Pickle Lake Happily Ever After

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there arrived a group of students from Queen’s University. They were welcomed warmly and kept busy, finding a new home in this beautiful and distant place. After six weeks of astonishing adventures, surreal scenery, delightful dancing and lively learning, it was time for them to leave. So they climbed back into their black Dodge Caravan and drove off into the sunrise. And into the sunset. And then another sunrise.


Believe it or not, this ain’t no ordinary fairy tale. This is the story of Lindsey and Sandra in Pickle Lake. It was a magical journey and we can hardly believe that it’s come to an end.  P1100268

This last week, especially, has flown by like no other. We finished off our teaching with some great lessons on substance abuse and addiction. The 1,2,3’s loved the gross pictures of smokers’ lungs and struggled to breathe through straws, simulating the effects of emphysema. The kindergarten class learned all about communication by playing some old favourites, telephone and charades. The high school students got to look into the future with Part 2 of our Career Planning Workshop. Last but not least, the 4,5,6’s got a taste of some of the brain’s unique functions with our brain safety lesson. On our very last day, we put together a QHO Pen Pal package with the kids in Kindergarten through Grade 3. They drew some awesome pictures of Pickle Lake and were more than happy to perform for the camera!

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In other news, we were as busy as ever with after school activities. At our last crafts and cooking club we ate tons of popcorn, watched Finding Nemo and made some colourful friendship bracelets. We did another photo scavenger hunt, this time with the younger kids at Girls Club. Wednesday after school we had a big soccer game with all the students, plus one teacher and about a million black flies. On Thursday, which was our last night in Pickle Lake, we played floor hockey with the high school students. We also spent a couple evenings at the park this week playing grounders, doing cartwheels and having dance parties.

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Like every other week, this one would not be complete without some big project for us to tackle. So on Monday we decided to make a video about Pickle Lake and the time we spent here. We had a blast getting footage for the movie, interviewing some of the older students and posing for pictures with the younger ones. While we cannot show you the finished project on our blog, we can give you a highlight reel of the QHO Pickle Lake 2013 Movie.

  • We asked all the students to describe what “leadership” meant to them. Here are their answers in Worlde format!Leadership Wordle
  • When asked what their favourite thing about Pickle Lake was, the students answered: the people, the wildlife, the sunsets and spending time outdoors doing fun things like dirt biking, fishing, ski-dooing, etc. For the record, we agree with all of the above!
  • Some other pictures that made the cut:

We showed the movie to the entire school during Thursday’s assembly. The kids loved getting to be stars on the big screen and it was a great way for us to recap our time in Pickle!

Our farewell festivities continued, as Doris presented us with some Crolancia swag and a decadent chocolate cake. YUM 🙂 In the evening, we decided it was time to test the waters of Pickle Lake and go for a swim with some of the kids. For a lake that was covered in ice just three weeks ago, it was surprisingly warm! We came home to have one last BBQ and campfire, complete with s’mores and all. On Friday morning we rose at the crack of dawn to pack up the van and leave Pickle Lake, driving off into the sunrise like characters from a storybook.


Before we say our final goodbye to you, our readers, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make this project happen. From all the QHO volunteers back at Queen’s who helped prepare us for this adventure to the people/organizations that supported the project financially – we couldn’t have done it without you! Then there’s all the people in Pickle Lake that made this experience what it is. Special shout out to Christine and Greg (our wonderful hosts), Lucie and Roy (our awesome tour guides), Brent (for taking us on some fantastic road trips), the OPP (for helping us kick start the Helmets-On-Program), the Township of Pickle Lake (for accommodating all our events), and last, but certainly not least, all the students and staff at Crolancia Public School. This was an absolutely amazing experience and we cannot thank you enough for being a part of it!!

The end.


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