Our first Saturday in Shad started with packing necessities for our sleepover in PEI the night before. It was a busy day full of fun and meaningful activities, but the news of the field trip made all the tiredness disappear; the only thing left was the excitement for exploring the unknowns.
On such a special day, the regular breakfast even became more “unusual.” Instead of having the food in Jennings Hall, us SHADs enjoyed some tasty French Toasts in Gracie’s cafe. On a full stomach, we got on the bus and took a ride to Prince Edward Island. The 2 hour drive to our destination felt so short because we played and sang along with some exciting music. What’s more, some great conversations took place during the drive since the SHADs were asked to sit next to someone that they are not familiar with; the sense of community was already demonstrated thoroughly at the very beginning of the day.
Before arriving at PEI, Kaitlyn taught us some PEI slang to raise our interest of exploration and gain a better understanding of PEI culture. At around ten o’clock, we were given the free time to explore the Shop and Play area in PEI(NO WAY! ) and one of the best shops is the Cows ice cream shop. Not only that every SHAD had stopped by the shop to take picture with the cute cow statue, but also got delicious ice cream and instantly fell in love with this place. The gift shops in the area are mind blowing as well; for us SHADs, everything seemed so real and refreshing when we visited PEI for the first time: the dirt shirt, shell handcraft, lobster logo, and Anne! It was amazing to see that, given the first exploration opportunity in SHAD, how much the bond between our young explorers can be strengthened while having so much fun!
After a short break in the Shop and Play area, we were again on the way to Greenwich park and had a picnic before stepping on the beautiful trial there. Sitting on the ground, enjoying our ham sandwich, the SHADs were never more prepared for an adventure.
After a nice picnic we took a short bus ride to the beginning of the trail to explore the wonders of the Greenwich dunes. Our tour guide Louis was incredibly knowledgeable and gave us extensive knowledge about the history, landforms and wildlife of the location. We trekked through fields, forest and wetland to finally arrive at the beach.
The landscape was breath-taking and everyone had fun taking lots of pictures and videos. Unfortunately along the way the wind was very strong, causing quite a few hats to be blown away. Among the several casualties, was the bucket hat of our dear program director Erin.
Once we arrived at the beach we walked 3 km across the shoreline to get our location. Once we settled down we changed into our swimsuits and got straight into the cold Atlantic water. We had a fun but brief time splashing around in the water before changing back into warm dry clothes and getting ready for dinner.
While driving to our dinner destination we passed by one our beloved SHAD’s, who also happens to be a PEI resident, Kaitlyn’s house. For dinner we were treated to lobster along with a full salad bar/buffet. We enjoyed fresh mussels, seafood chowder and salad before going to town on our lobsters.
We were thoroughly entertained over dinner by Brendan, an extraordinarily talented and joyous… spoon player? A couple of SHAD’s even came up and played with him. By the end of the meal we joined all together to dance. Every SHAD had a terrific time together and a true sense of community and friendship was felt.
We then drove back to a local community center were we would be staying the night. For the next activity, the tone was much more calm and subdued as all 52 of us went around and wrote positive traits about each other on our canvas’ that we had made earlier that week. It was a truly heartwarming experience for all of us and gave the opportunity to appreciate each other for all the experiences and newly found bonds we had just within our first week here at SHAD Mount Allison.