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Dear Boundless Families:

Everyone arrived safely to a Madawaska Valley paradise that is finally seeing some relief from a brutal heat wave. The water temperature is 25 degrees, there is a cleansing breeze to die for, and the fields are rife with bunnies and buttercups. The place feels like a 600 acre spa.

And so your kids have warmed up quickly to their surroundings and each other. Its quite a leap of faith to walk into the unknown as two thirds of our students have today. Their sighs of relief that you haven’t consigned them to some form of summer school backwater are almost as strong as the stiff southwest wind. They are already loud. Giggles are emerging. Water fights have begun in earnest. Innocent flirtations are emerging.

We are abuzz with energy and staff are students are moving quickly on their missions. I note we must have the strangest juxtaposition of gear and gadgets of any school in the country. For the outdoor kids, its all about canoes, trailers and bug dope. For English, its USB sticks, laptops and devising top ten lists of things to bring in a post apocalyptic world. The Zombies are coming.

One student insisted a stereo is an essential item. “When we die, its good to have music playing.” This was received to a chorus of groans. But her delivery was forthright and true, and a third of the class were won. That choice might bite them in their brains later – they are fending off the living dead after all.

I watch these kids adapt to such a radically new environment with envy. God they make friends quickly. Their hearts are open. It takes me years to forge a friendship. These guys are doing it in a matter of hours. But will these connections endure in the face of the many challenges ahead? Boundless has a way of inducing stress – all part of the package up here.

And the teenagers, these fledging humans prone to acne, impatience and immortality, have gotten off to a great start.

The English groups, seniors and juniors, are both studying World War Z. This novel is much more than about zombies. Its a treatise on how humans adapt to change. How appropriate. Both groups are lodged about a kilometre from each other, so they barely know of each other’s existence. The opportunities for raiding and pillaging crucial resources are plentiful. That’s all I am going to say, except to inform you that we have hired a videographer to document the carnage that will soon come in their struggle for world domination.

The outdoor crews, also junior and senior, have a much simpler and perhaps a more arduous goal – survive the Dumoine River in Quebec. There are 58 rapids they must negotiate, and the river will take no prisoners. The seniors leave day 5, and the juniors day 6. Both crews will be busy training from now until then. They will have to rise to the occasion. Only teamwork, grit and kindness will see them through.

It’s 6:27pm as I write this. Nothing has crossed my desk so far. “No news from us” is “good news for you” when it comes to your kids’ welfare up here. I promise to contact you should there be any struggles. Otherwise, its time for you parents to prance about naked in your homes, revelling in the absence of your hormonal progeny.

I’ll write again in a few days.

Warm regards,