The students have arrived! They have checked into their cabins, had their lunch, and they have already enjoyed a series of fun activities and team building exercises, including an epic game of Capture the Flag! The students have not gone swimming...yet, but that should soon be remedied. It's looking like a great week here!
I’ve found a cell signal at camp, sort of. There is a tree, that if you stand directly under it, and hold your phone the right way, you can get one or two bars sometimes. Not enough to send any pictures unfortunately. You will have to wait until the Thanksgiving Pot-Luck to see the amazing adventures the students are having, but enough to get a few sentences out.
The weather yesterday was okay. It was very hot and humid, but the rain came in and relieved some of the humidity with a quick shower. The students participated the the Amazing Race - Expedition Style for most of the day. Six events, that challenged them as individuals and as groups, were designed and completed by each House Team.
The evening was dominated by a fantastic fire and discussion about Team Work and personal Leadership skills.
This morning we had our first Annual Quidditch Tournment, which was a huge success. It will definitely be something the students will remember for a very long time.
The Grade 8’s are packing to head out on an overnight camping trip, which will have a 2km portage. They are itching to get out and take it on. The Grade 7’s have an afternoon of co-operative and challenging games and activities.
One more sleep and we’ll be on our way home. Our plan right now is to be at Tall Pines for between 4:00 and 5:00 P.M..
We’ll update tomorrow be fore we leave and once we are on our way.
So, we're back in Canada! It was a great trip, with great experiences and adventures! If anyone was actually reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed it!
Here's a quick quote from all of the students about the trip:
Tanishqa - "We got to bond more with our friends and we got a new experience that we're probably not going to get again. It was fun!"
Fiza - "I think it was an amazing once in a life time experience and it helped us find much more while having fun."
Kabir - "It was mesmerizing!"
Kamilah - "The sites were mesmerizing, and I was happy I got to share that with my friends. Every night was a sleepover and I made new friends. It's a trip I'll never forget."
Emma - "It was fun spending time with my friends and making new ones."
Talya - "The funnest part of the trip was watching the waves (on the river cruise)."
Eddie - "New York was much bigger than I expected and I wish I was there longer."
Michael - "The trip was so fun, because we did different things each day."
Shubegh - "I think the trip was really cool because we got to see so many new things. I just wish it was longer."
Jasmine - "I didn't know how much fun I could have with all my friends."
Amr - "It was an extraordinary experience for a person that's never been there."
Nicholas - "It was an amazing experience going around to different places and shopping."
Maliha - "New Yorkers are rude!"
Viruthika - "New York food is really good."
Madison - "It's my last spring trip with Tall Pines. It was my best spring trip with Tall Pines."
Naomi - "If you're in the middle of a sandstorm, close your mouth."
Teresa - "Bye New York, I had a great time
Arpan - "The lights will inspire you."
Arik - "It was an experience of a life time!"
Ranveer - "I really like the enthusiasm of this trip! I recommend it."
Naveen - "It was truly amazing!"
Angad - "It was amazing!"
Sahil - "Amazing American experience!"
Nithira - "It was terrific and happy I made it through Times Square."
Meagan - "The highlight of my grade eight year was the New York trip, where I made memories I will never forget."
Neisha - "It was an amazing experience with my friends that I will never forget."
Pahul - "A once in a lifetime opportunity!"
Jessica - "A lot of dust went in my eyes, but other than that, it was a great experience!"
Maya - "I learned a lot of history on this trip."
Shreyaa - "Umbrellas are the key to success."
Harkaran - "I really enjoyed the street performances at Times Square."
Arnav - "The views from Manhattan were splendid!"
Karan R. - "I learned how horrific 9/11 was."
Jesse - "Go and see the Statue of Liberty."
Devin - "It was an experience that I'll never forget."
Armaan - "It's marvelous!"
Jamie - "I've always wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty and now I have."
Dilraj - "New York is an experience I will never forget and I would love to come again."
Adam - "It was about the opportunities, not the weather."
Emma D - "I really enjoyed the food in New York."
Sayyad - "The New York silhouette was elegant!"
Jack - "Best experience of my life!"
Simran - "I was a great experience and the Broadway show was really good!"
Baily - "It really felt like a city of dreams!"
Karan M - "New York, an educational, experiential, exciting adventure. I mean, what more could you ask for?"
See you in an hour.
There was a delay at the border (the bus in front of us took a long while). We should be arriving at the school at 7:15.
We are currently looking at an ETA of 6:30 P.M.
We will revise our ETA once we have crossed the border. We are currently here:
Every Canadian needs to see this musical. No, everybody in the world needs to see this muscial. It is the incredible true story of the events which unfold in Gander, Newfoundland, on the morning of September 11, 2001. When the United States closed their airspace that day, 38 international flights with a combined 7000 passengers were diverted to Gander - which only had a population of 10,000 people.
The story begins in the Gander Tim Hortons where the mayor (who comes in every morning as that's how he can keep in touch with the community) in dealing with a local school bus strike. When the news of the attacks on New York and Washington is heard, and the subsequent news that planes are being diverted to Gander, the town is thrown into upheaval in an attempt to accommodate the passengers.
The musical only has a cast of (approximately) 12, and they all play multiple roles with very slight costume changes (a hat or a jacket) and changes of accent. This is a remarkable display of acting ability because you don't see the actor - you see the character. Every. Single. Time.
Come From Away has incredible music, with a brilliant blending of Newfoundland folk music and modern show music that carries an emotional punch that will bring tears to the eye.
The true genius of the musical are the stories - of both the townspeople as well as of the passengers, and what happens when their lives are suddenly thrown together as a national crisis unfolds.
Come From Away doesn't leave you with just the feeling of pride of being Canadian, it makes you proud to be human. It is truly a exploration of the triumph of the human spirit.
And the best news is that it is currently playing in Toronto. Do not miss it.
In a very scientific poll conducted on the bus, it looks like Come From Away comes away with the most popular highlight of the trip!
Good morning. We have successfully loaded the bus and have just begun our trip home. As we leave New York in our rearview mirror, we have accumulated experiences and adventures that we will carry with us forever.
Whether it was the recreation in Central Park and High Line Park, the chaos of a million people moving through Times Square (okay, maybe not a million...closer to a billion), the quiet contemplation of Ground Zero, enjoying the most incredible Broadway show ever made (review still forthcoming), or taking in the grandeur and breathtaking views of Manhattan from the top of the Rock or the rivers, this trip will surely have made an impact on all of us.
That last sentence was the definition of a run-on sentence. Hopefully neither Ms. Taylor nor Mrs. van Houten are marking the blog.
We have about four hours until we arrive at the outlet mall in Syracuse where we will have our lunch and one final shopping stop before making for home.
I imagine will arrive at the school sometime this evening. A more specific ETA will be posted once we leave our lunch stop.
The boat cruise was amazing. We are back at the hotel for the rest of the evening. More to come a little later (including that review of Come From Away that I have almost finished starting to write).
So, we finished dinner at Times Square... It was proper New York pizza - thin crust and greasy - the kind that you almost have to fold in half to enjoy a slice otherwise it droops right over. Personally, this is my kind of slice, that Chigaco stuff be darned.
Afterwards, we walked all the way down to the Hudson (about a 20 minute trek from Midtown) for our river cruise. It was a great walk, the rain cleared up this afternoon, and it was humid in Midtown, but now that we're by the water, it feels really nice.
And now we're about to board:
The great debate among New York tourists is which has the better view of Manhattan:
A) The top of the Empire State Building
B) The top of Rockerfeller Centre
The answer, of course, is B.
You can't see the Empire State Building from the Empire State building. But....
Now we're hanging out around Times Square, doing a little shopping and a little people watching.
Visiting this museum is a very humbling experience. It reminds me of how much I don't know, and how much there is to still learn.
Example - there's a fish, the coelacanth, that has not really experienced any evolutionary change in 380 million years. That's 380,000,000 years! To put that into perspective, humans (Homo Sapien Sapiens) have only been around for 100,000 years.
The students took as much in as they could, whether it was studying the dinosaur displays, eating crickets (yes, a student actually did this - apparently it tastes crunchy and mostly like the sour cream and onion flavouring), and enjoying some shopping time in the gift shop.
Lunch was consumed in food court of the Rockefeller Centre. There were a variety of options, but seating wasn't easy. In New York, if you see someone get up from their seat after their lunch, and you want that seat, you had better go after it with the utmost haste because if you hesitate.... Too late. You missed it. In NYC no one seems to concerned about if you have to stand and eat.
What I love about New York is the little things. Actually, there's nothing little about it, so that first sentence is completely inaccurate. Sure, Manhattan is only a few miles wide (miles is apparently some sort of archaic measurement that the Americans are still hung up on), but it's so full of stuff that walking down a street (not avenue, as avenues run lengthwise - streets run widthwise) there is so much going on! In conclusion, New York is big. Aren't you glad you read all that?
We had a lot of rain yesterday, and we have more of it today; for the morning at least.
Hopefully, we have little to no rain tonight for the river boat cruise.
Our first stop this morning is the Natural History Musuem...I'm looking forward to seeing at least half of the 33 million specimens housed there. Okay, maybe half is a little much. Maybe just a quarter of them - so just 8, 250, 000 of them, or so.
Anyway, breakfast was consumed and we are back on the Enterprise. Have you been wondering what our starship looks like?
Anyway, we're about to enter the Lincoln Tunnel for the last time on this trip and I want to get this uploaded before I temporarily lose data while venturing under the Hudson. It's not really a captivating site, but here is some of the entrance anyway:
We're back. We've been back for at least a half hour.