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Mattawa Trip

Once again our Grade eight students had the marvellous
Posted on 04/03/2019

Once again our Grade Eight students had the marvellous opportunity to travel to Mattawa and stay at the Canadian Ecology Centre living for three days en français. The students participated in various outdoor activities  which highlighted French and Indigenous cultures. From the moment our students stepped off the bus, they were busy with physical challenges, team-building activities and fellowship exercises. Spring greeted us with sunny skies but there was a lot of snow for all the winter activities. The students were in awe of the beauty and historical significance of snowshoeing along the same trails as the voyageurs. The daytime activities were plentiful from traditional voyageur games, snowshoeing, GPS treasure hunts, survival skills and making bannock on the campfire. Many of these activities were firsts for the students. The evening activities were also exciting from drumming, roasting marshmallows, singing French chanson à répondre, Night vision goggles and, the highlight for many, the night creature walk. The clear night sky was incredible, and allowed us to witness the constellations at their best.  Using a telescope on loan from Nippissing University, we explored Orion and learned about the different stages in the life of a star within this constellation. Students demonstrated their creative skills in painting and wood-burning their own paddles, as well as the Metis-inspired craft of finger weaving.  The students did have leisure time to spend with their friends in their cabins, enjoying the many treats they brought and playing various card and board games.

Our last morning was spent visiting the beautiful town of Mattawa. The students were welcomed at the Mattawa Museum and walked the main street admiring all the wooden statues representing famous voyageurs and explorers. Additionally, they met with Clermont Duval a renowned artist at his art gallery, a highlight for many of the students who enjoyed listening to the stories behind his paintings.  After a final delicious lunch we headed back to Orillia. The bus ride home was much quieter than the ride to the CEC… good food, friendship, speaking French and  all that fresh air caught up with us!