Brian Wick's Home Page
(26.02.2006) It may not sound like a big deal swimming in Finland, but it is further intensified by the time of year and place. When on holiday in January, the weather was seriously cold, -28.6C. Going to sauna to warm up is always a refreshing experience, swimming in the lake between sauna sessions adds an element of adventure when it is so cold out. It is hard to describe. The water at that air temperature actually feels warm! The coldest part of the experience was walking down the dock, peppered in ice and burning the feet.
No problem for Mary and I. We were looking forward to the next sauna experience, this time at the swimming hall in Joensuu Finland, only about 500 kms south of the arctic circle and a few kilometres west of the Russian border.
From there we experienced elk, salmon, reindeer, blinis and other Finnish delicacies. We traveled across Finland and spent a day each in Tallin Estonia and Frankfurt Germany.
The best part was spending time with so many friends, getting reaquainted.
(26.12.2005) Finally we have a few days away from work and scouting to reflect on the year's activities. It has been a busy year that provided many opportunities and challenges.
At work, we have expanded our business, increasing sales by more than 20% and increasing staff from 12 to 16. The biggest increase in sales came from our online printing division www.customprinting.ca . In the fall, we sold our video DVD rental shop in Brooklin. We continue to operate a store in the lake district of Fenelon Falls, catering to holidaymakers who have cottages in the area.
My travels this year took me to Finland in January to attend a wedding, Las Vegas in April to attend a signs and graphics conference, Philadelphia in May to attend a print conference, Montreal in July to host Scouts from Czech Republic at the Central Canada Jamboree, Russia and Finland in August on a Scouting exchange, and a quick trip to Phoenix Arizona and the Grand Canyon in December with a couple of friends.
Our Venturer Company expanded with new youth moving up from the Scout troop. I've been with the same youth for a couple of years and have seen them grow up to young adults. In September we got 6 younger teens into the program. We are making plans for some canoeing and hiking trips in 2006 as well as the possibility of a trip north to Iqaluit on Baffin Island in the arctic region of Canada.
We now have a semi functional Rover Crew as well with 6 youth members. Their meeting schedule is a little strained as half of them live and go to university out of town. They accomplished one serious hike in the fall and maybe with some luck will attend a couple of moots in the coming months.
I also belong to a service organisation call Optimist Club of Brooklin. This youth serving organisation has gone through some impressive growth this year with the addition of 10 new members and prospects for many new programs we can offer the youth in the community. My role this year was Treasurer and I was coordinator of a 9-week long day camp for 120 children per week. We hired a very competent staff of university students to operate the day to day camp operations with excellent results. As a special project this year, I help to start another chapter who conduct all of their activities in French language. This club will focus on providing services to youth who are from French language families or children who are enrolled in French language school.
At home, I seem to spend more and more time with Mary, helping her keep a rational eye on her two teenagers and taking her away from her job at the local supermarket. She is very good to me too.
Best wishes to you and your family and have a Happy New Year!
(20.09.2005) Nothing much going on before Christmas except building the business. We sold The Video Image in Brooklin to some new entrepreneurs Bill and Nicki Windrem. We wish them luck in their new adventure. Next focus is on restructuring the sign shop to accommodate more clients.
(20.09.2005) It was a great trip to Eastern Europe. Everything went exactly according to plan. Hospitality was great, food was great, variety of experiences was great.
(30.07.2005) It is official. We are now booked to travel to the Russian Federation for a two week cultural induction including home hospitality, museums, castles, cruise, hiking and further understanding the meaning of the World Brotherhood of Scouting. 11 Rovers and Venturers will depart 24.08. to Germany, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Sweden. Hosting will take place in St. Petersburg, RU and Tampere, SF. Exposure to 5 languages and cultures will provide the participants with an understanding of the tensions between East and West (broken down in the 90's), and the rich culture if Scandinavia and the Baltic region of Europe.
(18.07.2005) Spent the last 3 weeks hosting 20 Scouts from the Czech Republic as we went hiking in the Laurentian mountains and crashed by a lake in the Madawaska Highlands. The end of the stay was rounded out with visits to Toronto (baseball and sites) and of course Niagara Falls.
(27.03.2005) The Wick Family Genealogy (drafted by Uncle Gordon), newly uploaded (and subject to extensive editing). Please take a look at where I come from.
(23.03.2005) I'm up to my eye balls in tax return preparation, finalizing plans for the Optimist Club of Brooklin Summer Day Camp and continuing to motivate the 1st Whitby Venturers as we prepare to host 20 Czech Republic Scouts in July. As usual, never a dull moment.
I had a quick trip to the winter wonderland Finland in January to attend the wedding of Eija and Mika, a couple I met on trips to Norway, Russia and the Yukon. It was great to see all my friends "back home?".
The International Sign Convention will bring Keith and I to Las Vegas at the end of the month and I have tentative plans to visit Tero Mustonen in Iceland near the end of April.
I will escort a group to the Central Canadian Scout Jamboree in July, about 60 kilometres north of Montreal. Plans also continue to take a group of Scouts and Venturers to St. Petersburg Russia, Tallinn Estonia and Helsinki Finland at the end of August.
... never a dull moment for Brian, eh?
(14.07.2004) Well, one more country, one more adventure! We had an excellent visit to Czech Republic, et al. 16 of us travelled for 12 days to the Republic recently entered into the EU. A story and photos will appear shortly on the Venturer web page. Our hosts provided everything for us including a wonderful cultural experience that will be very difficult to describe. Greg and I are already contemplating how we will follow up this adventure next summer after we host some visitors from Czech. (Perhaps Finland, Russia, Ukrane?)
(23.05.2004) Like everyone else, I should be complaining that work never ends. Maybe I should be thankful that I have work? CustomPrinting.ca is growing quite well and helping to compensate for little or no growth in the advertising division of Brooklin Signs.
I have been reappointed to the Board of Directors for DCC #122 and continue to serve as Treasurer and V.P.
I have been re-elected as Treasurer for the Optimist Club of Brooklin for the next fiscal year as well. Our youth dances over the winter have been sold to capacity and we are now preparing for the Summer Day Camp with 15 staff and possibly 120 youth per week.
Final plans are now in place where Greg and I will escort 13 Venturers to the Czech Republic on a cultural exchange with Scouting youth, visit to Frankfurt, Prague, Vienna, a few days of camping and 3 days home hospitality in a small village in the east. Air Canada departure June 23, returning July 4th, 2004.
(14.02.2004)Today I will witness the marriage of one of my Cubs. Of course that means he is grown up, really big, and might I say getting old as he has more grey hair than me. Matt worked for me throughout high school in the graphics department, then went on to B.Fine Arts and B.Ed. degrees at York University. He and his bride Leslie are high school teachers.
Finland hasn't lost its charm. While there last month I skiied (cross country), went many times to sauna, stayed at 5 different homes, visited many fine restaurants and bars, taught English lessons to some elementary school children, and attended by friend Tero's wedding reception and vows. Tero and his bride Kaisu followed some ancient Karelian customs when sharing their union. These included love ballads, "contractual rights and duties" and salmon soup, in the tradition of old eastern Finland. Congratulations Kaisu and Tero!
Christmas and New Years were spent at home this year for a change. I hosted the family at my place for the first time. Since space is small, we made use of the condo's common room for dinner and opening gifts.
My Finnish friend Tero Mustonen is getting married Jan 31st in Tampere. Of course I have to go. I haven't met his fiancee yet but Tero is a wise man and I expect he will make a good choice.
1st Whitby Venturers are planning an excursion to Czech Republic in June to develop an exchange opportunity with these unique Scouts.
I'm proud to introduce our latest business venture CustomPrinting.ca. Please come take a look at what our webmaster Jake Wiid and Operations Manager Tim Pollock have put together.
Vote Brian Wick, Councillor, North Ward 1 Whitby Take a look at my election flyer for more information about my view.
Come to one of the election briefings Oct 28, 29 or Nov 5th to learn even more.
Results: Sue Pitchforth 710, Brian Wick 554, only 3 years to the next run!
Since January, I have continued quests for travelling to new lands and interesting places. April to Las Vegas for the International Sign Expo, June to Gilwell Park Campsite in London England with 10 Venturers to help out at Beaver/Cub Days, then north west to Whitehorse Yukon to exchange with a group of 10 first nations youth. Please go to the 1st Whitby Venturers page to find links to the travel journals. This month we will introduce the Yukon youth to our Toronto.
In the background, we have struck up a very successful day camp for the Optimist Club of Brooklin. In all, we have employed 16 youth and provided programming for 90 children each week during the summer.
Returned last weekend from 3 weeks in Thailand where I took 8 Whitby Venturers to the 20th World Jamboree, held Dec 27-Jan 8 in Sattahip, Thailand. The weather was hot, (38C and humid, at night still 27C and humid) so difficult to get a good night's sleep when camping out. We were surrounded by Scouts from Thailand, Japan, Chech Republic, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. Our diet consisted of rice, rice and rice. Well actually we ate "western food" the first few days, then started cooking Thai flavours based on the kitchen next to ours, with a variety of stir fries, and "fish weiners" in the Thai Airways box lunches each day. The program was fantastic! Lots of activities and more than enough Thai culture. Everyone stayed healthy during the expedition.
That now makes 42 countries I have visited. What's next? Perhaps a visit to Finland, winter camping at Lake Superior National Park, excursion back to Gilwell in June... (must get some work done as well.)
(29.08.2002)Survived the trip to Moosonee, then took a couple guys to Northern Minnesota canoeing in the boundary waters for 10 days in July. We met up with 5 Scouts from Finland and travelled nearly 85 km over 6 days on the water.
Ended the summer with a quick trip to Whitehorse Yukon, Dease Lake BC, and Skagway Alaska. There we (25 Finnish Environmental Engineering students) visited a Tahltan Native reserve and attended a Tlingit "potlatch" on the border between BC and the Yukon. A co-operation exchange is in the works for an exchange next summer to change 10 native youth with my Venturers.
Business: Took a stab this spring with the Canadian Sign Industry School and have trained three days so far. Maybe there is potential to develop the concept into a regular program again. Advertising section continues at regular pace as I've been training another salesman. Custom sign business continues to build with the potential of a decent profit this year as we've taken on a couple of larger projects with Sobeys, Centennial College and Hopedale Mall.
Scouts: While fundraising for the World Scout Jamboree (December 2002) we continue to increase the "challenge" of the Venturer program. Our next high adventurer will be to Moose Factory Native Reserve on the south shore of James Bay. Accessible only by air (too expense) and rail, the community lies isolated by 398km of sub-arctic lowlands and swamp. This will mean mosquitos or black flies will fill the air while we are there. In concert with the Queens Jubilee, we plan to execute a small Scouting program for local youth. (Its been 7 years since the community had any registered members.)
Homelife: Ryan's moved back home to his parents as he finishes high school, Tim's gone back to Gilwell Park in London, UK to work for the summer, and I have a summer border Justin - UCC WW Champion. His next fight is June 15 in Hull, QC.
(22.10.2001) I am never without an adventure and the last one was certainly interesting. On invitation by Tero Mustonen (Finland) I travelled for a week to the Arctic Region of northwestern Russia. We travelled to the Kola Penninsula to Murmansk, a city of 450,000 situated at 69 degrees north (yes, that is some 450 km north of the Arctic Circle.
The purpose of the trip was multiplexed with Tampere Polytechnic University Environmental Engineering students meeting with Environmental Management students at Murmansk Institute of Humanities.
We travelled by train and bus, some 36 hours out of Helsinki. In Russia we were hosted by local families.
Onroute, we visitied Saami (Aboriginal) villages in Lapland Finland and Lovozero Russia to learn about the continuation of Reindeer herding still maintained in it classic tradition.
(20.07.2001) It is difficult to keep up with work when you never go to the workplace so my excuse is, travelling once again. Off to exotic places of course and at a price I can afford. (Home hospitality and camping drastically reduce the total cost. Thank you to all of my hosts over the last few months.
I started the last adventure with a visit to the Roa family in Mexico City. Shortly afterwards, Ryan moved home to live with his parents, and Tim flew off to London England to work at The Gilwell Park Campsite (UK Scouts camp) for the summer.
In June I flew off to Helsinki, Finland to take in the Festival of Sun (Summer solstic) hosted by the Halttunens, Tero, and the Heino family. From there, a stop over in London to see the changing of the guard, Tower of London and Gilwell Park.
After a day at home to recooperate, it was off to the Canadian Scout Jamboree in Cabot Beach PEI and a little touring around the Cabot Trail, NS and visit to Louisbourg fortress.
Thanks to everyone at home, for feeding my fish and taking care of business.
Now it is back to reality, for a few weeks anyways.
(24.9.2000) Romania and back to reality Having just returned from Romania, I am faced with the reality that it costs almost as much to take my girlfriend out for steak dinner. Total cost ~CA$127.00 for two weeks touring the country, accomodations, diesel, food. train fare, speeding ticket ... (airfare compliments of Air Canada.) My hosts Cotiso Albu and Luciana added excellent interpretation of the history and culture. Thanks!
(13.6.2000)I finally did it on June 12, 2000! I graduated from York University, Toronto with a
Bachelor of Administrative Studies (Honours) Marketing degree.
During the winter I studies three courses: Quantitative Methods, Linear Programming, and Managerial
Decision Making. So, what is next? I have been considering graduate school for MBA, but a dear friend from Finland said I have these practical skills already and should consider something a little more challenging. We'll see. Maybe a teaching degree?
Ask me about Dawn, Jesse and Ashley who have brought a lot of joy into my heart in the last few weeks.
I was in Finland for a break of reality in the first week of May 2000. Weather was exceptionally good for the time of year and I had a few great sauna experiences. Thanks to my hosts Heikki, Antti, Tero and Majid! Great to see you Lin as well.
Travels last year took me to Chile, Mexico, Las Vegas, Finland, Norway,
Sweden, England, and Grand Cayman Island. I haven't made any further specific plans
for 2000 but I am considering a camping trip to Uruguay/Argentina or Russia.
Business has continued to be a considerable challenge as we have been
concentrating in our core competencies - advertising media & custom
sign manufacturing. We are looking at how the internet can play a role,
and considering the restart of the Canadian Sign Industry School.
My role in Scouting at the moment includes Secretary of Whitby District
Council and Advisor to 1st and 2nd Whitby Venturer Company.
We are planning a canoe trip to northern Ontario and have started plans
for the Canadian Jamboree in PEI July 2001.
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