On March 16 and 23, students from UNBSJ and Saint John College went to Elmhurst Outdoors on the Kingston Peninsula for a tour of their maple sugar plant and a lunch of pancakes and sausage with homemade maple syrup.
Elmhurst Outdoors is a family-run operation that not only has its own sugar shack, but also offers school programs, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing. According to their website, they tap sap from about 225 trees, boiling it down to syrup with their own equipment.
Owners Gig and Denise took the groups on a tour through their property—and through history as Gig explained different methods of tapping trees for maple syrup and sugar, dating back to the days of the First Nations pre-European arrival.
Following the tour, which included a glimpse of the actual boiling process, students were given a chance to test out the maple sugar, which was frozen and mixed with snow.
Elmhurst also treated students to a pancake lunch, where they could try the homemade maple syrup in action along with a sausage and beans. Here, many students purchased bottles of syrup to enjoy at home.
All school trips such as this one and last month’s outing to Poley Mountain are planned through Bonnie Sudul, an International Student Advisor in conjunction with Saint John College. Though this year’s trips have finished, the positive reaction and great numbers involved may be a prediction of what could happen next year.
Students who are interested in keeping the program running can deliver their feedback to Sudul at firstname.lastname@example.org.