We have had the most jam-packed, never a dull moment, crazy busy week ever, and we’ve loved every single minute of it. Bear with us while we sift through all the highlights from the past few days, in chronological order, and please, enjoy the photos!
Sunday, May 26:
- Went down to the Pickle Lake weather station help Roy launch the weather balloon. Yes, you heard us, the WEATHER BALLOON! Basically, it is a huge, incredibly delicate balloon that is launched everywhere in the world within the same 15 minute time span, twice a day (in Pickle those times happen to be 6:15 am and 6:15 pm). A monitoring device is attached to the bottom of the balloon, and as it flies up in the air, it monitors things like wind, humidity, and temperature across the different levels of the sky. This contributes hugely to weather predictions around the world. It was a cool experience, no doubt!
- After launching the balloon, Roy took us over to the Ministry of Natural Resources station, where we got a tour of the water bombers parked there. If you’ve ever wondered just how they planes pick up water for fire-fighting, read on. While flying at 90 knots, these planes scoop up 6000 L of water in 15 seconds through a small opening not much bigger than both your hands spread out! Those planes are some crazy machines!
- Lastly, upon our return to the weather station, we were able to see a caribou hanging out near the runway at the airport!
Monday, May 27:
- During the day we painted about a dozen banners for Spring Fling, a fun-filled carnival event happening on June 1. After school we held crafts and cooking club, where we got the kids to help make some decorations for Spring Fling. Score!
- CROLANCIA-MISSABAY GRADES 4-8 GIRLS NIGHT!!! This event was a huge success, despite some worries at the beginning that the girls from the two schools wouldn’t talk to each other. But once we got dinner going and did some introductions, things warmed up. For dinner, we served pancakes with fruit and chocolate chips (a crowd favourite!) along with smoothies (our healthy QHO option). The girls had a lot of fun eating these! After dinner events included:
- A quick game of truth or dare, with predetermined truths and dares in a baggie that we made up earlier in the day
- A photo scavenger hunt! This was a serious hit, and we got some funny photos out of it, too!
- JUST DANCE. What is a girl’s night without it?
- Ice cream. Generously donated by Crolancia.
- Nail painting
- Soccer outside
All in all, Girl’s night proved to be a great bonding event for all of the girls from the two schools!
Tuesday, May 28:
- Teaching, girls club and more spring fling prep, woohoo!
- FISH FRY WITH THE JUNIOR RANGERS. Since we didn’t go camping over the weekend, we were truly excited to have the opportunity for at least one junior military ranger event, meal rations and all. This one included lots of fishing (a popular past time in Pickle Lake!), a fire building contest, eating the fish—there was an obscene amount—and bonding with all of the kids. One of the great things about the junior ranger program is that it brings together kids from both Mishkeegogamang and Pickle Lake. We were exhausted by the time we got home and fell fast asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.
Wednesday, May 29:
- Taught one of our favourite lessons to date: STRESS! After talking about things that make us stressed and what we can do to manage it, we got all the kids to make their very own stress balls. Now, it seems like we are seeing stress balls every time we turn our heads!
- We also did a fantastic lesson on safety today. We did some cool experiments about the brain and then talked about how we can protect it by wearing helmets. The kids all promised to bike safe and coloured a helmet design to hang at Spring Fling. More decorations for us!
- Dodgeball: we were happy to see that most of the kids who rode bicycles decided to put on a helmet in order to bike to school! There is nothing like the feeling of actually getting through to the kids in a lesson. Dodgeball itself ran as usual, with about 35 kids showing up and some wildly competitive action.
Thursday, May 30
- LINDSEY’S 20th BIRTHDAY: she got multiple rounds of “Happy Birthday”, a card signed by many of the kids and, at the end of lunch, a surprise cake, balloons and birthday gift from some of the high school students!! It was incredibly nice and touching, Lindsey couldn’t have thanked them enough!
- Jam packed day of classes, including: the science of substance abuse with the high school class, friendship with the 4/5/6’s and safety with the K’s! All of these lessons went extremely well, and we feel like we had a positive impact on the kids.
- At lunch we held a meeting for all the Spring Fling volunteers, where we served some half-cooked spaghetti and sauce. Although not our best cooking, the turnout was great and Spring Fling plans were looking good!
- During the evening, we helped out with Missabay’s Boy-to-Man-a-thon! Despite the rainy weather and gym closure, there were lots of activities for the boys and it was a fun night all around. For dinner, they requested their favourite thing: hotdogs (funny enough, Missabay serves Hotdogs almost every lunch hour). The highlights include:
- The amazing race
- A tower building contest
Hot dogs for dinner (at the boys’ request)
- Huckle Buckle
- Went back home, did some quick lesson planning, then celebrated Lindsey’s Birthday with s’mores (or S’chmores, as Sandra calls them) and a movie
Friday, May 31
- Whew, almost the end of the week! We taught career planning to the high school students, peer pressure to the 1/2/3’s, peer pressure and goal setting to the 6/7/8’s, and dreams to the kindergarten class! Our day was a crazy one but it was really rewarding. Truthfully, we wish that next week wasn’t our last week here. We are just starting to get into the groove of the community and school!
- After school we baked an ENORMOUS AMOUNT of cupcakes with some of the high school Spring Fling volunteers. We then went straight to the arena to set up for Spring Fling for an hour and a half – a huge thanks to everyone for all their help. We then went back home to do—what else?—more Spring Fling planning. Went to bed exhausted!
Saturday, June 1st
- Today’s the day you’ve all been waiting for – SPRING FLING!! Despite the rainy weather, the turnout was great and everyone had a blast. Check out our highlight reel!
- Pie throwing – perhaps the biggest hit of the day. Everyone wanted to either throw a pie or get one thrown at them! Among the victims: Mr. Mac, Officer Woolgar, a couple high school volunteers, Sandra, Lindsey and countless kids.
- “Helmets On Program” launch – the OPP and Crolancia are teaming up to reward kids caught wearing their helmets with free freezies! There were also stickers, tattoos and colouring books for the kids to enjoy.
- Just Dance – always a favourite
- Cake Walk – finally answered the most popular question of the week: “What is Cake Walk?” For those of you still wondering, cake walk is pretty much like musical chairs, but when the music stops everyone is standing on a number. A number is drawn, and whoever is standing on that square wins a cupcake. Good thing we made so many!
- Crafts – we asked the kids to draw a picture of “What community means to me”. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of pickle’s drawn in a lake.
- QHO Health Trivia – participants could submit a questionnaire and enter to win a helmet! Fun fact of the day: the average human sheds 40 lbs of skin throughout their lifetime.
- Giant twister – also an old favourite
- A huge thank you to all the high school students, 6/7/8 volunteers, teachers, Pickle Lake Rec. Committee members, OPP, North Pop, and, last but not least, Nick and Heather.
We can’t believe there is only one week left! Time sure flies when you’re having fun! 🙂
Until next time,
Sandra & Lindsey