From Christopher Britt, Outdoor Ed Coordinator
Right away several of our girls are taking part in York House’s Outdoor Education program. The field opportunities provided by this program are invaluable. We are very fortunate to have an opportunity for experiential education, curriculum connection and personal development for staff and student alike.
This year, like the years before, our Grade 10 girls make the push to the Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park. On top of managing their first week of school they have been planning, preparing and getting comfortable with their gear. They have done everything from set their own goals to organize their own meal plan. Rain or shine…we climb! This outdoor education field experience does become one of the girls most memorable moments during their time here at school.
We travel as a community but the girls are divided up into five different hiking groups. Within these groups the girls are responsible for accounting for their group members, the food, the equipment and supporting one another. These field experiences provide a very unique opportunity for our girls to rely on each other outside the school setting.
The first day is spent getting to base camp at Garibaldi Lake. The campground serves as our home for three days. The following day our Grade 10 community splits into two groups, with one group heading to the lookout of the Black Tusk, the other to Panarama Ridge. The following day the groups switch so everyone gets a chance to see both sites. Our fourth day is used as a pack-up and descend day. Trust me, everyone enjoys the walk down just as much as the sleeping.
Shortly after this trip the Grade 9’s will head to the sunshine coast to engage in some paddling. We will travel via voyager canoe around Gambier Island and the surrounding area. On this trip the girls get to examine their impact on the environment via an integrated environmental education curriculum. More details to come!
This year the outdoor education program will be aiming to make a few changes. Our goal is to have these field experiences deeply connected to the school curriculum as well as a tool for our girls to grow as individuals. This year we have been successful in getting the Garibaldi trip integrated into the schools Language, Fine Arts, Social Science and Science curriculum. We hope the trend continues!