In Their Footsteps: The Juno75 Student Pilgrimage

| September 11, 2019

Juno Beach and Beyond
In Their Footsteps: The Juno75 Student Pilgrimage

Today’s episode is a back-to-school special featuring the Juno75 Student Pilgrimage.

This past July, the Juno Beach Centre sponsored a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for high school students from across the country. Two dozen students travelled on a tour of Canadian battlefields of the First and Second World Wars, following in the footsteps of thousands of men and women who came before them. 

Spearheading the Juno Beach Centre’s first-ever student pilgrimage was Scott Entwistle, our Special Projects Coordinator. Scott organized and led the tour as one of the chaperones. He joins us for the first half of this episode to explain the who, what, where and why of the trip.

As back to school beckoned, we interviewed three bright young students about the pilgrimage. In the second half of the podcast, Courtney Decker, Sydney Johnson, and Francesca Lepore answer questions about this unique educational experience. It’s safe to say that the way they look at history has fundamentally changed.

Young Canadians from the Juno75 Student Pilgrimage prepare to set out in a convoy of historic Second World War Willys Jeeps near Saint-Vaast-en-Auge, Normandy on July 15, 2019

Time Stamps

2:09 Part I: Scott Entwistle

23:19 Part II: Courtney Decker, Sydney Johnson & Francesca Lepore

Guest Biography

Scott Entwistle is the Special Projects Coordinator at the Juno Beach Centre Association. He led the Juno75 Student Pilgrimage this past summer. Previously, Scott worked as a guide at the Juno Beach Centre in 2015 and 2016 and as Visitor Service Manager in 2016 and 2017.  

Courtney Decker recently graduated from William Derby School in Strasbourg, Saskatchewan. She is beginning the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Saskatchewan this fall.   

Sydney Johnson is going into grade 11 at Saint John High School in New Brunswick. She plans to pursue a degree in Medieval or Modern History once she finishes high school. 

Francesca Lepore is going into grade 12 at Heritage Woods Secondary School in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Her plans for the future remain open, but she wants to do work in International Relations. Like many alumni of this tour, she is also eyeing the Juno Beach Centre Student Guide Program 


The following links offer more information on the topics discussed in this episode:


Voices of Juno with Desaree Rosskopf

The Summer Institute for Canada’s Educators

Juno75: Above & Beyond with Neil Orford

7 Days in Normandy with Scott Entwistle 

Canada’s D-Day Story 


The Normandy Campaign

Weapons & Formations

1st Canadian Parachute Battalion


Juno Beach & Beyond is hosted and edited by Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the centre’s Digital Projects Coordinator.

Garth Webb’s quote about D-Day from the Testaments of Honour Historical Archive and the Defining Moments Canada website: 

Mackenzie King’s speech to British Parliament from the British Pathé YouTube channel:

Artillery firing sounds from the CBC News: The National YouTube Channel:

Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from Jonathan Thomas’s YouTube channel:

Spitfire sound effect from Jason Kirby’s YouTube channel:

Dramatic Interlude by Alexander Nakarada |

Music promoted by

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at

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