Dear Boundless Families:
My rendezvous with the younger outdoor crew in the middle of the Dumoine river was planned for this past Wednesday, where I aimed to paddle my way to their Lac Robinson campsite around 5:00pm and bear gifts.
I arrived 4 hours early, thinking I could get an afternoon of peace. This was not to happen.
First, I see that intrepid and well-bred clan 4 hours early at the apex of their portage trail. My solitude suffered a quicker death than the deer flies did at the hands of your insect-serial-killer sons. The fellas looked happy, yet also exhausted by the turbo-engine quality to their pace. Four hours early means they simply devoured the obstacles in their path.
I high tail it out of their midst at impulse power, hoping to reclaim my isolation. I arrive at my cabin, about one half a click downstream from their campsite destination. I hop in the river and begin a luxurious long distance swim in the middle of nowhere. I dream all winter of these moments.
Roughly half way, I lift my head for a quick breather, and I realize I am surrounded by 9 canoes of acne prone immortals. Oh my.
Their campsite was already taken, and the group looked like depressed lapdogs. They sidled up to me for a consult. I have never been more happy to be wearing my SAX underwear.
“Where the hell should we go?” I knew Eminem, their leader, was thinking at the back of her mind my cabin would be a last resort.
I almost drowned at the sheer horror of the prospect.
There is this gorgeous site not in visible range that only old-timers like me know about. I direct them there, with the hope, more like a prayer, that that spot would be available. They paddled like bright eyed puppies, hoping for the good fortune that this space, renowned for the best outhouse on the river, would let down its hair and be available.
It was! If there is a God, thank you.
Back to square one, I saunter to their site before dinner. I have, literally, a barrel-full of treats to bribe my way into their world. I ask Gage, whose dimples are now the stuff of legend, to catch the contents. Its includes a heavy bowling-ball like watermelon, the weight of which catches Gage by surprise. But he does not drop the prize, and now that the melon is secured, out pops 16 Kit Kats and Aero Bars, and the entire group lets out a scream.
Mason, who stood out to me to me on day one because of his crazy 1970’s curly hair invites me to rest my bones at the picnic table. I oblige him and 3 other fellas also taking a breather, and we begin gossiping like old grandmothers about their tribe.
James (I think it was James) lets loose a passionate tidbit,
“You know that Gage kid, I f…in LOVE him!”
I am taken aback at the force of this declaration.
“What’s that about?”
“He works like a dog and is so fun!”
Parents of this crew, just know that this sentence sums up the whole group. So fun, so hard working, so behind each other!
I hear the same about the older crew, who completed the river this morning and are presently rolling the highways back to Boundless, but perhaps not to the extent of the younger gang.
Yesterday was a pivotal day for both English crews, heads down in their essays. But there is no panic. Each has his/her own strategy for coping. Some play the guitar. Others stare at the ceiling. A few toss around a ball. One fiddles with the legs of a rocking chair. But all are committed to producing.
I predict that there is not one kid coming home from English tomorrow unhappy. They pushed themselves, and fell in love with each other. Some preffred to work in isolation. Some chose buddies. Ample support was eagerly obtained when needed. It felt like home. But a home inside a school. Try as these kids might, they shall be unable to convey the exquisite atmosphere of both classes.
There are so many tales of triumph, i could only focus on one in this note. You will hear so many stories.
Enjoy your reunions tomorrow. Wish I could be a fly on the wall.