The Arctic Adventures
Of Flat Stanley
October 9 - October 17, 2003
Visit To Alert, Nunavut
This is a special update for Miss Tooley's
grade 4 class at Wilshire Elementary School.
As part of a class project, Miss Tooley's students made their own
Flat Stanleys and sent them to various places across Canada. One of her
students, Darren, sent his Flat Stanley up to me in Alert.
Now, Flat Stanley is visiting the world's
northernmost permanently-inhabited community! For the past week, I have
been taking Stanley around and showing him all the sights of Alert, and
teaching him a little bit about Canada's arctic. I have also been
filling out Stanley's journal so that the rest of Miss Tooley's class
can learn a little bit about life in the north when Stanley returns.
Here are some of the places that Stanley and I have visited together
during his trip.
At 82º30'N, Alert is the most
northern community in the world. Alert is home to a Canadian Forces
Station, in addition to an Environment Canada weather station, and
atmosphere monitoring laboratory. Alert is in the Canadian Territory of
Nunavut (although the sign you see in the picture still reads NWT, for
Northwest Territories). There have been people living in Alert since the
As you can see from the picture,
Alert is proud to be Canadian! Everyone living in Alert is Canadian, and
speaks French or English (or both!).
In this picture, Stanley and I
are standing beside an inuksuk. Inuksuit are traditionally built by Inuit
people to mark the places they have travelled. There are no Inuit people
who live permanently in Alert, so this inuksuk was built by some military
personnel who worked in Alert in the summer.
There are no trees in Alert,
because trees cannot grow this far north. The ground is mostly flat near
where I live, but as you can see, there are some hills in the background.
There are also lots of cliffs along the arctic ocean coastline. The
temperature here is around -20 ºC right now, and there are only a few
hours of daylight. Soon it will be dark for 24 hours a day. In Alert, we
have 24-hour daylight for about half the year, and 24-hour darkness for
the other half. Right now, we are just at the end of the transition period
between 24-hour daylight and 24-hour darkness.
While Stanley was visiting Alert,
we drove around in my big blue truck. We need tracks like these in the
winter to drive through all of the snow that blows around and builds up. I
don't think Stan has ever been in a truck like this before!
While we were so close to the
north pole, we decided to take a visit to Santa's workshop...
...and visit Santa himself!
So long, Stanley! I hope you
enjoyed your trip to Alert, Nunavut. Have fun back at Wilshire Elementary
(and say hello to Darren for me)!
Thank you to Miss Tooley, Darren, and everyone
else in the class at Wilshire Elementary School for letting me be a part
of your Flat Stanley project. Stanley will be back in Toronto soon to tell
you all about his adventure in the arctic!