Dear Boundless Families:
First off. In case you haven’t noticed – it’s hot. Blistering. Fire bans everywhere (again). A small and manageable forest fire ignited just 30 kms away, just cuz – no discernible reason – even the afternoon thunderstorms that typically cool the world down refuse to visit.
Lucky all 60 kids and 30 staff live by a river. The water temp just measured 25 degrees, an ideal respite for those writing like fiends, or those portaging canoes and honing their paddling skills.
It’s day four, which as Churchill coined, “is the end of the beginning”.
A good end to a beginning means that 95 plus per cent of kids should have bought in by now, with the other 5% well on their way. Homesickness should be a thing of the past. Connections to others are established and kids start to feel like they own the place. Tribal missions have been defined. Absurd jokes start surfacing. Chore routines are at a stage where no one complains.
And this is exactly what is happening in this hot and sticky session.
A few updates on each cohort if you please, starting with English.
I would like to offer an insider’s scoop on the largest internal debate at Boundless right now – its english, bloody english. Like how the IPHONE cannibalized the IPOD, English has grown so popular that it threatens to overwhelm enrolment in the outdoor program. I swear I should sell English credit scalper tickets and retire.
Given the summer english program is only two years old, it is just dawning on me why it has taken Boundless by storm. Get a load of the pieces to curriculum this session:
1) English students are ruining a fleet of perfectly good canoe by painting graffiti on their hulls, all in the name of defining beauty. Hmmm
2) They have begun preparing for a short-film festival – your kids are becoming screenwriters and directors
3) They went on a hike to learn about “persuasive techniques” – don’t ask – I have no clue as to how the two relate, but Mack sure does
4) I was wrong in my last update about Into The Wild – that’s next session. Instead, the teachers have chosen a short story blitz – one a day – like a literary multivitamin.
5) Last night the night watch-girl admonished two fellas for chatting too late into the night. They responded, “good conversations – let us talk”. She did
There is one intangible happening in English which bears mentioning – there is an Ottawa contingent of english students that have set the tone for their cohort. Gifted in body and mind, they also excel in inclusivity. This means that the cool kids of the group are binding the team together and setting an example for work ethic. This means EVERYONE feels connected – which is only enhancing their learning. And kids are working hard. Its essay day tomorrow. This prospect normally strikes terror in our students. But not this time. All seem reconciled, led by the spirit of the Ottawa crew.
So if we have to have cannibals around hear – these are fine young ones.
On to Tony’s group – the middle agers. To see Tony bellow his commands in the early morning, dressed in various shades of neon pink and yellow, shoeless, is to observe an oddity of nature where you have a leader who looks and sounds like a menacing mafioso while dressed appropriately for a Woodstock convert.
This oxymoronic fashion statement reflects perfectly the diversity of his crew. I just checked in with him, and like English, they have zero outliers. All the geeks and jocks and brainiacs and the restless have blended beautifully. They have dubbed themselves Adam’s Fishing Society – named after a student in their midst with a serious hyperactive fishing disorder. Don’t ask why this stuck. I have no idea. But the absurdity is a great sign.
And to bore you with another outstanding cohort – Owen’s crew refer to themselves as the MULLETS. This means business up front, and party in the back. They are beginning to adore each other, know how to dig deep, and know how to chill. Nary an outsider to be found here as well.
As to Klin’s crew, well, I haven’t seen them. They took off to Algonquin park yesterday for two days in search of natural water-slides. The water level may not oblige – but it won’t matter. This crew, while quiet, feels like a group of toddlers discovering a world of high standards and what can be achieved when people are good to each other. They are golden.
That’s about it for today.
Hope you stay cool.