Last day. We got up very early this Monday morning, and we are on the move all day. Some will even continue their journey to Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto this evening. For the others, the return will continue tomorrow after a night at the hotel.
However, before talking about today, let’s go back to last night. Sunday evening was the occasion for the last sharing circle around the campfire. Everyone is present: the participants, the facilitators, the volunteers, and the team of guides. It’s a celebration time to kind of close the circle and mark some accomplishments.
Earlier in the day, participants were instructed to find a word to sum up their expedition. And now is the time to make it known to others. Here is the list, but I don’t have the space here to explain them to you, as the participants did so well. Again, you’ll have to ask those who were there.
Games — Liberation — Meeting — Refreshing — Friendships — Reviving — Drippy — Big W — Knot — Evergreen — Performance — Sand — Hunger — Fast moving — Team — Challenge — Joy — Connection — Seed — Lightning — Power — Links — Possible — Bro — Community.
The facilitators pass around a string that we have to pass to the next person and hold until everyone holds it and the two ends come together. It is the symbol and the materialization of the creation of a community between the participants. During the bus trip, this string will be cut into sections and used to create bracelets that will concretely remind participants that they are part of this community.
Marie-Michelle gives each participant the diploma certifying their participation in the expedition. Each diploma is associated to a humorous phrase highlighting a character trait or the contribution of the participant to the expedition.
Each participant is given a t-shirt with the name, and motto of the Foundation written on it. With humour, Catherine insists on the fact that as graduates of the Foundation, they must wear it proudly and behave properly since it is the image and the reputation of the Foundation that they literally carry on their back.
To underline the exceptional Naïla’s contribution, the nurse who has volunteered for the Foundation’s expeditions for the last 10 years, the facilitators present her with a technical coat on behalf of the Foundation.
To highlight their contributions to the success of the expedition, the team of guides was also given the same headband as the one given to the participants.
THE trail mix
To highlight the quality of the group and the pleasure they had in accompanying it, the guides gave each participant a large portion of the mixture of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate that they enjoyed during the expedition. The group also received a postcard size photo of one of the wolves on their property.
A special day for several reasons, including the fact that it is Catherine’s birthday. To mark her birthday, the participants made her a birthday card and agreed to get up before she did to sing Happy Birthday to her, since she woke them up this way almost every day.
We are all aboard the bus at 6:30 a.m. and we stop at Chambord where we drop the outdoor equipment there. This is also where we leave our worker, Marie-Ève; she leaves the group with regret and heavy hearted.
For my part, I leave the group in Trois-Rivières, and it is on this note that this blog ends.
Dear participants, I had a lot of fun accompanying you and I wish you the best for the future.
Dear fellow volunteers, facilitators, and guides, what a pleasure it was to work with you. Hope to see you again!
– Louis-Étienne Prévost, Blogger and Photographer for the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation