competition, we went to The Arena. We were able to play a game of laser tag (which was awesome), glow-in-the-dark mini golf, and rock-climbing. Of course, we had to make sure we captured how much fun we had while we were there. We want everyone to know about the awesome things you can do in Lambton County! After The Arena, we checked out District Beta. This arcade has suh an awesome atmosphere. The staff was awesome and encouraged us to come back. We’ll definitely have to come back so we can showcase the virtual reality they offer! How cool?

From August 16th to 26th, we did the Cheers to the Coast Trail, which we called Cheers Week. The trail is a map of Lambton County, highlighting each drink producer! To really show you what each location was like, we decided to visit! And, better yet, we did an amazing giveaway with products, such as drinks and merchandise, from all of our favourite drink producers. The entire ten days was a lot of fun. We got to see so many behind-the-scenes and learned a lot about each location. After getting to visit all of these cool places, my favourite memory from Cheers Week was Munro Honey and Meadery. Munro was the first meadery in Ontario – how cool is that? We were able to learn a lot about beekeeping and the process behind both mead and honey. Any questions we had were answered in-depth by the staff!

Thank you to the entire team at Tourism Sarnia-Lambton, the local business owners, the event coordinators, and everyone we came across this summer. I’m so glad that I was able to experience Ontario’s Blue Coast like this. It’s shocking how much I’m able to do without having to travel. Getting to learn all about Lambton County has been such a gift. Again, thank you all!