Checkpoints! is Waterloo Region Crossing’s educational youth engagement program, available at all grade levels, and at no cost to the school.
By definition, “checkpoints” are specific locations that athletes must find in order to successfully complete an adventure event. During our events, participants must travel great distances across Waterloo Region. Upon reaching each checkpoint along the way, they are awarded with a badge. The artwork featured on each checkpoint badge is created by students in our community. These badges depict places or species of significance unique to that location. They are both educational and motivational components of our events.
Waterloo Region Crossing events feature two different kinds of checkpoints:
The Crossing Trek - This event is a winter trek across Waterloo Region. Each checkpoint badge features a location of significance (ecological, historical, or cultural).
Race Across Waterloo Region - This event is a summer adventure race. Each checkpoint badge showcases a species of significance in our local ecosystems.
Impact of Checkpoints! In The Classroom
Through Checkpoints!, we bring community goodness into the classroom, educating students about our events, discussing the importance of community engagement, and inviting them to collaborate with us through our Checkpoints! art contest. We teach about the places and species depicted on our checkpoint badges, and why it is important to preserve them.
Our in-class presentation touches on the subjects of Community Goodness, Collaborative Impact, Local Ecology, Social Compassion, Community Engagement, Geography, Local History, Environmental Stewardship, and Artistic Creativity.
When participating in Checkpoints!, students are invited to create the artwork for the checkpoint badges. Winners of the art contest have their artwork featured on the event badges!
The Checkpoints Youth Engagement Program encouraged learners to explore the natural beauty and historical significance of Waterloo Region. Students were highly engaged after a brief introduction and presentation and were motivated at the thought of having their artwork published. Tessa and her team took every opportunity to show their appreciation for the hard work that each student contributed and personalized a card for each student. It is the little details that were not overlooked that made this experience enjoyable for all.
Michael Poll, Teacher
It is so inspiring to see you bring people together around an important issue. You are doing good work in support of our community. We are thankful to you for making us a little more aware of the struggles people face living without adequate or stable housing in our community.Our students have been excited to be involved.
Matt Robinson, Principal
Trekkers proudly display their checkpoint badges they collect as they progress through the trek route.
Impact of Checkpoints! During Our Events
The checkpoint buttons serve as a motivator for athletes. The drive to get to the next checkpoint is amplified by the desire to collect all of the buttons/stickers. During the 2019 winter trek, many trekkers noted the sweetness of the artwork and the warmth in their hearts upon receiving each button as they traversed through the 65km winter journey.
Would like to express my appreciation to you and your Trek Crew for pulling off this amazing event. Clearly there was a mountain of detail to process from commemorative (checkpoint) buttons to all the paperwork and everything in between. Allow me to congratulate you and your team for excellent planning and exceptional execution. It demonstrates again what can be done by a group of committed people finding the compassion to address societal needs and actualizing a plan. It sends ripple effects to the larger community. These events bring out the best in all of us.
Rolf and Helga Thiessen, Trekkers in the 2019 Waterloo Region Crossing winter trek
The 2020 Checkpoints! badges were created by students from Lincoln Heights Public School, Foundation Christian School, and St. Jude's Scholar's Hall.