Pre - Exchange

The group prepares to host their twin and to travel to their twin community. They collect information, contact their exchange group, and raise funds and public awareness.

In this process the group should involve the community, learn about the geographical, social and cultural realities of the twin group, and increase their knowledge of their home community.

Activities during this phase of the exchange include but not limited to:


  • Review Organizational/Board policies related to travel (adult-participant ratios, home stays etc.)

  • Secure appropriate number of adult male and female chaperones

  • Secure Insurance Certificate with the YMCA of GTA added as an additional insurer

  • Ensure any proposed planned activities are in compliance with both my own and my twin’s Board/District/Organizational policies and procedures

  • Connect youth participants

  • Hold Parent/Guardian information meeting

  • Contact local media to inform them in advance of the exchange

  • Contact your MP and other local officials to inform them in advance of the exchange

  • Discussion of roles and responsibilities

  • Twinning of youth and their families

  • Making connections between the two communities and information sharing on communities, cultures and special events 

  • Researching the uniqueness and similarities between the two twinned communities including government, history, local arts and culture

  • Communication through social media, mail or phone among twinned participants and their families, helping to reduce any anxiety participants might feel when travelling to a new community

  • Discussion of security including sexual harassment, safety protocols and personal health and wellness

  • Team building to better provide for peer support while visiting the twin community

  • Preparing to host including the development of a safe and engaging host plan that will meet programs objectives

  • Continued communication with the YMCA for support and guidance

  • Groups will complete their required paperwork and draft of their activity plans including safety and security considerations and budgets

  • Develop (with guidance and support from the YMCA) a community engagement activity that connects both hosting and visiting youth to local issues and needs in the community

Consider these factors in your planning:

(see more on these in the workbook page 18)

  • interaction

  • community engagement

  • plans to reduce risk

  • reflection

  • seeing the local reality

  • time with hosts

  • accessibility

  • find a politician

  • recreation

  • free time

  • shows

  • homework

  • pacing

When it comes to planning for the exchange, youth are often an untapped resource.  The participants can help plan, take on responsibilities, and organize activities.  It will lead to a greater committment to the exchange and a greater ownership of their experience.

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