Dear Boundless Families:
Before the outdoor crew left for the Dumoine River in Quebec early Tuesday morning, I pulled Brett aside – their safety coordinator – and had a solemn heart to heart about keeping your kids alive.
The trouble is that the Dumoine is at historically high water levels. I visited 10 days ago and the river looked downright angry. Boundless has never commercially run a group down the river at this volume.
The kids are completely stoked about that fact. It has bonded them in profound ways. They trained hard. They left utterly united and ready for the challenge ahead.
I asserted to Brett with biblical emphasis “Listen Mister, you be careful upstream of waterfalls. Use your probe canoe and keep it a half a K ahead. Bring walky talkies. You need to find those sweet spots to collect the whole group. Watch out for sweepers. 30 second timed releases for duckie-style descents.”
Brett tries to conceal he is rolling his eyes, and only hones in on the message about walkie talkies. I can see he’s ignored everything else, just like a kid does when you tell him to put on a scarf in the winter.
“Walkie Talkies are so Eighties. We don’t use them anymore.”
Brett speaks with confidence. He’s got this. He needs no cliches to remind him about his job. He is impatient and wants to move on. I leave the conversation feeling like a granny with an anxiety disorder.
Those outdoor kids have been in radio silence since they left. I do know that they survived their harrowing day 1, replete with 15 sets of rapids, one of which is called Canoe Eater, and two waterfalls. Radio silence has been maintained (it can be easily broken with our SAT phone).
I am visiting them tomorrow night. Another first is that I am bringing a Boundless Baked Birthday cake for Nick. To do this will require driving, hiking, canoeing and enduring a forecast for rain. Melted crushed white-on-white cake anyone? Often, this can be the yummiest kind.
As to the English crew. They came back from a two-night overnight, presumably practising what they were preaching with True Grit as their banner. The only nice two days of weather we have had was on that trip – those buggers. Everything just seems to be going their way.
At lunch yesterday, after they returned, Tony was making an announcement and ended by screaming , “True Grit!” They all responded in kind with a roar that was well practiced and perhaps a tad stale.
I get it.
I am more emphatic than ever when I claim that English is a country club. I offer the attached photo as evidence. The whole lot of them look like they are walking around in slacks with cocktails awaiting after their spa.
They would protest otherwise. They would say , “so much work”. Essays are due soon. Making podcasts was sooooohh laborious. Writing short stories sucked the life out of us.
Speak to the hand, I say.
Everything is peaches and cream and mosquitos and deer flies. Which is kind of nice if you think about it.
Your kids are having the time of their lives.
Until next time.