GO! Program Spring Update

The GO! Program finished off their school year with an action-packed spring! Students participated in a Leadership Workshop with Alison McKenzie from ShEvalesco, discovering their different leadership styles and how they all contribute to the overall team. The Grade 10s were then able to practice these new leadership skills when they joined the Grade 1s on their Outdoor Education excursion and organized icebreaker activities and collaborative games. The GO! students also participated in two action-packed days, hiking the Stawamus Chief and climbing outdoors in Squamish. Both day trips were filled with adventure, group bonding, grit and perseverance, as students challenged themselves to accomplish their goals.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally, the GO! Program wrapped up their school year with their first multi-day excursion! At the end of May, students traveled to Tofino for an action-packed five days of activities. Camping at Surf Grove, students spent the week hiking, kayaking, learning to surf, participating in a beach clean-up, and educating themselves about the impacts of microplastics on our coastal environments. Enduring some challenging weather, including 24 hours of relentless rain, students demonstrated resilience, perseverance, a positive mindset, and impressive outdoor competence as they used their skills to stay warm, healthy, and dry(ish). 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ms. Brennan and Ms. Harrigan are incredibly proud of the group’s ability to bond together, support one another, and grow both as a team and as individuals. Throughout the week, students challenged themselves to learn and develop their outdoor skills, partaking in fire-building, chopping wood, hanging tarps with the appropriate knots, and cooking and preparing their meals. During the evenings, the group enjoyed campfires and shared special moments, shout-outs, and reflected on their experiences on the trip. This was a beautiful way to wrap up a wonderful year together in the program and as a cohesive unit.

GO! Program Winter Season

The GO! Program has had an exciting winter season, filled with lots of time outdoors exploring new activities and places within Vancouver and the surrounding area. 

Back in December, before the break, the GO students completed their Avalanche Safety Training course while backcountry snowshoeing at Mount Seymour with Canada West Mountain School. The day was absolutely perfect, as students got to implement their new skills learned in a snowstorm while on the mountain. Talk about hands-on learning!

These past few months, the students and Ms. Brennan have been trying new winter sports, exposing themselves to different ways to stay active and appreciate the outdoors. In January, the class went cross-country skiing at Cypress Mountain, where students had the opportunity to try skate skiing with Ms. Atkinson or classic with Ms. Brennan. It was a beautiful day “above the clouds” and we got some amazing shots of the students. It was lovely to see them outside and enjoying winter, and all the fun that comes along with it!

February has been another busy month, starting off with an afternoon of bouldering at The Hive. Students learned new climbing skills and techniques, pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones to take risks and challenge themselves. These new skills will be extremely helpful for when the program goes outdoor climbing in the spring. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The GO! Program also got out for an afternoon of skating at Kerrisdale arena and snowboarding at Grouse Mountain. Thank you to Ms. Louis and Ms. David, who joined the group on these excursions. Everyone’s balance drastically improved during these two activities and the excitement was real as new skills were developed!

Finally, the GO! Program has been learning about nutrition and the importance of fueling their bodies with nutrient-rich food while out in the wilderness. Andrea McDonald, a YHS alumna and nutritionist, gave a very informative presentation to the class, passing on valuable and relatable information. The students have implemented this new knowledge by creating trip meal plans and preparing a class brunch together, testing out recipes that can be prepared while out on a trip. 

Coming up after the break, the group looks forward to more adventurous days in the outdoors, including hiking the Stawamus Chief, outdoor climbing in Squamish, and canyoning in Mission. The GO! Program will also be embarking on their next multi-day trip to Tofino at the end of May, and students are thrilled for the return of overnight excursions!

Katrina Brennan
Outdoor Education Coordinator

This slideshow requires JavaScript.