From Strathcona, With Love – Part 2

We hope you enjoyed reading about the fantastic outdoor experiences of our grade 8 and 9 students.  Our senior students’ memories were no less inspiring!  Check out the stories below to get a taste of these students’ unforgettable out-trips.

An anonymous reflection by one of our grade 10s:

During this year’s sea-kayaking trip, we did some cliff diving.  Because I’m afraid of deep water I passed the first time my group did it. After they came back I regretting not going.  The second time, I really wanted to but I was still quite petrified.  I could see them jumping off the cliffs; they were screaming and yelling and laughing and I wished I had the guts to do it too. The day we returned back to Strath, one of the girls spotted the perfect cliff to jump off.  I knew that this was my last chance too.  It was a now or never moment. I chose not to. I watched some of the girls and suddenly I really wanted to. It looked like so much fun. I remembered the mini school motto of “push the envelope” and suddenly before i realized what was going on, I was telling my instructor I wanted to try and I was on top of the cliff. Once I got there all my courage vanished.  I was afraid to move. I tried to make myself move but i couldn’t. I didn’t want to give up but at this point I was shaking. I counted myself in again and then took a leap. I was in the air, the sun was shining and my face  probably  looked like a chipmunk’s… but it was one of the greatest feelings in the world. I dived under the water, and it was freezing but I could care less, I was so proud of myself, and the smile on my face probably gave me away. I will always remember that moment.

Be sure to read this reflection by Adam Mohamed, grade 11, who was part of the ocean canoeing group that saw the mini tsunami:

Over the years, I have gained many wonderful (and dreadful) memories from the McNair Mini School annual trip to Strathcona. Sometimes, the rain falls down so hard that you feel as if it’s washing away every shred of happiness and drowning you in misery. But sometimes, the sun peeks its striking head over the mountains, and all the doubts you had about going on this trip are swept away in a moment of stunning beauty. This year I partook in the ocean canoe expedition and I endured a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and endless bug bites.  But none of these negativities could take away from the incomprehensible splendor of the outdoors.

I learned a lot about myself as I was running away from that tsunami, and when I look back on it now, I realize that we were never in any real danger. When we saw the wave, it was just that, a wave, and as it came closer we saw it as an unusually large wave. As we evacuated the dock, though, we all felt as if this was something more than a wave. When we were getting driven down the tsunami evacuation route in the back of a truck we knew that we were going to survive. Finally, when we tuned into the radio and found out we just survived an earthquake it affected everyone differently. Personally, when I found out about the earthquake I thought, “Humph, would you look at that!” Oddly enough, I grew most, not then, but when I was relaxing on the beach at the lodge the next day. I thought, “What if the wasn’t just a five foot wave? What if we weren’t docked when the tsunami hit?” As all these thoughts ran through my head, I felt a resounding calmness as the sand on the beach ran through my fingers. If sand goes through my hand so freely than why can’t I live my life like the sand: calm and compliant, friendly and gracious. Now, as I reflect on my trip to Strathcona, I think, “I can’t wait till next year!” – Adam Mohamed

And what is a trip to Strathcona without capturing the special times on camera? Below are photos that our senior students have submitted.  Enjoy!

A group of grade 12 boys posing in their white water kayaking gear

Worth the hike: grade 11s and 12s at the summit of Mount Myra

Spending their last year at Strath in style. The Mini School grad t-shirt tradition continues!

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About msgin

Mini School English 10 and 12 Teacher
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