Tag Archives: Algonquin Park

Old Ridleian Begins Post-Secondary Journey as a Loran Scholar

Photo by Humans of St. Catharines
Photo by Humans of St. Catharines

In February of 2016, Ridley was proud to announce that Grace
Lowes, from the Class of 2016, was awarded the prestigious Loran Scholarship, that each year, only 30 individuals
receive. The scholarship includes a renewable undergraduate scholarship, valued up to $100,000, for the duration of the recipients’ four years of post-secondary education. Inaddition to the monetary support, these scholars receive the opportunity to intern abroad for three summers, receive residency support and are connected with a mentor for the duration of their educations.

During her time at Ridley, Grace was an active member of the Ridley community. She co-founded the Model U.N. group, formed a Days for Girls charitable activity on campus, joined clubs such as the Syrian Refugee Club and Positive Spaces Group, and helped lead the school, during her final year, as a Prefect. When we sat down with Grace last year, she expressed a profound feeling of gratitude when asked how receiving the scholarship felt.

DSC_3690

“With the Loran Scholarship and with Ridley, I’ve had so many opportunities to be educated at the highest prestige and it’s just such an amazing privilege and it is something I will never take for granted.”

Grace graduated in May, and has since spent her summer preparing for the start of her post-secondary education. As part of her Loran Scholarship, Grace had the opportunity to partake in a Loran Scholars Foundation retreat, that would provide opportunity to strengthen her leadership and team-building skills before her first year of university. The retreat began with a canoe excursion through Algonquin Park with other scholars.

“It was extremely outside of my comfort zone, but was an amazing opportunity to meet some of the students that had also been awarded the scholarship. It was also an extremely physically and mentally challenging trip for myself. During the canoe trip I had to spend a 24-hour period completely alone in the woods, equipped with only a handful of granola, a sleeping bag and a tarp. This was a highlight of my trip. I found it to be an extremely valuable time to reflect and be thoughtful.”

canoe-1149501_1280

The second portion of the retreat took place in Guelph, Ontario. Scholars like Grace – who were just beginning their post-secondary journeys – were able to meet with those who were in different stages of their four-year scholarships. This gave Grace the opportunity to converse with likeminded individuals and see what her future as a Loran Scholar might have in store.

Her biggest takeaway from the retreat was the advice she received about the importance of gratitude.

“Everyone advised me that during the school year things will be hard, they will be overwhelming and that I will likely feel stressed, but to remember what a privilege it is to be educated and even more so what a privilege it is to be educated without fear of financial hurdles. I thought this is great advice. Being thankful and appreciative all the time is so important.”

This September, Grace begins her post-secondary journey at McGill University, where she will study politics and philosophy. Grace says she is most looking forward to getting back in touch with some of her favourite things – like writing and playing music. With the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is the Loran Scholarship, Grace will also have the chance to explore some of her passions in the coming summers. The Loran Scholarship allows each scholar to spend three summers on paid internships, all over the world. We look forward to seeing where Grace goes; on both her internship, and her future.

Grace has spent her summer immersed in gratitude and has been reflecting about past, present and future opportunities. To the students who are just beginning their Ridley journeys, Grace says this:

“I would give the same advice as what I received. Being educated at Ridley is a luxury. Don’t forget that. Soak in everything you learn and take advantage of every opportunity you are given and be grateful for all of those things. Always say thank you, not just with your words but also with your actions.”

Good luck to Grace at McGill and good luck to the Class of 2016 as they too begin their post-secondary journeys.

 

Students braved the cold on the annual dogsledding trip

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1722.
DCIM100GOPROGOPR1722.

Each year, a group of Ridleians venture north for a weekend of adventure on the annual dogsledding trip. This trip is offered to participants of the Duke of Ediburgh’s Award, and helps the students not only receive their medals but also experience an opportunity of a lifetime with their friends, connect with nature and witness the beauty of Canada.

On February 11th, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group, comprised of 17 students and their chaperones, Mr. Clyde Dawson and Ms. Caleigh Flagg, left for South River, just south of North Bay – four and a half hours by school bus. Upon arriving at Chocpaw (the dogsledding company), we received an hour instruction and then off we went to the kennel, where 380 dogs greeted us with an accolade of barking. We packed and hooked up 12 sleds, each with five or six teams of dogs, and proceeded on the first 20 km part of our trip. We arrived at camp and immediately unpacked, setup camp and prepared dinner.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1834.
DCIM100GOPROGOPR1834.

The next morning was a comfortable minus 30 degrees and we once again packed, hooked and left for the second camp – CHAR, 15 km deep in Algonguin Park. It was a beautiful day with snowfalls and scenery that could only be experienced, never adequately described. Once again we unhooked, fed, watered and bed the 78 dogs before unpacking and preparing dinner.

Saturday morning was a shock to the system with temperatures hovering around minus 40 to 45 degrees. The guide and I (Mr. Dawson) decided to allow the students to sleep-in, with the hope that the rising sun would make the day a little more bearable. After breakfast, the temperature did rise to minus 35 degrees and the students proceeded to gather wood in the forest, retrieve water from the lake, care for the dogs and build a campfire. The temperature had no affect on the students’ spirits; we enjoyed pushing each other in the snow while carrying wood cut by Andrew (our guide) a quarter of a mile, to the sleds. Others scooped water into 12 liter canteens from a hole cut in the lake by another guide, Adelia. The students then carried the water in pairs 100 meters up a hill to the camp. It was too cold with the wind-chill factor to go sledding, so the students took the dogs for a walk, gave them some very appreciated affection, cleaned the beds, refreshed the straw and continued with snow festivities throughout the day.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1842.
DCIM100GOPROGOPR1842.
DCIM100GOPROGOPR1741.
DCIM100GOPROGOPR1741.

Sunday was a busy day with packing, hooking and traveling 35 km back to the kennel, where they would conclude their trip.

Throughout the adventure, the students were positive, enthusiastic and helpful, and the laughter and smiles never faded; of course that might have been because their faces were frozen. Whatever the case, it was a great trip!

Mr. Clyde Dawson, Department of Visual and Performing Arts