It’s a Beautiful Day for a…. Sports Day?

Hello once again to our beloved Pickle People fans!

It’s time for another BLOG!

We last left our readers as we awaited our weekend trip to Dryden. The first notable mention of the trip is the first stoplight we had seen in around 5 weeks. It had been so long, our trusty driver, Eric almost forgot what to do at one. After finally finding a place open for lunch on a Sunday, we all sat down to what we considered to be a purchase of a “real meal”. The girls, craving a nice large salad like a cat craves catnip, ordered three without haste, while Eric ordered a club sandwich. The food was delicious, and the lack of conversation during the meal was a direct result of the enjoyment factor of our meals. Dryden highlights include: cottage cheese for Jess, cappuccino Frozen Yogurt for Kelsey, A Timmy’s Large Double Double for Eric, and a Tabloid magazine for Michaela. We picked up supplies for Interschool Sports Day, the upcoming Girls Night #2, and the Missabay Candle Light Dinner. Once again the travellers found themselves hoarding loaves of bread, bologna, and freezies in heaping shopping carts. That night we stopped by Brent’s, a teacher at Missabay for a fish fry dinner. It is worth noting that some of the fish eaten was caught by Eric. Thanks for having us, Brent!

Last week, teaching went very well. Jess and Kelsey focussed on sexual health. From condoms on a very large banana to muffled giggling about puberty from the grade 3-5 students, the lessons were delivered without a hitch.  The little ones were taken on a “field trip” to the science lab to look at plants, which turned into an impromptu lesson on everything in the science lab, including fish, basic ecology, and body systems.

Eric and Michaela taught mental health. Touching on bullying and anger management, they included the ever-so-popular activity called the “Anger Box”. Students drew or wrote down their thoughts on paper and put them in a box, only to be pulverized and forgotten moments later as the students lined up one by one to symbolically “crush” the box, and the memories inside.

Last Friday was Interschool Sports Day. Well, sort of. The long anticipated day of sports and games for the two schools was partially cancelled due to a series of fortunate events. (Insert bad Lemony Snickett’s Joke Here). Firstly, Friday was the ONLY day thus far on our trip that we have seen lightening. Secondly, the printers at Crolancia gave Jess and Kelsey a hard time printing the schedules and finalizing hand outs for the day’s events. Keep in mind, Eric and Michaela woke up early to get to Mish to prepare breakfast and get the Missabay kids on the buses. So what was the nail in the coffin you ask? Broken down buses. That’s right, not one, but both buses at Missabay (a.k.a the only way all the Missabay kids would get to Pickle Lake) decided to break down that morning.

Well isn’t that just great!

But did our Mish travellers cry and pout? Well actually, a little at first. After weeks of hyping up Interschool Sports Day, Eric and Michaela were left feeling incredibly guilty that their students were going to miss the day. But analyzing the situation with care, they shrugged off the negatives and drove back to Pickle Lake where Jess and Kelsey had already begun painting faces of the kids at Crolancia. With a modified schedule of soccer, games in the gym, and a special musical presentation by ARTSCAN, the day, and the over 100 sandwiches that we had been made the night before, did not go to waste. Thank you to all the Crolancia teachers who worked with us on our hectic, but overall successful, Crolancia Sports Day!

Although Interschool Sports Day may have been a flop for the kids at Missabay, never fear! The events of the Leadership Weekend sure weren’t! Later that same Friday of Interschool Sports Day, the older students from Missabay and Crolancia gathered in Pickle Lake to experience some traditional drumming and bracelet making with an Ojibway speaker. Both the students and the QHOers took the opportunity to drum with him, and currently wear beaded bracelets to demonstrate their skills.

On Saturday, after a lovely fundraiser breakfast at the community centre for Miles’ grandmother, the three QHOers headed to school for day 2 of the Leadership Weekend. Where’s the fourth you may ask? Unfortunately, Jess was too pickled out. A nasty cold had taken her hostage, and despite her best spirits, she needed rest. We are happy to report  she has since made a near- full recovery.

Day two was an absolute blast for all involved! The students from both schools again met at Crolancia, where Erin and Graham of New Vision Unlimited facilitated a day of leadership games and initiatives designed to get the kids “out of their comfort zones” and discover what kind of leader they may be. It was amazing to see the kids from the different schools working and playing together.

Day 3 (Sunday) included the students heading out on the lake canoeing, or staying on land and trying their bravery at rock climbing! A company from Sioux Lookout appeared with a rock wall on a trailer, and with the work of hydraulics, the wall was raised. It took little time to get the kids engaged, as they all set very tall goals and rocked them by the end of the day! (Awful puns there). Thank you to Lynn Cox and other canoeing/kayaking instructors for allowing the students to enjoy such an experience on the water, despite the wind! The final part of the day entailed the QHOers preparing an information session on careers and education for the students, which really helped to engage the students as they prepare for the next steps in their lives.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend, and we would like to thank Jess at Crolancia for having us be part of it!

On Monday the Mish/Pickle crew joined forced as the Crolancia girls had a P.A Day. So all four went to Missabay for the day! The students were able to decorate their hands and place them on the mural for the school, something they would have completed at Interschool Sports Day. Jess and Kelsey got a great opportunity to see what the Mish crew had been up to these past few weeks. They got to see the school, meet some of the teachers, and play numerous games of Duck Duck Goose with all the kids. The result was a board covered in numerous beautifully decorated hands, and even more paint on a few faces of the grade 2 class.

Well folks, that’s all for now. We are hovering around the 10 day mark until we leave (scary thought). It seems as though time has blown by and we have been stuck in a whirlwind of trees, bugs, smiles, and amazing people.  We are looking forward to making the most of the days left in school, the lessons left to be taught, and the time left to spend with the kids as their summer is just around the corner. We are not looking forward to the goodbyes to be said, the students and communities we will leave behind, and the drive home.

Mish You,

Pickle People

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