Dear Boundless Families:
Everyone arrived safely. The beaches of Boundless have been stormed by 63 kids across 4 cohorts – two in the adventure program, and two in English.
Some day ones are rather sedate. Kids tip toe around finding their balance. This was not that kind of day one.
Starting with the older outdoor adventure cohort – for the time being lets call them Audacious Crew – they have been gregarious as soon as they dipped their paddles in the Madawaska. Grunts, giggles, screams, cautious but forward glances, they are a team of acne prone primates figuring out their places.
But the story of the day for the Audacious crew is that Maddy and Amelia found each other on the ride up. By the time they stepped off the bus, half their worries were left behind on the 401. By the way, this 12 person cohort is where we put the three gals, lest they be overwhelmed by masculinity. My guess is that these three shall rule the roost – it usually goes that way.
Whereas the younger outdoor crew – lets call the the Younglings for the time being – they are all in the throes of boisterous boyhood. Mary-Michelle, their trip leader whose name has an appalling combination of syllables – folks around here call her M&M – she just can’t stop running. Word on the street is that the Younglings got the mojo, and are gelling the most quickly of the four cohorts.
The younger englishers – they walk around like big shots – so we’ll keep that moniker for now. These Big Shots are a study in group process. Pairs have found each other. The gals are coagulating into fivesomes – the boys kicking around a ball during break. It feels pretty nice.
I have been assigned to keep an eye out on this group – management divides up the responsibility across the four, so I invested a little more time getting to know them.
I see Noah and Jake playing Ping Pong. I approach them with a classic,
“Excuse me young men, but if you have the courage to face me, I shall surely humiliate you both on the court. I wouldn’t want you to cry yourselves to sleep.”
This seemed to score, for Noah deadpanned,
“Bring it on. I’ll only need half a paddle to destroy you”
The outcome is we plan to have a regular 10-minute ping pong pow wows when we can both squeeze the time and need to unwind from the workload.
I move on to a pair of newbie gals – forgive me but their names escape this old man – they appear shy, but centred. I approach them in earnest with the question,
“How was Day one? Seriously, do you get a sense that this place is going to be okay?”
They don’t quite know how to take this forwardness, and one takes a leap of faith,
“Ya. I am relieved” The other nods in emphatic agreement. I can empathize. You never what your getting in a new situation. The culture may not fit. And when you realize that there are good people here, things have the chance to feel like sunshine.
Don’t kill me parents, but I have nothing on the grade 12 Englishers, other than to say that I drove by Mackenzie, their course director, who was holding court with about 8 students doing something or other. She knew what I was needing, and gave me the Whitewater high five sign, which means that things have gotten off to a solid start. I promise to give more info as the program moves forward.
So this is usually the time when I tell parents who have been holding their breath all day and are about to explode – no news is good news. Things are just fine around here. Most can fully exhale by day three or four if you haven’t heard from me.
Lets hope for that outcome. The honeymoon is over very quickly for the english kids, because they will soon be knee deep in reading and writing. The outdoor crews, on the other hand, will just get more and more glorious.