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RBC is inspiring Canada's youth to make a difference by giving them $150 to affect change. How will you #make150count this year?

This is going to be an epic year. Canada is turning 150, and we have a big family reunion to PEI this summer to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. To be in the birthplace of Confederation, 150 yrs later? Awesome.

Last year, we had a whirlwind visit to Ottawa where the boys got to see “Justin Trudeau’s house,” toured Parliament Hill, and had some first hand lessons in the history of our country and how it works.

It’s the perfect foundation for understanding Canada during this year-long sesquicentennial celebration.

From the maritimes to the pacific, my boys have experienced a lot of Canada, and have learned to love this land from sea to sea to sea. Travel is a great gift to give your kids to appreciate and understand the world around them, and when they get that appreciation for the planet, for their country, for their community, amazing things can happen.

Charlie recently turned 7. His birthday parties are 50/50 affairs, where he asks his friends to bring a small monetary gift instead of buying a random gift. Charlie collects all the money and uses half to buy himself something he really wants (Minecraft LEGO this year), and then he uses the other half to donate to a charity.

This year, inspired by RBC’s #Make150Count campaign, I topped up Charlie’s birthday money donation to $150 to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary (“Make 150 Count” is a challenge to young Canadians to prove that when we invest in youth, great things happen).

1,000 kits have been distributed across Canada already. Inspiring youth have bought ice cream for kids and/or dinners for homeless people, purchased musical instruments for youth groups, donated school supplies to Syrian refugee children, painted a fence and bought flowers for a local community garden, donated pet supplies to local SPCA, facilitated a youth paint night to promote adoption/child welfare program, and built a robot to clean up garbage!

Jonathan used his $150 to hold a World Junior Hockey party for kids in Ottawa’s Children’s Hospital over Christmas. Awesome!

How will you celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday? How will you #Make150Count? Take some time this year to really see this country, explore new corners you haven’t seen, and be inspired to give back and make Canada a better place.

When we invest in youth, great things happen.

A longer version of this post originally appeared at DadCAMP.