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Dear Boundless Families:

Everyone arrived safely. Thanks for a speedy getaway this morning.

Summer actually arrived in the Madawaska Valley today. It has rained so much this spring that I personally was a pencil-length away from enjoying my very own indoor swimming pool, with a 3 degree Madawaska whirlpool bath in my utility room.

But today, it has been glorious. We all know what sunshine does to adolescent pheromones. There is a scent in the air, and the midriffs are being bared.

Please don’t worry dads. We employ an axe-wielding toothless alcoholic to roam the property at night. Everyone here shall have their virtue protected. 

And yet the exquisite fertility of the valley in this moment, frogs a-croaking, bunnies a- hopping – it has had a lovely impact on your kids. Most have already found their groove.

Let’s get right to business.

An introduction to the three tribes:

We have the 20 person strong English class, course directed by Tony Rupoli. I call him To-To, the shoeless, and fortunately literate English wiz. To-To resigned his role as Principal of our school just three months ago. The 6 foot 6 lush-bearded Italian who really is a Game of Thrones character, laid down his weaponry for a bourgeois life, but couldn’t resist coming back to help your progeny become better readers and writers.

I can finally release the list of novels. Our outright refusal to do so prior to the trip is a matter of national security, I can tell you that (to quote Trump). 

Tony has a flare for the dystopian genre, so has chosen Fahrenheit 451, American War  and Animal Farm. I can’t recall which novel is for which grade, for I am becoming feeble of brain.

This class has started off well. I just wish they would wear more clothes. I am turning into my own grandmother, I know.

Then there is the 20 person strong Hybrid group (combo of English and OE). The English piece is course directed by Mackenzie (AKA Macky), my favourite English teacher ever to grace our classrooms. Why? Because the atmosphere of her classes is so open, accepting, heartfelt and loving. And she’ll make your kids conjugate their verbs like nobody’s business.

Her novels are Heart of Darkness, Blood Meridian, Indeh (graphic novel) and some Stephen King novel just for the fun of it. Again, I cannot recall which grade is doing which. 

The Hybrids have other fish to fry, for they must prepare for their 4-day Madawaska journey. The rivers are swollen up here, and infested with prodigious pests. One bad flip, and its see you 3km downstream. 

Yes, I am being dramatic. Just cuz. And yet, their challenge ahead is very river-real, and they shall surely rise or fall to the occasion. But they will do it together.

And then there’s the OE gang. I caught a glimpse when they arrived. They have three gals and 10 dudes. The gals know each other, and have already ascended the throne. They are lovely. This matters. It sets a tone for the others. The fellas appear to be fine gentlemen. And who better to model this than Kevin Klin, their trip leader. 

I was shocked to learn that Kevin actually didn’t arrive at the pick-up wearing neon pink and swaying to blaring dance music in the parking lot. Kevin has two virtues. He can be demanding. He will get your kids to hop to it. He is also utterly kind, and will inspire a milieu of emotional safety that will see kids get comfortable enough to be their true weird selves.

That’s all I got for you at this early stage. I’ll try and update every three or four days.

Parents, no news is good news. I promise to be in touch if there are any concerns with your kids. Scouts honour. Otherwise, please bugger off and have a great long weekend, rejoicing in the absence of your progeny.

Thanks for sending your kids to us.