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Community spirit? Lake Cowichan kids will give you the shirts off their back

Young Laker helps neighbours shovel in the most bone-chilling way
Carl Stenberg, 13, shows off his stick-handling skills to the neighbours as they shovel snow in Lake Cowichan on Dec. 12. (Michelle Banfield photo)

On the 12th day of Christmas Mother Nature gave Lake Cowichan a big dump of snow, but that was not all the giving that took place in one neighbourhood on that day. Some help shoveling snow, likely some hockey pointers, and a whole lot of laughs were also on tap.

Lake Cowichan’s Michelle Banfield couldn’t help but capture the wholesome interaction between a young boy and some men outside in the snow.

Banfield explained:

“We live on a hill that is quite the climb,” she explained. “We have first responders and teachers and a nurse and a pastor…new families, older families, it is just a great place to be.”

So great, in fact, that the neighbours have been known to gather, in the warmer months, over a cold beer in the middle of the cul-de-sac for community safety meetings. Needless to say, they all get along swimmingly.

“This is a great community,” Banfield confirmed.

That community banded together to help out one of its own after the snow covered their street on Dec. 12.

“A lady needed to get her car to the top of the hill so everyone came out and got their shovels going,” Banfield said. “The plow had not been out yet.”

Banfield was looking out her front window when what to her wondering eyes should appear, but “a young fellow out there: no shirt, no socks, running shoes, and a tuque showing his stick handling skills with the shovel to the older guys on the hill.”

Apparently 13-year-old Carl Stenberg had been outside preparing for his U15 Lakers hockey game slated for that afternoon when he decided he better go help out with the shovelling.

Get properly dressed for the weather? Nah.

“We just moved here a year ago from Alberta. He did not find the weather cold that day,” said Carl’s mom Eden Snobelen. “We obviously choose a great cul-de-sac to live on. All the Neighbours were out to ensure everyone could leave their house if needed.”

Regardless, it was a sight to see.

“I had a good laugh and grabbed the camera,” Banfield said. “I thought ‘yes this is a true Canadian winter moment’. It was the 12th day of Christmas countdown….so it seemed fitting to post that community spirit and share with everyone.”

The group of men all stopped to have a big belly laugh at Stenberg’s antics before they all continued on with their work, she said.

“What a great kid. Here he is, grabs a shovel and gets out there to help the rest of the neighbours clear the road,” Banfield said. “The neighbour [waiting] at the bottom of the hill in her car and she would not make it up if they had not done that.”

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Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
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