Dear Boundless Families:
In these terribly parched days, where dust particles outnumber the stars in the heavens, and when water bombers are a regular sighting overhead, I came upon the outdoor crew, strewn about their Lac Robinson campsite on Friday night in various states of fatigue.
I bore chocolate bars and watermelon as gifts. In what I now regard as the eighth wonder of the world, the kids gravitated towards the watermelon and deferred the Kit Kats to another time. The moisture is the thing. Get it any way, in any method. They had just completed a 1.6km portage in 33 degrees.
Usually this is a spot where down-river saunas are constructed. This was not to happen on this day. Instead, I saw a 4-person massage train healing the kinks of the day. In another pod, 4 girls were preening each other’s hair like giggly primates letting off steam.
A couple kids were hanging out with Max (teacher) under a tree, probably gossiping about the universe and perhaps about nothing in particular. Pasta was boiling with two other students being studious about preparing the upcoming meal.
There was banter.
William is bragging about his fishing prowess.
“Ah”, I say, “you have a hyperactive fishing disorder, do you not?”
He beams, “Of course! I caught 8 bass.”
I decide to poke, “What, no pickerel? How disappointing.”
This get William going. “Wish I had a mouse. Pickerel love mouse bait”.
“Are you out of your mind”, I retort, “I offer you an official challenge. Fish don’t eat mice”.
The canoes on the shoreline were so neatly stacked, they looked like perfectly folded dish towels. The site itself was immaculate. I was somewhat dumbstruck.
And then it hit me. This place has been turned into a living room. And the household affairs are in order. People know their roles. Division of labour has long been understood and rehearsed. In other words, this group has become a high functioning family.
I can think of three families in particular who just fell off their chairs reading this.
The whitewater descent went like clockwork the next day. They got to see me train emerging river guides, a chance for them to look under the hood about how we keep kids safe. On the trip, they saw a bear, moose, deer, bald eagles and their fair share of deer flies. Crazily, the skitters are mostly gone, one massive dividend from the heat.
This is all to say that the outdoor crew is golden. You will hear stories!
As to English, truth be told, I haven’t paid them much mind – much in the way a parent can sometimes neglect a well adjusted kid. I have seen them roaming about in various stages of healthy stress. It is essay time, and a whole lot of them are going like gangbusters. They want to nail it.
Just one more day till all of you reunite with your babies. I hope it is a joyous moment for all.