Grade 12 Outdoor Ed:
On October 12, the Grade 12s travelled to Squamish for a one-day hiking adventure accompanied by Canada West Mountain School guides and YHS staff. This was a fantastic opportunity for Grade 12 students to get outside and bond with their peers as they start their grad year! Students had the opportunity to select their route and level of challenge for the day, hiking up either Mount Crumpit or the Stawamus Chief. Pushing themselves and stepping out of their comfort zones, the students reached the summits collectively as a group, enjoying the rewarding view of the Howe Sound. The day was filled with big smiles and lots of laughter, and was a welcomed break from studying and university applications.
The GO (“Get Outside”) Program is the YHS Grade 10 Outdoor Education program and includes a cohort of 12 students this year. Students have selected this program as an opportunity to get outside more, explore, and become competent and mindful outdoor enthusiasts. The course is designed to be an experience of a lifetime and filled with opportunities for experiential learning and personal growth. Its aim is to promote self-discovery, leadership, interactive social skills, teamwork, as well as provide a more holistic understanding of the natural world through adventure and environmental education.
This fall, students have embarked on afternoon excursions of kayaking at Jericho Beach and biking along the Arbutus Greenway, both in preparation for potential multi-day excursions in the new year. They also embarked on a full-day of hiking on the North Shore in Lynn Canyon. These excursions were opportunities for students to develop and improve their skills, as well as learn how to work together successfully to accomplish a task.
On November 19th, the GO students were thrilled to embark on the first overnight trip in the past two years! Accompanied by Ms. Brennan, Ms. Raaflaub, and CWMS guides, the group traveled to Cheakamus River for a two-day hiking and camping trip. Over the course of the two days, students put into practice many of the new outdoor skills that they had acquired, including: knot tying, setting up tents and tarps, fire building, cooking over a stove, setting a bear hang, and staying warm during winter camping. The trip was an absolute success and a major highlight was gathering together around the campfire in the evening, making smores and sharing stories about the infamous Sasquatch!
The group continues the development of their skills, recently completing their Backcountry First Aid training and preparing for their Avalanche Safety Training in the upcoming weeks. These certifications will prepare the group for more multi-day adventures in the new year!
Grade 1, 2 and 3 Forest Days:
In October and November, Grades 1, 2 and 3 participated in full-day excursions to Pacific Spirit Park to explore and immerse themselves in the wonders and beauty of the forest. Led by Ms. Katrina Brennan and Ms. Claire David, the students hiked through the forest on trails and small paths, learning about the plants and animals that call the BC forests home. Stopping periodically along the way, the groups engaged in creative and imaginative play, with activities designed to educate students about the environment and foster comfort and curiosity about the natural world. Embracing nature as an exciting new playground, the students enjoyed building forest forts, testing out their balancing and climbing skills, and getting their hands dirty as they fully engaged in the experience.
SK Forest Day:
For the first time ever, the SKs also participated in a Forest Day this fall! This was an exciting and thrilling experience for the Apples and Oranges, starting off with the bus ride, which was a first for many of the students! Traveling to Pacific Spirit Park for the morning, the students stepped out of their comfort zones, learning how to move and explore in nature. Through creative play and experiential learning, the SKs increased their confidence and independence over the course of excursion, embracing all the wonders of the natural world and beginning their life journey as outdoor enthusiasts.