By Nancy Kelly
Sixteen-year-old Sarah Sinibaldi of Woodville has exciting plans for ushering in the New Year.
“Actually, I am going to miss the first day of January,” said Sinibaldi, who planned to leave Halifax, bound for Australia, on Dec. 29.
“Between the flying time of 24 hours and the time change, I will completely skip Jan. 1. It’s neat.”
Sinibaldi is headed down-under to attend fanTAStic 2013, a jamboree being hosted in Tasmania by Girl Guides Australia. As one of eight girls in Canada and the only Nova Scotian to be selected for the international event, she couldn’t be more eager about her first opportunity to travel to the country she hopes to live in someday.
“I have always wanted to go to Australia and would like to study and work there,” said Sinibaldi, who hopes, among other experiences, to try her hand at surfing and see kangaroos when she is in the country.
The seven-day adventure will provide a uniquely Tasmanian experience, focusing on fun, friendship and the environment. Over 1,700 participants will take part. The prospect of meeting fellow Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from Australia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, USA, United Kingdom, Fiji, India, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Ghana has heightened anticipation of her 14-day trip.
“I love to meet new people, especially from different cultures, so this will be awesome,” said Sinibaldi.
Over the past decade, Sinibaldi has progressed through the Girl Guide ranks from her days as a Spark to her current involvement in Rangers. The group, for young women ages between the ages of 15 and 17, offers a flexible program focused on leadership and community.
Sinibaldi is a Grade 11 student at Central Kings. She volunteers with the Berwick Sparks and shares her skills as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at local swim programs and with Special Olympics programming. She enjoys track and field and soccer and hopes to purse post secondary studies in nursing, with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner in the future.
Berwick Guiding leader Sara Keddy gave Sinibaldi credit for her 10-year plus commitment to Guiding and the effort she put into the jamboree’s intense selection process.
“This is a huge achievement for Sarah. She will be an excellent representative of her peer group, Nova Scotia and Canada at this event,” Keddy said.