National and International Excursions 2018-2019

One-fifth of our YHS Senior School students participated in national and international excursions this academic year. 

  • 47 Grade 8 students travelled to Quebec City for a francophone adventure.
  • 10 Grade 9 and 10 students travelled to Australia, Mexico, and England on exchange. 
  • 13 students travelled to Cuba and explored music and dance with music partners.
  • 14 Grade 11 and 12 students travelled to Poland. 
Students in Cuba

At an April Learning Exhibition, some students shared their learning through these experiences and there was a great buzz. An aim of the international excursions at YHS is to help students learn about themselves, investigate the world, and connect with people of diverse perspectives and experiences, and adventure together in the company of friends and mentors. 

Grade 8s in Quebec City

In February, forty-seven students joined the Modern Languages team for a trip to Quebec City in the heart of winter and Carnaval. A few weeks later, a team of YHS musicians, including Dawn Haylett, Ellie Froese, and Kathy Kealey travelled to Cuba and joined with local musicians and dancers to experience music in a host of lively ways. Ten exchange students had a host of varied experiences in England, Mexico, and Australia with their partners and families and our Aussie partner students will attend school at YHS this coming fall. 

Senior students in France

In March, a group headed to France as part of our long-term partnership with Saint-Louis Saint-Bruno in Lyon, France. As Alexis Lum, expressed, “We take a team of 14 Senior students to Lyon, France every second year and host a team of students from Lyon in between. The aim of the program is to immerse our students in French culture and language and build bridges among teenagers through meaningful, authentic experiences.” With Madame Jensen and Monsieur Lum as the animated leads, the students stayed with an exchange partner and family and participated in a host of activities including a visit with Monsieur Lum’s grandmother for tea. Thank you to Monsieur Lum and Madame Jensen for accompanying the group on this adventure this year. 

Senior students in Poland

Finally, fourteen students, Ms. Baldissera, and Ms. McInnis travelled to Poland and Germany in March. Reflecting on the trip, Ms. Baldissera expressed this about the excursion: “There is one thing to read about history; it is another to be in the place where it took place and see it, touch it, and feel it. What an extraordinary trip this was to share with such a fabulous group of students! We enjoyed so many moments: learning about the history as we visited incredible sites and museums, experiencing the culture through sampling the delicious food and wandering the old town squares, getting to know the Polish families who welcomed us into their homes, and the many silly conversations on trains and van rides. It was a trip of laughter, smiles, and tears.” 

We thank students, families, and teachers, and partners who made this possible. 

Sophie, Annika, Taylor, and Michelle with their exchange partners on Halloween

Spring Outdoor Ed Trips

GO Program
This spring the GO Program embarked on three very different adventures. They went ski touring and winter camping in the Coquihalla Lakes area, cycle touring on Galiano Island, and kayaking in the Broken Islands. These were trips of a lifetime, full of challenge and growth, fun and bonding, beauty and new discoveries. Students learned three new sports, explored three means of self-propelled travel, and saw students becoming skilled and independent in many moments. This spring, the GO cohort has gone from growth to transformation and all the students have reason to be incredibly proud of their accomplishments.

Grade 9s Canoeing at Indian Arm

In May, all the Grade 9s embarked on a journey up Indian Arm, near Deep Cove, by voyageur canoe. Over the course of four days, they paddled from Rocky Point Park in Port Moody to Granite Falls and back, a total of approximately 70km. Travel was in large, 18 seater voyageur canoes, and the focus for this trip was working with a team, communication, resiliency and skill development. They explored the ocean, learned how to navigate using a compass, learned how to set up a tent, sleep in it, cook on a camping stove and many other elements of camping life.

Grade 4s at Sea to Sky Outdoor School on Gambier Island
The Grade 4 classes, accompanied by some wonderful senior school mentors, went to Gambier Island, to the Sea to Sky Outdoor School hosted at camp Fircom. They canoed in big traditional canoes, slept in cabins, jumped in the freezing cold ocean, played games, sang songs, explored the gorgeous forest, and learned a little bit about the word “sustainability” and our role in making positive change.

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Grade 7s at Evans Lake
The Grade 7 classes had a fun, celebratory trip to Evans Lake to end their year. They swam, canoed, paddle boarded, played games in the forest, ate in the dining hall, slept in cabins, and much more.

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Grade 3s at Stave Lake
In June, the Grade 3 classes experienced their first overnight camp. Students spent two days at Stave Lake Lodge, near Mission. They played in the forest, learned many nature nuggets, learned how to start a fire, and enjoyed their first sleepover as a class. Parents were invited to join the following morning and everyone enjoyed a celebratory class picnic potluck.

Primary Forest Days
In the spring term, the primary classes each enjoyed a day of forest play and exploration, physical exercise and eco-literacy. They found slugs and bugs, saw flowering plants and trees, played games, listened to the birds, and worked on developing important skills such as balance, communication and imaginative free play.

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