Scotty Mac Here. In 2010/2011, I was lucky enough to spend one year attending teaching college at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. This was by far one of the best experiences of my life. Being from beautiful British Columbia I was a little apprehensive about heading to Ontario and the inevitable winter to go to school. I remember my first day in Kingston, cycling along Lake Ontario, across to Fort Henry up into the Thousand Islands and then finally back through the limestone castle like buildings of Queens University and into the bumping student ghetto. I knew from that point on Kingston was going to be alright.

As a student teacher a huge factor in what kind of experience you have is your sponsor teacher and the school that you student teach at. In typical Scotty Mac style I completely lucked out getting placed with four fantastic teachers, Mike Doyle, Tom Adair, Karlyn Pixley and lastly Duncan Cowan and at the best school by far in the Limestone School District Frontenac Secondary.

No offense to Queens and its classes (As I really enjoyed my time there) but I learnt everything I know about teaching at Frontenac Secondary School. Working with these brilliant teachers was a joy as it was very evident how much they cared about their students and how much more they knew about Education than I did. I was also privileged enough to gain a spot at the Physical Education Staff Lunch Time table where I heard some of the best and most interesting conversations of my life. The dynamic of different perspectives, views, opinions, backgrounds and stories in that room are worthy of a book. I loved the wittiness of guys like Mike Doyle and the one and only Dave Grant, the boldness of Aaron Kenny, Suche Jame’s contagious laugh and calm demeanor ( The guy is Phil Jackson 2.0), Tom Adair’s passion for everything in life and just being around Duncan Cowan.

From the beginning of this trip, each of us four brothers were able to select one place during our cycle across Canada where we really wanted to go. Sean chose Montreal, Russ chose the Bay of Fundy and Ryan chose Quebec City. I selected Kingston, Ontario because of the Cowan Family and after the last couple of days I finally think my brothers understand why. 

One of the neatest experiences for my brothers and I was to meet up with an old friend of our dad's Derek Swinnard. An unreal basketball mind and close friend of our fathers from their days 30 plus years ago in Revelstoke and Golden. Our dad thinks the world of Derek and to hear him tell old Stories of Hughy Mac made our day. Derek entertained us with old basketball coaching stories and reminiscing of his time with our father. I do not think we stopped smiling the entire time.

Duncan Cowan is the older brother I never had. A man of countless talents, he is someone that I aspire to become like. Talented in every aspect of life, this outdoorsmen was absolutely disgusted with the equipment that we have used to cross the country up to this point. By the time we left his house our busted up tents had been retired and our sleeping bags have finally become water proofed. I definitely have a BRO-MANCE with Duncan and my brothers relentlessly mock me about this. Duncan’s wife Shannon is as caring as Kathy Mac and pretty much completely adopted the Mackinnon Boys when we were there. Feeding us relentlessly with spectacular meals (I put on 7 pounds) and just taking care of everything we have ever hoped for. She is a special woman and we hope she meets Kathy Mac soon as I think they would get along fabulously.

One of the neatest things about the whole trip was seeing my brothers interact with Duncan and Shannon’s three kids (Abby, Garrett and Declan) who all range from 2 to 6 years old. Because we are the eldest of Baha’s grandchildren, the four of us really do not have a ton of experience with small children. It was cool to see what kind of Uncles my brothers will become.

Sean: Nicknamed “The Caveman” by the kids, he is the goofy Uncle, performing magic tricks, hosting dance parties and volunteering to have his luscious locks made over.

Ross: The relaxed uncle who lets the kids climb all over him but still manages to maintain the ability to lay on the couch. Russ played with the kids for hours, somehow keeping them entertained without once leaving the couch or missing a second of the infamous Wilbon and  “PTI”.

Ryan: The uncle who rolls with the punches, because Ryan has always been beat on his entire life, his ability to stay calm and collected during all situations is amazing. “Baby Ryan” at 22, seemed very comfortable with kids. 

The Cowans made us feel so much a part of their family we will never forget their generosity. A well needed rest we now feel rejuvenated for finishing leg of our trip. Dunc and Shannon, all of the boys and myself look forward to returning to Kingston and for you to make your long awaited trip out west. Hughie Mac will be waiting with his kayak and three day recycled Comox Valley Tour. 

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     Mackinnon Brothers

    With this blog The Mackinnon Boys hope to keep sponsors, friends, family and anyone interested updated on our travels, experiences and thoughts. All four boys will be making entries as well as our father Mr. Hugh Mackinnon who will be accompanying us for parts of the trip in his 1967 VW van.


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