Pickle Lake: Julia was tickled (pickled?) to catch a fish!

It’s hard to believe in one week we will be back down South! Our last week is sure to fly by as we still have so many things we want to accomplish before another epic road trip with our loveable, noisy van named Sully. What have the Pickle PE’s been up to? Well, last Saturday we had a wonderful afternoon spent at the park with all the children of Pickle. What started off as a game of Spud ended in many lovely chalk drawings around the school, a sing along courtesy of Nick and Josh, and many races around the school. I don’t think any of us have ever seen so many kids that were so eager to run laps around the school! It was really touching when some of the kids drew a chalk thank-you for us – such a lovely day! 

On Sunday, we took a trip on the North Road to see the end of the highway and check out a closed-down Residential School. It really made an impact on all of us to see the closed down school and made us wonder what kind of impact it had on the community.

This week we focused on Substance Abuse with the Crolancia kids and our emphasis was on alcohol, inhalants, and pills. These lessons were very relevant for the community and we were really impressed by the student’s participation and the discussions we were able to have with the.  The 6,7,8 class was so really interested in the long-term realities of inhalants and alcohol use. We talked a lot about the permanent mental damage and impaired motor functions caused by prolonged substance abuse and how this can affect our daily lives.

 The students asked such smart and relevant questions!

The afternoon sports never slow down around here. The kids have Julia running loops around the school, Maggie dancing with the girls, and both of us have steadily improved our volleyball skills. We even got to show off our skills on the baseball diamond! Crolancia has put together a baseball team to take up to Dryden in a few weeks, so we decided to pop by baseball practice on Wednesday afternoon. We were both surprised to see that Maggie remembered any of her long-forgotten softball skills. What can we say? Surprising talents abound in Pickle!

 On Thursday, we decided to give fishing another try. Julia finally got her first fish in Pickle!! I guess we should mention this was well after the other fishermen had caught their limit and were practically recruiting the fish for Julia. Nevertheless, it was an exciting moment worth recording for the Pickle PE’s. We came home to the best fish fry ever, courtesy of Dianna, Mark, and Killer Krumbs.

Saturday was spent volunteering at a barbecue and hockey fundraiser. Julia and Maggie loved playing ball hockey with all the kids! Maggie’s past hockey coaches were probably shuddering as Maggie taught all of the kids how to pass with their backhand. It was so nice to see some of the community members as well as everyone in Pickle is so lovely to talk to. In the evening, we played volleyball with the older kids and witnessed possibly one of the best sunsets yet on Pickle Lake.

On Sunday, the annual ‘Boys-to-Man(athon)’ part 1 took place at Missbay. With a wonderful turnout of 15 boys and a beautiful sunny day, we were all set! Through grunting contests, log throwing, juice-chugging and cracker eating the Missabay boys became men. Julia wore a sweet bandana and showed off her mad skills while challenging the boys to push-ups. The day ending with a celebratory swim in the Lake and Maggie learned how to lifeguard while watching for nibbling Pike. 

With our days numbered before we have to head home we are so excited to spend more time with the kids and people of Pickle!

Much love,

Finally-caught-a-fish-Julia and ‘the only one who went swimming’ (Maggie)

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