I’m back in my chair after a whirlwind road trip to the far side of the province. Marian and I headed out Friday morning to drive to Gambo. There I did a first–I presented at Smallwood Academy to the entire school of Kindergarten through Grade Twelve. In the past, I’ve done either K-6 or 7-12 so keeping the entire school of 300 students engaged was a good challenge. I had no idea in 2006 when I first visited Everest 2010 trekking team member Jacinta Macgrath’s school in Trepassey that I would go onto to visit over 60 schools and speak to over 21,000 kids in Newfoundland and Labrador since.
Monday, in Corner Brook, we picked up Flat Stanley 2010. Those that have been following my adventures since 2006, will remember that I took a Flat Stanley to Mount Everest in 2007 from Woodland Primary School in Grand Falls-Windsor. Flat Stanley is a children’s book character who was flattened by a bulletin board. He travels in an envelope by mail with miniature milk and cookies packed by his mom. He visits different parts of the world and reports back on his experiences. In September, on the day I was leaving for Australia, I presented to the Edge Education Conference here in St. John’s.
Patricia Edwards was in the audience that day and afterwards came to ask if I would take her class’ Flat Stanley with me in 2010. I said I would be thrilled to and given a speaking booking in Springdale, I offered to pick up Flat Stanley myself in Corner Brook. I spoke to almost the entire school and enjoyed walking the school corridors that had been festooned with prayer flags that Madame Edwards’ class had painted. I had my picture taken with every member of her class and Roger’s Cable even paid a visit to learn about the upcoming expedition. Patricia hosted Marian and I in her home and I look forward to the special connection with her class that will be built as Flat Stanley reports back on his experience. Here’s a link to see pictures of Flat Stanley 2010: (http://bit.ly/bj2wb)
Tuesday, we woke up beside the beautiful Indian River in Springdale at the Riverwood Inn. (http://www.riverwoodinn.ca/). The sunrise colors reflected in the river were stunning. We were treated to a night in such luxury by the Inn’s owner, who was one of many sponsors, who made my visit to Springdale possible. Margaret Stirling, facilitator of the Bridging the Gap program in Springdale, asked me to come speak to the students in the class. As the class is small, I suggested partnering with the local high school to be able to reach more people with my visit. She brought together the Town of Springdale, several programs, several sponsors, and the result was a packed house in the theatre in Indian River High School.
The Springdale partnerships also enabled me to leverage the road trip to include the visits to Gambo and Corner Brook. A talk to 14 students in one program blossomed into an outreach to over 1400 youth and adults in three locations…wow…the power of working together pays dividends! The visit also allowed me to train in some deeper snow by spending two days snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Gros Morne National Park and a half-day downhill skiing in Corner Brook. Special thanks to Todd Wight of the Ocean View Hotel in Rocky Harbour, (http://www.theoceanview.ca/) for finding us a place to stay in Rocky Harbour.
And now, as my father would say, “If you want to dance, you have to pay the band”… time to get off my chair and stuff five days of intense training into three. It’s the last week of Camp Two and a 100% week. Pitter, patter, time to get ‘atter!
Have a good week,