I wanted to let you know how wonderful p.i.n.e was in the snow last week. Leading up to it, many students were apprehensive; there was a lot of complaining about what they thought would be a terribly cold and uncomfortable day, and there were not a few requests that our trip be cancelled. Well, good thing we stuck it out, for to all of our surprise and delight the weather ended up being much milder than we at first thought. We also stayed active the entire time. The snow had freshly fallen and it was SPLENDID! Our almost-adolescent children lost themselves in snow play, all ideas of needing to be “cool” or something other than they were in the moment were set aside for a few hours. The whole atmosphere was one of free and exuberant playfulness and joy. A genuine sense of deep appreciation and love for one another pervaded the day.
 
We had a king’s court snowball fight, we went for a wander in the snow to find some cool things (we learned that we can eat the little moth larvae grubs that overwinter in burdock seeds!), and we had a quinzee snow fort building competition. The students had to problem solve how to measure our snow forts using just a rope! We also got to destroy our forts at the end, which may have been a favourite moment for many of the kids.
 
The day outside in the cold was especially satisfying. I heard comments on the way home such as, “That was the best p.i.n.e. day ever,” “I can’t believe I wanted to stay behind,” “I’m so glad we came today!” “I stayed surprisingly warm!” and “That was SO much fun.” There is something about sharing adventures and activities in the outdoors that creates deep bonding opportunities (among so many other things)!
 
On Thursday, after hearing the last story of Rome – the sacking of Rome by the Goths and Vandals, the crumbling of the Western part of the empire, and yet the legacy of Christianity that lived on – we had our own little holiday circle of sharing our gnoming gifts.
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