Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Our youngest son, Conor's Grade Six class is participating in a school exchange program with a school in Ontario this week.

19 students from Virginia Park Elementary and two staff left St. John's Airport yesterday evening for Toronto, followed by a two hour bus trip to Hepworth, Ontario.

The students, staff & parents at Hepworth Central School are hosting our kids for the week, Their students will travel to Newfoundland in mid-June.

Principal Rod Drover made the exchange possible and was meticulous in planning this opportunity for out students to experience life in another part of Canada. 

We have talked about doing this sort of thing for a few years but convincing parents to let their 11-year-olds leave the nest for the term without them was as challenging as the logistics of the trip. We had lots of concerns and worries. 

Ensuring children are placed in safe and caring host family environments means that host families on both sides of the exchange are coached on expectations and criminal and vulnerable sector checks are carried out. 

For many of our kids, this was there first time on a plane and the first time away from home. It was evident from the looks on the parents faces yesterday that we were more sad than the excited children. A few tears, hugs and wave good-bye to their parents as they took their boarding cards from me and took the escalator to security and the boarding lounge.

Kris and I have become accustomed to the boys travelling to the Burin Peninsula to visit their grandparents and traveling with Shallaway and hockey.Still, watching Conor travel up the escalator with his backpack boarding a plane for a week with people we have never met, brought forward a plethora of emotions from sadness to pride. So independent - so young. A lot like his first day of kindergarten

We might as well get used to it. Liam joined his best friend's family for a trip to Cuba in early May and Aidan is heading to Wales for a choral competition with Shallaway in July!

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