A ‘balanced’ Education

This past weekend, students from Dr. Brown’s BioChem lab, McMaster University, came to the nature retreat. Their experience was a little different from many of the educational programs that we usually provide. They wanted a relaxing space to get away and discuss their research ideas, with a nice balance of outdoor activities.
Well, I thought this was a really great idea….not too long ago I was a university student so I am familiar with the pressures of school and often felt unhappy when I realized I had spent my whole day inside with only my computer for company.

Balance is important for everyone- and for people who spend time inside of a lab looking for answers to life’s mystery’s it is important that they also understand the natural world beyond the walls of a humanly controlled environment. It helps us to see the ‘bigger’ picture in our personal and professional lives.

Dr. Brown’s students are lucky enough to have a supervisor who understands this need for balance and shares not only his knowledge of science but his love for the outdoors. So I would like to give him a virtual pat on the back!

While they were here, students spent the mornings presenting different research ideas to their peers, and the afternoons we hiked and paddled.
On the Loxton Beaver Trail we saw claw marks on beech trees left behind from bears climbing to the tops to retrieve nuts, and lots of moose and deer tracks. We had a lot of fun looking at the wide variety of mushrooms and fungus that have flourished in the recent damp weather. The colours and textures were amazing…velvety brown, bright orange, yellow with polka dots…each one seems unique.

Despite an unplanned chilly dip in the lake- we had a nice canoe trip up the Amble du Fond- seeing a grey heron and the beaver lodge…hey I even got the rare treat of being the princess (third person who sits in the middle of the canoe) for awhile.

Well the students have promised to send a few photos- so I will attach them when they arrive.

Have a great long weekend and for those eating a turkey dinner…remember ‘balance’ :)

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