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Dear Boundless Families:

I just visited the English class, and happened upon 20 teenagers engulfed in a cone of silence.  The only sound I heard was my own coronary at the witnessing of the ghost-like stillness in a group with a delightful reputation for skullduggery.

They were writing. Not just any writing. Scribing with intensity. Like their lives depended on it. This weirded me out a bit. So I accost them,

“What the heck is going on here?  So silent. I’ve come to ruin it.”

Jim gives me a stern look. He has this class in lockstep learning. He allowed them to play maybe a bit too much at the beginning. Now they are paying the price. A fair one at that.

Wanna Play? Gotta pay. A virtuous lesson we hope many bring home with them.

Every last one of them will go home better writers.

Perhaps the highlight of their journey had nothing to do with learning at all. The morning when they woke up from camping in our upper meadows, they heard odd grunts and farts encircling their tents.This was not Jim (contrary to much suspicion), nor Ottawans expelling their surplus of methane, converted by their perfect plant-based diets.

It was a herd of cows. All 30 of em. Children, mamas, and one bull acting as the sentry.

The kids were dumbfounded.

James (student) comes to me two days later and inquires,

“Are they wild”?

“There is no such thing as wild cows Jimmy”, I patiently explain. The conversation quickly morphs into animal rights. He and I both concede we are horrible hypocrites, for we cannot give up the burgers of our lives.

Three days ago, i came upon the OE gang in the wilderness, and spent a full day with this brood, descending down a river paradise so exquisite, the kids voluntarily slowed down to admire its grandeur.

Catching bass off the tail end of their boats as they wended their way down the rapids. Playing canoe frisbee that slowed down the group 30 minutes and no one gave a darn. Impromptu dips into 25 degree water. Showers under waterfalls. Trying to tip the teachers into the river.

I, for one, regressed 40 years. The kids let me in. They were exceedingly generous.

But the paradise is deeper than wilderness beauty. They worked with military efficiency to devour obstacles in their path. Big rapids! Big success. But nobody cared about the big success. We were all just being together, and loving the moments. Whiling away time with ridiculous locker-room like banter and scrabble and chess at the campsite. And frying the bass.

Hope innocently asked me this morning, “You wanna come rock climbing with us today?”

“No hope, Hope, I pout. I have to be a grown up today.” She gets it, and we are both saddened.

The OE gang is laden with chips on their shoulders, for they mastered their own weirdness, accepted themselves, helped each other, gave to each other.

You will see it in their faces tomorrow. In their inflated torsos and larger pipes. Even Mina, who so hated the camping bit, couldn’t resist letting loose her magnetic smile about the whole thing.

This session is coming to the finish line. It has been spectacular. On to some announcements:

1) report cards should be coming within two weeks

2) Please don’t be late at the pick up tomorrow

3) Some kids have inquired about our boarding school (different kids than those families I am already in contact with).

In short, the boarding school is ideal for kids who struggle in the mainstream. Please contact me ASAP if you want to explore this for your child.

Parents, you have been lovely too. Many of you struggled to let go, but succeeded in mastering the art of detachment with flying colours. Your kids are better for it. Well done.

Best wishes for a wonderful rest of summer.

Steven