Dear Boundless Families:
All arrived safely on this exquisite sunny day. It is so beautiful that it makes you wonder how giddy big-bang atoms could ever coalesce into something so magnificent as the Ottawa valley in late August.
Which is an interesting irony considering that both both English crews will be studying dystopian themes for the next 12 days.
Lets take a moment to be introduced to the four illustrious cohorts who have survived their first afternoon.
The grade 12 English 4-Us, all 22 of them, arrived ready to do business. I was hanging out with them during their brief swim test, soaking up the rays on the dock with a few kids. Rebecca, a student who has been around the Boundless block for the past three summers gives me the scoop for the first day. She is keenly aware of how things roll here, so I trust her judgement implicitly.
“Rebecca, this is your fourth group, how does this one measure up?
She’s gets to the gist quickly, starting her commentary on the five girls. She knows that how the girls fare often tells the tale. Girls at Boundless are like the Middle East of group dynamics. If there is peace, the whole planet can breathe. If not, there is drama.
“The girls are kind. We’re a bit awkward, but we like hanging together. There’s no mean shit happening”.
She then adds emphatically, “actually, no one in the whole group has an attitude problem”.
The grade 10 and 11 English crowd – we’ll call them the younger English crew are a collection of 18 goofballs, according to Graham, their Course Director.
He sums it up, “They’re not shy. There seems to be an emerging understanding that it’s okay to be weird here.”
This is the crucial dynamic we like to see happen. If people feel a license to let their freak flags fly, the group transforms into a family.
Both English groups will be doing a short story blitz, with awkward titles like BORN, HARRISON BERGERON AND ZOMBIE.
The older English will add Margaret Atwood’s A HANDMAID’S TALE to the reading list.
They’ll do activities like Slam Poetry, reenact a true crime scenario, play the role of city politicians arguing about a hot dog by-law in attempt to hone their persuasion skills.
Life will busy for the English gang.
The younger outdoor group has 8 delightful young-uns and two Leader-in-Training dudes who have been here a million times, making an even 10. They are led by Tyler and his gang of three whitewater hot-shots.
It’s humorous to see Tyler, with a voice like a foghorn, inspire a group of tentative newbies. He describes them as being shy today. This is often the case with the youngest group. They went swimming in the rapids this afternoon – talk about hitting the river running – and every kid begged for three-peats on the activity. They are warming up, but this might take a few days.
The older outdoor crew has twelve, a number of whom are Boundless old timers already, so their bonding process has been much quicker than the young-uns. My office is about 400 metres from where they hang out. I had to apologize to someone on the other end of the phone because this cohort’s decibel level drowned the conversation.
Loud, boisterous and filled with swagger, the older group, I predict, will digest this experience hook, line and sinker.
It’s been a very solid day one. We don’t take the sunshine for granted. It’s been rare this summer.
The next few days are critical for each team to figure themselves out. It you don’t get a personal call from me during this window – well – no news is good news!
Thanks for sending your kids to us.