As I walked across our campus late this afternoon the sun was shining, and the brilliant fall leaves painted a kaleidoscope of colours. I could hear the clanging of weights in our workout room as our students’ instructor provided guidance and encouragement … outside the laughter of students as four teams engage in two games of pickleball while another group was shooting some hoops. In our Granary building, I could hear the calm and relaxing voice of our yoga instructor guide our students through the conclusion of their weekly session … and still, others were buzzing around the intense aroma of freshly baked cookies just laid out in the snack bar for afternoon snack … it is WONDERFUL to have students back on campus again this year!!
And what an amazing and inspiring group of students … gifted and talented young men and women from 22 different countries! This year we are back to normal physical activities, with students having roommates again, all co-curriculars, intermural sports, and a full suite of weekend activities. To date, our students have enjoyed rafting on the mighty Ottawa River, a boat cruise through the 1000 Islands on the world-renowned St. Lawrence River, a tour of Parliament Hill – the seat of our federal government, a field trip to a local conservation authority for ecological studies, hiking through the stunning array of autumnal colours in the famous Gatineau Park, a tour of Upper Canada Village’s “Pumpkin Inferno” and Saunders Farm Halloween “Fright Fest!” to name just a few. Tight bonds of friend-
ship have already developed that span the globe … and of course, students are working hard to prepare for their exams with nightly supervised and supported evening study. University applications will soon be admitted and – no doubt before the end of November, our students will have many “early admissions” to the university of their choice.
With all these activities, COVID remains a serious concern, and we continue to be diligent by ensuring all our staff and students are fully vaccinated and require everyone to screen for symptoms daily. Should anyone show any signs of illness, we isolate immediately to ensure that our students, staff, and campus continue to thrive!
It has been a wonderful and exciting start to the year, with vibrant, engaged and committed staff and students creating a community of courageous and compassionate global citizens.