Boarding Amazing Race

October 2016

Boarding at Havergal


Natalia Stewart
Message from the Head of Boarding
Natalia Stewart

We are at the end of our first month at Havergal and what a great month it has been. As you will read in the student submissions in this first Boarding School newsletter of the 2016-17 school year, Boarders have had an eventful month. As the new girls continue to settle in and learn the nuances of living at Havergal, the returning girls are beginning to adjust to the rigor of their new grades. University applications are underway for our Grade 12s who are applying to schools in the United States. They’re getting their personal statements and well-crafted resumes together. Boarders have been eagerly participating in sports, music lessons and other afternoon activities.

The majority of Boarders are enrolled in one kind of extracurricular activity or another, which is great to see. The Boarding intramural teams have kicked off to a wonderful start, thanks to Carson Mitchell (Grade 11) and her helper Sheena McKeever (Grade 10). I would also like to take this opportunity to really acknowledge Boarder Prefect Katrina Yeung (Grade 12) and the Junior Dons (JDs) for their tireless work in helping all Boarders settle into their new routines this past month. The JDs have been a tremendous help to the Boarding staff and we couldn’t thank them enough. It has also been wonderful to see girls who don’t have formal leadership roles in the Boarding School step up and help the new incoming girls. What a great community!

October will not be any less busy for Boarders as there are a lot of activities scheduled such as Great Wolf Lodge, Thanksgiving long weekend, a trip to the aquarium, Cirque du Soleil, grade rep elections and Celebration Saturday, to name a few. We continue to encourage student participation in our Boarding activities to the best of their ability and their academic work schedule. Our staff believes highly in balance and that, although school is important, students taking time for themselves is also a great way to keep that balance.

As always, Boarding staff welcome questions from you—the parents and guardians. Please feel free to email us at for general inquiries, permissions or messages. We can also be reached at a communal number, 416-936-1858, which is the Boarding cell phone that our staff carry each day.

Warm regards,

Natalia Stewart
Head of Boarding


Inside Boarding

Apple Picking
Albion Orchards Apple Picking Trip
Kate Lunau, Grade 11

On Saturday, September 24, Havergal Boarding students went on a trip to Albion Orchards in Caledon East. Albion Orchards is a family farmer’s market and apple orchard with 6,000 apple trees and 10,000 Christmas trees owned by the Lunau family. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was very excited to get going.

Together, the girls, along with some of the Havergal staff including Nurse Miller and the new Vice Principal Student Engagement & Experiential Development Mr. Nichols went on a wagon ride and viewed the endless rows of apple trees filled with ripe apples just waiting to be picked. Farmer Scott took a few pictures of the crowd and then it was time for apple picking! The girls went off in different directions. Some headed towards the Royal Gala and McIntosh trees to pick to their hearts’ desire, while others headed towards the play area and animal pen to view the friendly goats and families having fun with their children. Afterwards it was time for pie! Pumpkin pie, apple pie, butter tarts, chips and apple cider were served for lunch and everyone enjoyed the sweetness in the crisp fall air and the warm sun. The ride home was relaxing—most of the girls were so exhausted they napped on the bus, but it was a fulfilling exhaustion from a happy and well-spent day.


Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing
Elaine Wang, Grade 12

On Sunday, September 25, Havergal Boarding girls arrived at Basecamp Climbing indoor rock climbing gym ready to exercise their muscles and learn useful outdoor survival skills. For some girls, it was their first time trying rock climbing. For me, it was a wonderful opportunity to overcome my fear of heights. Luckily, the rock climbing gym had a variety of routes for climbers of all skill levels. With detailed instructions and patient tutorials from Ms. Tao, our Boarding Don who is also a rock climbing enthusiast, the girls all became experts in tying ropes, setting up the gear and belaying. The rock climbing process was challenging for some girls since it requires both body coordination and physical strength. However, many of the risk-takers continued to chose routes with higher levels of difficulty.

As a new rock climber myself, I learned two important skills that can benefit me in the future. First, I gained a deeper level of understanding on the importance of communication and trust between peers. My rock climbing partner and I were both beginners, yet we trusted each other from the instant we began as climber and belayer. When climbing, we constantly checked-in with each other verbally to make sure both of us were prepared for the next move and we trusted each other to hold the rope tightly when falling or coming down from the terrifying heights. In addition, I learned about courage and the potential of overcoming fears. Speaking with my rock climbing partner, we agreed that falling was probably our biggest fear as we climbed closer to the top. Occasionally we got stuck in a position while climbing and panicked because we didn’t know what to do next. But we overcame our fears by daring each other to try something new or risky, such as grabbing on to a rock that was hard to reach or repositioning ourselves at an awkward angle. By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted but feeling accomplished.


Boarders at Matilda the Musical
Surprise Outing
Risa Iiyama, Grade 12

During the evening of Thursday, September 15, all Boarders participated in the annual “surprise outing.” As we travelled to the mysterious location, we wondered what this event would be about. When we finally arrived, we were in downtown Toronto at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. We finally knew what we had come for: to see Matilda the Musical!

The musical was a fantastic spectacle. Those who already knew the story and those who didn’t were mesmerized by the vibrant stage and the actors’ enthusiasm and talent. The story is about Matilda, a clever girl who loves to read books and is mistreated horribly by her parents. She is never ashamed to point the wrong and right things that she sees. Watching Matilda helped to give us the courage to stand up for and to be proud of ourselves. After the performance, we travelled back to Havergal College and prepared for school the next day. We hope everyone enjoyed the event and made some great memories with their friends.


Cirque du Soleil Luzia
Upcoming Events

October 6: Boarder Thanksgiving Dinner
October 8-10: Great Wolf Lodge
October 14: Yoga
October 15: Cirque du Soleil
October 19: Kickboxing
October 20: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
October 26: Jewellery Making (Gr. 9)
October 31: Haunted Tower

Ongoing Events
Sundays: Intramural Sports

October Calendar

Mia Xing
Poetry by Mia Xing
Boarding Vocab 101

FRIDGE (n.) – a square cold cabinet in the boarding common room in which people store their food.

“Before you put food in the fridge, remember to write your name all over it in Sharpies.”

Everyone would tell you with a bubbly laugh that the Jungle Book of the Boarding School states nothing except for this, “Always write your name on your refrigerated food.” Because rumour has it that everyone is hungry. Everyone is a hunter subject to their midnight food cravings. Because if I’m looking for a sugar boost after study and I see your cheesecake without your name on it, I might just think it’s shared food and take it.

So non-Boarders, it might seem quixotic sadness that one would ever need to arm herself with Sharpies, to write her name on a carton of juice to claim that it is hers. But this is the fun of living in Boarding.

At the end of the day (literally, at the end of the day), it is true that you need to mark your food and there isn’t always that peach yogurt or bagel you want in the fridge, but it’s also true that the common room is crowded with trays of dessert from the cafe, occasionally packs of gummy bears that someone left on the table for everyone to share.

At the end of the day Boarding is like a fridge but not a freezer. With the right amount of privacy, you might want to keep your food to yourself. But there is no need to hide your aspirations, sniffles, confusions and nightmares. We are always 4 ˚C, warm enough to keep you warm, chill enough to keep you chill, fresh enough to keep your dreams fresh.


Brenda Ha

Message from Check Box Services
Brenda Ha 1995

Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure to meet some of you a few weeks ago on Tuesday, September 6 at the Boarder Orientation session hosted by Natalia Stewart, Head of Boarding. For those of you whom I was not able to connect with, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my company, Check Box Services, and the services we offer you and your daughters throughout the year. Check Box Services is a Toronto-based concierge service that provides customized support to help individuals and families get things done! Our mission is to be your trusted partner at home, school and as part of your travels.

For students: from arranging travel logistics, to repairing cracked iPad screens, to shopping for skis, Check Box Services is your local dependable resource that students can rely on for support and assistance during their time in the city. For parents: Check Box Services is there for you, too! We send care packages on your behalf, provide translation services for report cards as well as handle the planning and logistics for your stay when you come to visit. Check Box Services offers value-added services that save you time and provide peace of mind. Call us today to find out how Check Box Services can work for you! For more information and to register, contact us today at 416-417-2490 or and visit our website at

Best regards,
Brenda Ha, Havergal Old Girl, Class of 1995
President & Owner
Check Box Services Corporation