Ms. Kate Lane
With the exceptional organization of our boarding captain and crew, Gillin began Halloween celebrations this past week. After crafting some leaves, pumpkins and ghosts around the house over the weekend, the girls decorated (and consumed) cookies and “haunted houses” on Wednesday night.
This week also marked our first wing meetings as we focused on smaller group discussions around study strategies and wellness, learning about the science and practice of meditation. As dedicated students, the girls enjoyed learning about how this enhances focus, grows our brain’s grey matter (linked to self-control), and decreases our stress-response (improving our immune systems in the process). It was also wonderful to hear the mentorship from our senior students as they eagerly passed along the study and organization-strategies they have learned over the years. Many of our distant boarders joined us as well on Wednesday’s wing meeting which was such a great way to connect our new students with our on-campus and returning boarders.
After four days of in-house learning, we will be encouraging the girls to be active and get outside over the weekend. There is a Riverwalk organized by Mr. Lavergne for all Grade 9s and 10s, and a variety of neighbourhood trail walks posted in our common room. It’s also been great to see so many of our boarders participate in the various co-curriculars offered this term, from field hockey to basketball and tennis to cross-country running. Being regularly active and engaged in the community serves not only the girls’ physical wellbeing but enhances their social connections as well.
As the spooky season creeps upon us, the Gillin family did something that we do every year: decorate cookies and cookie houses. We used the time after 7 pm to get into partners and it was a competition to decorate the cookie houses. I really liked working with someone I haven’t worked with before, and it is a first-time experience for me because, although I was here at Ashbury last year, I did not participate in the activity. I really liked working with friends and competing with others but, in the Gillin family, we do less competing with each other; instead, we help each other! I really liked squeezing the icing onto the cookie-bread houses and it was supposed to be “easy and squishy”, but it was actually really hard to squeeze. It was a lot of fun and I laughed a lot with my partner. I hope Gillin has more of these activities and everyone should participate!