Students Travel to Washington D.C. for North American Invitational Model UN

Through the generous support of the W. Darcy McKeough ’51 Fund a group consisting of ten students and two staff members was able to attend the prestigious North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) hosted by Georgetown University in Washington D.C. As a joint effort between the Politics Club and Debating Society, participation in this year’s conference allowed Ridley students to take a seat at the largest student-run Model United Nations in the world alongside 3,000 other delegates.

Phil Antonio confIt was a memorable experience that allowed participants to draft legislative papers, propose resolutions, debate, and explore issues of international importance. For each of the Ridley students represented, this was a first-time experience, and it was a great learning experience.

Kayla NAIMUNIn addition to the full conference at NAIMUN, the Ridley delegation had an embassy tour at the Austrian Embassy, engaged with keynote speakers from the U.N., Georgetown University, and the U.S. government, and had the opportunity to visit the famous landmarks of Washington including the Capitol, White House, and Smithsonian Museums.

Aust Embassy Capitol GangThe Speaking Arts at Ridley have experienced a renewed energy as a result of the W. Darcy McKeough ’51 Fund, and the addition this year of the Model United Nations has augmented the importance of this dynamic co-curricular activity. Each of the participants- Grace Lowes, Kayla Archer, Caitlin Hyland, Philip Brenninkmeyer, Antonio Aspite, Noel Cousins, Bolade Fotade, Daniel O’Rourke, Bart Skala, and Rahul Walia- is grateful for the opportunity that this initiative has afforded. It is expected that all elements of the program- public speaking, debate, model UN- will continue to develop at the school and beyond its wider gates.

Culinary Treats in the Dining Hall

It was an exciting week in the Great Hall with Chinese New Year Celebrations and a visit from celebrity Chef Corbin.

On Thursday we celebrated Chinese New Year.  The Great Hall was decorated for the occasion and special food was prepared. Parent volunteers and members of the Chartwells staff cooked authentic Chinese food including handmade dumplings!

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It is really amazing to see students from all over the world celebrating the Chinese New Year together!

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On Friday we welcomed celebrity Chef Corbin. Chef Corbin is known for his popular Food Network shows Dinner Party Wars, Restaurant Makeover and Restaurant Takeover. He has partnered with Chartwells (Ridley College’s food provider) to create healthy meals that appeal to students. Chef Corbin spoke to students in an assembly to discuss healthy food choices, he also helped prepare lunch with the Chartwells staff and then he had a meet and greet with students and parents in the afternoon.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Dogsledding Trip

This year the trip could only be described as cold! The group included: Alex Jones, Elliott Jones, Anthony Nguyen, Paul Rosenbaum, Jack Hilditch, Luis Marcelo de la Garza, Willem Van Sittert, Eric Cheng, Dmitrii Kozak, Izzat Homsi, Reece Wilson-Poynton, Cassandra Mitchell, Michael Steier, Zachary Koh, Beatriz Dias, Ming Scott, Paul Zhao and chaperoned by Giles Campbell, Sarah Miller, Clyde Dawson and James Leslie.

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We left Ridley at 5am on Thursday and arrived in Sundridge to the Chocpaw Office at 10am. After a short lunch and information session we were introduced to our teams of dogs, lashed down our packs to the sleds and were off. The scenery was spectacular, but there was a definite nip in the air! The temperature continued to drop and the next morning we woke to a bone chilling -35C.


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Undeterred we took off for a three hour loop and came back to the same camp. Fortunately it warmed up and we enjoyed -18C for the rest of the day. Students were paired with either other students, a teacher or a guide and each day we covered about 30km. Students helped with camp chores including, getting water from the river or lake, cooking, dish duty and feeding the 76 dogs.

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On the third day we broke camp and blazed a trail along the scenic ‘Ridgeline Trail’ and continued on to our final camp on Char Lake in the north east corner of Algonquin Park. Unfortunately as we got into camp and set about the wood collection chores the temperature dropped and the wind picked up which meant that by suppertime we were into temperatures of -35C, with the wind chill dropping it down to -42C. Still in a good mood we snuggled down in our heated tents, had supper and good conversations.

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On Sunday morning the sky’s were blue, but still at the same temperature. We enjoyed the run out through the Ridgeline Trail and were back to the dogyard at noon, some a little more chilled than others. Our bus gave us a scare as the batteries had frozen, but after a jump we had it running for the long trip home.

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I have to say that each of the students kept in high spirits and really rose to the challenge of this adventure. We all had periods of cold fingers and toes, but the connection with the dogs combined with the spectacular scenery made it all worth it. It was a great adventure and I’m proud of all the students and chaperones for making the trip such a success.

As told by Giles Campbell – Coordinator of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Ridley College