“It’s easy to achieve success in Saskatchewan as there are no mountains in the way.”

Jokes dissing the topography of Saskatchewan as well as the remoteness of the campus were very prominent in the Shad Facebook chats. The Shads were a little nervous to be visiting this obscure campus, but were happily surprised upon arrival. Although the terrain was as flat as promised, the experience certainly wasn’t. Shad Saskatchewan is home to the nicest views, people, and food in Canada.

The Saskatchewan campus is full of opportunities. One of the most high-tech opportunities was visiting the brightest light in Canada, an exclusive Shad experience. The Canadian Light Source is Canada’s national synchrotron facility, in which scientists use cutting edge technology to run experiments and improve the world. Luckily, several Shads got the chance to conduct soil experiments using samples from all over Canada, an opportunity typically reserved for professionals. 

Our opportunity-filled days were punctuated by a variety of interesting workshops. Shads participated in chemical engineering, aerodynamics, LaTeX, and journalism. In particular, participants in the journalism workshop had the opportunity to visit the CBC studio in downtown Saskatoon. A behind-the-scenes tour, radio interview, and online title testing were among the highlights of the workshop.

When not learning, we are handed pool noodles and have at it. Shad battle royale is taken very seriously as are our quidditch matches. However, when the pool noodles are inaccessible, we visit the beautiful city of Saskatoon. Here, we have the opportunity to watch Shakespeare plays or visit the farmers’ market. The campus is full of opportunities as well such as an observatory in which Shads can see Saturn’s rings.

Other than the urban adventures, Shads also got to explore the great outdoors. The camping trip to Waskesiu Lake was by far one of the most memorable experiences. For many, it was their first time tent camping or seeing the stars. The quaint town of Waskesiu was a joy to explore and the days were filled with beach volleyball, hiking, exploring, getting the best ice cream in Canada, and ending the day singing campfire songs watching the sunset. It was a serene moment, quietly reflecting on our short time at Shad as the sun slowly set behind the deep blue horizon. On the last day of the trip, it rained and we were wet, cold, and drenched, but remained content with our trip to Waskesiu.

A conclusion to one of our most thrilling days, was also one of our most memorable. And like all things at Shad Sask, it was a surprise saturated with joy. The embrace activity everyone partook in allowed the Shads to explore and understand real life situations and society’s disparities. We played an altered version of the Game of Life, with a tiered social system (Tiers A,B,C,D,E,I) which were randomly assigned to us as a means of representing our social classes. Playing and interacting with those from other tiers allowed everyone to identify the main hardships and discrimination faced by minorities. This opened everyone’s eyes around these topics and ultimately made us all feel more appreciative and grateful for everything that was granted to us. Additionally, we played a game in which showed to us that we all shared great similarities, and more importantly, that we were never alone. The night was a significant one, confirming something that we all already felt – we are family.

To conclude, Shad Saskatchewan is not what people make it seem. It is an amazing campus with wonderful people, food, and views. Our tight community and amazing PAs make Shad so much more than just a summer program. In the two weeks we have been here, the amount of personal growth and the meaningful interactions we shared have been astronomical. Shad Saskatchewan is something we will never forget. 

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