The weather didn’t cooperate for our Outdoor Education experiences last week, but nothing could dampen the spirits of Greenwood students as they Ventured Further Together. The week featured sea kayaking and hiking in British Columbia, canoe tripping in Algonquin Park, and whole-grade programming at Camp Tamakwa, Camp Arowhon and Kilcoo Camp. Watching the Grade 10 canoe trips come off the water was magical for me. From moose, whale, otter, and eagle sightings to bug bites and blisters, students saw and experienced much during outdoor activities; it was a rewarding and educational experience and a wonderful finish to the year. My thanks to our hard-working staff who prepared for and participated on these trips and to the families who supported these experiences.
I was pleased to join the Grade 8 students to Celebr8 yesterday, when they marked their transition to high school this September. The students and staff spoke so well and the students had a chance to throw their graduation caps in the air and say farewell to Grade 8. When they enter Grade 9 in September, they will be joined by many new students, and I know they will welcome the newest Greenwood members warmly.
This was only one of many celebrations this week. It is important that we take the time to acknowledge our students’ outstanding achievements, and that we pause for a moment to look back on all that we have learned and accomplished this year. With two years of not being able to celebrate in person, I am excited that we are taking the opportunity to elevate the value of celebration in our community and savour these events.
We acknowledge with gratitude the Ancestral lands upon which our main campus is situated. These lands are the Ancestral territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Anishinabek and the Wendake. The shared responsibility of this land is honoured in the Dish with One Spoon Treaty and as settlers, we strive to care for the land, the waters, and all creatures in the spirit of peace. We are responsible for respecting and supporting the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. When away from this campus we vow to be respectful to the land by protecting and honouring it. We will create relationships with the people and the land we may visit by understanding the territories we enter and the nations who inhabit them.