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Dear Boundless Families:

I made up a scale a way back that combines water and air temperature to determine suitability for outdoor water-based activities.

A combined 40 degrees is a cutoff. Anything below, it’s chilly and even a risk for mild hypothermia if you stay wet and without a wetsuit. Between 40 and 45, we’re in business. 45-50 starts becoming luxury. On Saturday, it was a combined SIXTY degrees. I’ve never seen this in my thirty-five years working here (35 degrees in the shade plus 25-degree water and screw the humidex which would have made it even higher).

So, basically, your kids are living in a spa. With assignments due. Lots of them. Sort of like a resort with tons of expectations. The English students navigate this steaming contradiction with focus. But it can be hard, especially when the river beckons with relief.

Those poor English students. Check out their life here. Night hikes to learn the art of self-reflection. Media projects where one standout did a perfectly professional documentary on mushrooms. Camping under a full moon, laughing yourself silly at the absurdity of the slam poetry they were actually marked on. Having to free themselves from an Escape Room sixty feet in the air.

Creative license is being claimed by many. One dyslexic student chose to scribe a creative non-fiction essay by writing the first paragraph entirely backwards. Each morning the class get to witness a live comedy show on etymology (history of words).

The fallback remains ball sports, music and river. Today Jimmy declared that there is some collective catching up on assignments through an afternoon theme entitled self-motivation. The teachers walk around kicking butt, although I am told the class has devoured this theme in earnest.

They do suffer those English students.

The OE gang left for the Dumoine River in Quebec on Saturday morning for a 6-day river expedition and haven’t been heard from since. As I write, they are likely descending a stretch called the cobblestone freeway, a windy easy rapid that goes for 4 kms around eskers and crystals and culminates in a waterfall you can shower under. Usually, kids jump out of the boat and simply body surf their way into paradise. OE it seems also has to endure life’s hardships.

I can’t keep away from OE, I adore them so. Spirited, hilarious, supportive, wry witted, physical – can’t keep em down. I join them tomorrow for an evening and a full day and promise to return with juicy gossip for this audience.

Both cohorts love each other and are having the time of their lives. Everyone has found a place on their respective teams long ago. It’s wonderful to be in the second period of a 13 day hockey game with these lovely crews.

Until next time,

Steven