Having had fun at the parents’ expense last blog post (and having had great fun at the chaperones’ expense), I thought I might balance the scales a bit with some tidbits about this group of kids.
We’ve continued to receive compliments, literally everywhere we go. At the horse stables (Sunday morning), Mary noted that they were, “very polite” and a “great group of kids”. Earlier on in the weekend, at Miette Hot Springs, another swimmer said, “I wish I was part of this class.”
Parents, you have certainly raised your children to take on this world. Although high school graduation is four (five) years away for this group of kids, I can say to you that they are definitely well on their way to being prepared to take on adult life.
They’ve demonstrated patience – A LOT of patience. We take a lot group photos and they have all been so great to get packed in together and then wait, wait, wait while I take 10 photos of the exact same scene. Every single time I’m sure they’re going to revolt, but they never do!
They’ve shown bravado and courage. Some of these excursions have taken the kids’ out of their comfort zone. They’ve walked atop a mountain, went horseback riding for the first time, shopped in one of the world’s biggest malls, climbed a 3 story apparatus, walked on a glass floor (off the side of a mountain!). For some of these activities, students needed a lot of courage. They found it, and were happy for it on the other end.
I wouldn’t be able to say enough about how kind and encouraging they’ve been as well. They support each other and take care of each other. I remember saying to them before the trip, “someone in your group will end up being the ‘mother’ of the group”. Well, I was wrong. They’re all taking care of each other. They grab sweaters for each other, hold the door open for one another, they even clean up after one another!. Many of them remind the others’ about specific rules they need to remember. I’ve overheard many kind comments (sometimes of encouragement, sometimes little “remember that” stories) that reveal the heart of each student.
I could go on and on, but I wouldn’t want you to be TOO impressed with the job you have done raising these kids. Ahhhhh, never mind. I am going to go on and on and on.
Another thing that I’ve seen is responsibility. They’re responsible to be where they need to be, many of them will check to make sure they’re on track for timeframes. They check in, asking questions to ensure they meet the timeframes we’ve set out. They’ve reminded us of our own timeframes, as well.
We just finished driving down one of Canada’s most beautiful highways and they were in awe of the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. They’ve taken a million photos of the mountains, and at least two million selfies. There’s definitely some budding photographers in this group! I love watching them share their photos with each other as well. You’re going to be spending HOURS looking at these photos!
One last compliment that we got on YOUR children was from the laundromat. It doesn’t take much imagination to think what that poor employee must have been thinking when we pulled up. So, here comes this big huge bus, pulling up right in front of the laundromat on one of the busier streets of Jasper. Out pile the students (and they’re looking rough – just finished horseback riding and a long hike). They don’t pull suitcases out of the bottom of the bus….NOOOO, they pull garbage bags full of clothes and a 2L pop crate filled to the brim with laundry supplies. They descend down the stairs into the laundromat, and swarm the place. They’re claiming washing machines like the United States claimed the moon! They’re jamming clothes in the washing machines, yelling for soap and trying to figure out how to work the machines. Some are expressing indignation as they try to find a quarter so they can use the coin-operated washrooms. Meanwhile the chaperones are scanning the perimeter for electrical outlets so they can charge their phones. It’s bedlam. The employee calls the boss and asks for back up (true story!).
About 15 minutes later the owner walks in. What does he see?
He sees washing machines humming, kids lounging in the oversized chairs, some students are playing on their ipods. He introduces himself and makes the chaperones a latte (with his $18 000 Slayer coffee machine….., yep, it was fabulous!) and solves a few problems with machines that were acting up. He visits for a bit and then heads back home. Later, while talking to the employee he noted that we were a great group and he couldn’t believe how awesome the kids did with their laundry! I told him we’re coming back in 2 years, and he didn’t even say, “not until we talk to our lawyer…”.
Like I said, these kids that you’ve raised are awesome! We’re really enjoying the time with them.
I’m just thinking about how much you must be missing them! They aren’t too homesick, but they are going to LOVE being home after these long days and bus rides. As I finished up this blog post, we turned left, which meant EAST. We’re heading home….
More blogging tomorrow!