Submitted by Shelley Austin, photos by Lisa Hopkins
The long circular driveway was clogged with cars at 5pm, Sunday Nov. 7, 2010. Boarders were streaming out of the houses; some clutching bouquets of flowers, others with boxes of chocolates or cookies, tokens of their appreciation for a night out. The day students’ parents searched the faces of the boarders to locate the one or two (or more!) students they had been assigned for the Boarders Without Borders event. They would take them home and feed them a home cooked meal before returning them to SMUS at 8pm.
The 2010 event of Boarders Without Borders was a huge success! There were over 40 families that hosted over 80 students. Most boarders were signed up without knowing which host family they would be paired with – they bravely went to dine with strangers! Others requested to be paired with the family of their day student friends and, in some cases, families requested boarders that they knew from sport teams or other events.
What would the long hours from 5 to 8pm include? Some host families planned every minute. Others simply opened their doors and included the boarding students in a typical Sunday evening. There were board games after dinner, or conversations lingering over the sweet ending to the meal. The boarders impressed their hosts with their ability to eat second helpings, their piano playing or their stories of home. Each home was graced with the presence of polite, fun, and grateful boarders.
How do we rate success? By the comments from the host families who said they would host again, in a flash. One host commented: “The boys were absolute gentlemen and we would love to have them over again, anytime.” Another said: “The girls enjoyed it. They each had two helpings of dinner and dessert! We enjoyed talking to them and we’re looking forward to hosting again.” The Parents’ Auxiliary is pleased with the participation for this year’s event. Hopefully we will hear of many impromptu dinners happening as a result of this year’s Boarders Without Borders.