Dear Boundless Families:
Truly, we have a little Homer in all of us. Every adventure, love and betrayal story or film you have ever adored can be traced back to the ancient Greek writer who was the first to put passion to paper.
Who wouldn’t want to return home from a gloried journey, feeling immortal, having conquered your enemies and your own demons?
Both groups returned to port feeling like heroes – inflated chests, rosy cheeks, pock-marked by deer fly bites, wreaking of work ethic.They paid a price for this, as any self-respecting hero must pay. The bugs and bruises and portages and storms and a relentless river that couldn’t care less if they were ready or not – this exacted a toll.
Yesterday, I came upon the Seniors doing their post-trip chores – an immense list whose duties involve scrubbing grime and Dumoine Dirt – a sacred mess if you ask me because the filth is teaching your kids how to be grown-ups. Their faces were covered in campfire ash from scraping pots. They took breaks by spraying each other with the hose. Giggling, giddy and god-like, they relished just being around each other. Those Seniors ate the river up and matured in ways that will be readily apparent on their smily faces which you shall undoubtedly see upon their return.
I am not saying this was any kind of magical transformation. They had to be called on their s..t from time to time. Their commitment wavered when they tired. But they picked themselves up. The teachers earned their loyalty and respect, so the group felt like one amorphous glob of youth and unlimited potential. Today, they built this raft that left my mouth agape. Their challenge was that the whole group – 15 kids and 6 teachers, had to be able to float on it. They displayed their creation with pride to me. “Look at this old man!”. I felt part of them for a few seconds.
The Juniors arrived back early afternoon. Gratification had to be delayed, for they yearned for showers. Scattered about in heaps of delightful exhaustion, they had to squeeze out the strength to put the peddle to the meddle to finish their own round of chores.
One junior student came to me and said, “I wish we did it like this at home”.
“I dunno, its just that we are all in this together. No one barks at you here”.
I can assure the reader that this is an illusion. kids coming out of grade 8 and 9 tend to act like Prime Ministers one day, and Zombie monsters the next. Its not as if we yelled at them, but we had to be all over them to keep their effort consistent; keeping their attention on each other in stead of just focussing on me, me, me.
And it worked. Plain and simple. These Juniors walk about the property with a spring in their step. They know they had to rise to the occasion, and show this exquisite and authentic pride that is oozing from their pores. They couldn’t stop laughing for 6 days.
“What about weather?”, I asked one young women.
“What do you mean?”
“Like didn’t your group get hammered by storms?’
And there you have it. Adversity shrugged off like it was nothing. This, from a girl who couldn’t look anyone in the eyes for the first 18 hours.
And so it has been a fantastic session.
Thanks for sending your kids to us. We adore them.