Visiting the students on their Boot Lake cultural trip was a great experience.
I love fishing, I was served some excellent moose stew and the pristine white scenery was stellar.
Unfortunately, the Grade 6 class I accompanied did not get to reel in a net of fish like earlier classes had. This wasn't because the spot had dried up.
Instead, organizers of the trip informed me that vandals had tampered with the fish net set under the ice, rendering it useless and a long hassle to free.
Particularly headshake-inducing was that the vandals didn't even appear to be stealing the fish, but simply messing with the equipment.
Their joy must have come in knowing some elementary school children would not get to experience a cultural tradition and a great fish haul that day.
To some extent, I understand the allure in "trolling," and not the fishing variety, but in screwing with someone else and laughing at their compromised situation.
In one way or another I think we all engage in a form of it at some point throughout our lives, though it can range from harmless jokes
to unfunny, rotten behaviour as in this instance.
I can only hope the vandals of Boot Lake were very young people themselves, as any adult tampering with fishing lines for fun is a bit of a loser.
My worst transgression as a youth in Vancouver was when I and my group of friends got the bright idea walking home from school one day to fill doggie bags with dirt and toss them at a house beneath the trail. We did that once and there was a school assembly about it the next day.
Someone could have been injured and there could have been significant property damage.
My friends and I were all raised in great homes with a great upbringing that preached a good set of morals, but kids make those kind of mistakes.
I'm not excusing my young self, in fact I am ashamed of this story, but I can understand children making these bad, unthinking decisions, not adults.
If you're an adult doing this kind of thing, something has gone very wrong.
It's likely futile for me to try to get into the head of someone who enjoys this kind of activity. Lack of positive stimulation? Contempt for others? Jealousy? Boredom? I don't know.
Inuvik fosters an incredible community of friendly, positive people. I'm not a parenting expert and there's certainly no way to eliminate bad actions from the world.
But I hope somehow, someway, these vandals and others like them have their come-to-God moment, that look in the mirror that sees right through any self-confident mask, and question the type of person they want to be and what impact they want to have on the world and in their community.
It's never too late to change.