Outdoor Education Update: March 2023

GO! Program Update:
Over the past three months our GO! Program students have been fully embracing all that a true Canadian winter has to offer! Back in January, GO! students completed their Avalanche Safety Training Level 1 course with Canada West Mountain School. Students spent two full days learning about snowpacks, weather, terrain, and other elements that contribute to avalanche risk while in the backcountry. Students learned how to use a transceiver, probe and various shoveling techniques, which are all important survival skills and equipment for exploring the backcountry in the wintertime. Students will use this new knowledge to assess avalanche reports and be informed on their Winter Camping expeditions. 

At the start of February, half of the GO! Program embarked on a snowshoeing and winter camping excursion in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The group snowshoed 6 km up the Diamond Head Trail to camp at Red Heather, where they built elaborate snow kitchens, pitched their own tents, and settled in for the three-day expedition. Other activities included snowshoeing to the top of Round Mountain, discovering the joys of a crazy carpet, and cooking some delicious backcountry meals. This was an amazing accomplishment for these students as they challenged themselves and put into practice outdoor survival skills they have been learning all year. Way to GO!

The other half of the GO! Program will be embarking on this same excursion at the end of March, but this group will be traveling on skis! Students are excited for their first backcountry ski trip and an opportunity to put their well-practiced skills to good use!  

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Grade 3 Snow Days:
The Grade 3s also got out in February for some fun and exploration in the snow! On February 27, 3H travelled to Cypress Mountain for a day of learning and fun. While exploring the Hollyburn Trail, students learned about the trees and how they communicate amongst themselves. Students also learned how to build effective shelters and spent time being creative in nature and expressing their true selves and feelings through art. 

On February 28, 3Y had a true Vancouver “Snow Day” with an abundance of fresh snow to enjoy! Students spent the day on campus at YHS and participated in a variety of activities, including art and design in the snow, snow sculpture competitions, and shelter-building challenges. Students learned about conduction in winter and how to stay warm while outdoors. 

Both groups look forward to their trip to Lighthouse Park in April!


Grade 3s & New Students Officially Welcomed to Houses

The long-standing tradition of joining a House in Grade 3 is a very exciting moment for our students. On September 23rd, all of our Grade 4-7 students gathered on the field in their respective Houses. The Grades 3s, plus a handful of new students, lined up on one side of the field. On the other side of the field was a paper bag with their name on it. After a small speech by Mr. Jackson, we counted down and the students ran across the field, and tore open their bags to reveal their new House Shirt! The students put on their new shirts, gathered at a cone near their new House, and heard the following cheer:

“We have spirit, yes we do! We have spirit, we WANT YOU!!!”

With screams of delight, the new students officially joined their Houses: Arbutus, Pine, Cypress, and Maple! They are already showing their Yorkie spirit! 

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