by Evelyn Zapantis, Boarding Services
We had an all-time record of over 60 day families and 122 boarders for our annual Boarders Without Borders meal! Almost half of the boarding students signed up to be part of this fabulous event. They were excited from the very start, discussing what they would bring, what they would wear, and wondering who they would be matched-up with. Reports afterward were that they thoroughly enjoyed the home-cooked meals but also found the families entertaining and fun. One boy even asked that a recipe be emailed to him!
Some comments that came back:
“We played with the little kids and they were so cute.”
“What a change from Brown Hall!”
“I’ve never played board games before but it was a lot of fun.”
“I had strawberry pie for the first time in my life.”
“They were all so friendly, it was like being at home with my family.”
“They even sent me back with a care package!”
“I had German food — it was great since I really miss my food from home.”
“We had the best Indian food we’ve ever had!”
“I wish it had included a sleep-over, too!”
“I felt like part of the family.”
We are always trying to find ways to bring the day and boarding communities together, and this appears to be one of the most successful. We feel that we have accomplished our aim: not only did the boarders enjoy a home-cooked meal, but made new friends and learned more about Canadian life outside of 3400 Richmond Road. On the other side, it appears that the day community has also been enriched. As one parent wrote:
“We enjoyed learning about the girls’ lives at SMUS. Not being boarders it was fascinating to hear what their daily lives are like. It was also great to learn about their home towns and countries. The evening went by far too fast. It ended in huge hugs and promises to get together again soon. Our kids can’t wait to check out the dorms at SMUS as they have been invited for a visit. Thanks for introducing us to new friends.”
A spring date is being considered to host a second Boarders Without Boarders, but in the meantime, if you enjoyed meeting and spending time with the boarders, hopefully there is nothing to stop you from contacting them at any time and asking them over again. Such overtures would be more than welcome.