Ministry Funding Sends Orillia French Students to Mattawa

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A Ministry of Education grant and student fundraising allowed staff and Grade 7 and 8 students from Notre Dame Catholic School in Orillia and Foley Catholic School in Brechin to go on a three-day, two-night French trip to the Canadian Ecology Centre in Mattawa, Ontario. It was a jammed packed three days starting with the first stop in Trout Creek at Long’s Maple Syrup Shack. Here, they tapped maple trees, tasted maple syrup and had some toffee on the snow followed by an amazing pancake lunch at TJ’s restaurant.

At the Ecology Centre, the students participated in many various outdoor activities that highlighted French and Indigenous cultures along with some survival games, snowshoeing and exploring the forests. The culminating activity was paddle making where students needed to be creative and illustrate something about their three-day adventure. On the final night, students and staff had a campfire, sang their French ‘chansons à répondre’  and roasted marshmallows.

The last morning was spent visiting the beautiful town of Mattawa. The students were welcomed at the Mattawa Museum, met with Clermont Duval a renowned artist at his art gallery and walked the main street admiring all the wooden statues representing famous voyageurs and explorers. The bus ride home was quiet as all students were tired from all the fresh air and outdoor activities.  This was a memorable trip for all involved.

Photo Credit: SMCDSB

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