Fall Outdoor Ed Trips 2022

Grade 10 Outdoor Ed
Grade 10s kicked off their year by jumping right into Outdoor Education, with two full days of preparation and skill training in anticipation of the return of the infamous Garibaldi hiking excursion. Unfortunately, due to smoke and poor air quality, plans had to be adjusted to accommodate the safety and wellness of the group. This brought about a unique opportunity for three more days of preparation and practice, increasing students’ competence and confidence in the outdoors! 

The group started off with a day of developing outdoor ed skills on campus, including a cook-out and tent races, followed by a hike in Pacific Spirit Park wearing their hiking packs, which allowed them to get a sense for carrying their gear over an extended period of time. The next day, the Grade 10sventured to Mount Seymour for two full days of hiking with Canada West Mountain School Guides. While out on the trails, students learned navigation skills, tree identification, leave no trace principles, and the importance of being prepared for all weather systems with the essential gear! Some students also had the opportunity to explore the beauty and serenity of nature through watercolours and journaling activities. The Grade 10s look forward to their overnight hiking trip, which will now take place in the new year.

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Grade 9 Outdoor Ed to Pitt Lake
The Grade 9s started their year with a three-day, two-night canoe and camping trip on Pitt Lake. Led by Ridge Wilderness Adventures, students traveled by Voyageur canoes, working together to navigate and reach their destinations as a team. Once at camp, students had the opportunity to learn new outdoor survival skills, such as food preparation, cooking over a stove, knot tying, tarp hanging, and shelter and fire building. The three days were filled with plenty of laughs, and new friendships, and all students further developed their outdoor survival skills. 

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Grade 8 Outdoor Ed to Camp Potlatch
The Grade 8s began their Senior School career at YHS with a three-day, two-night trip to Camp Potlatch, located on the Howe Sound. Together the group traveled to camp, where they participated in a variety of activities, such as rock climbing, archery, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and outdoor survival skills. A major focus of the week was for students to spend time in their Teacher Advisor Groups (TAG), allowing the groups to bond and develop a rapport as they start their five-year journey together as a unit. When students returned from camp, there were many smiling faces and new friendships amongst the group! 

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Grade 6 Outdoor Ed to Camp Summit
After a few weeks of settling into their Grade 6 year, students travelled to Camp Summit, located in Squamish, for a three-day, two-night camp experience together. Led by the talented Camp Summit staff, students immersed themselves in camp life and all it has to offer. The three days were filled with various camp activities, such as mountain biking, high ropes, archery, outdoor survival skills, hiking, and large group games. Students developed their outdoor survival skills while at camp and learned a new appreciation for nature, our environment, and the beauty it holds! 

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Q & A with Grade 9 Student, Sophie, of 604.EATS

Check out Sophie’s foodie adventures on Instagram at @604.eats and at 604eats.com.

Q: How did 604.EATS come about?
A: As a Chinese-Canadian, food has always played a key role in my identity and understanding of who I am. I am fortunate to have grown up around a ton of good food from a young age- Singaporean hawker stalls from my dad’s side and Cantonese restaurants from my mom’s. My family has brought me a deep appreciation for food, and with 604.EATS, I am looking to share that passion with the community! 

The idea came up while I was eating, funnily enough, with a few friends back in early 2019. Because we loved visiting new restaurants together so much, we had the idea of documenting what we ate. Never would I have guessed for 604.EATS to become a part of such a vast, lovely online community.

I was able to get that initial push of growing the account by introducing myself to other food bloggers on Instagram, who would soon become close friends, and after that, I let it grow naturally.

Q: How do you decide what restaurants to feature?
A: I love to highlight foods of diverse backgrounds and the people behind the scenes, and ultimately, my goal is to expand my understanding of food from more perspectives than merely my own. Being genuine in my reviews is essential to me, but if I enjoyed my experience, I am especially keen on sharing those places!

Local businesses often reach out to me for sponsorships, and I love to help them out if I find value in their messages or work. For example, about a year ago, I worked with a start-up in Vancouver selling kaya, a coconut jam familiar to Southeast Asians! Kaya is made with pandan (a tropical plant and a favourite flavour of mine) and is often used for Kaya toast consisting of butter, kaya spread, and sweet Asian toasted bread, a common breakfast item in Singapore and Malaysia. Visiting Singapore growing up, I would always have a kaya toast in one hand and iced milk tea in the other, so with this sweet memory in mind, I had a fantastic time showcasing his products!

The owner and I developed a close connection as business partners as the two of us shared these fond memories of Singapore. As he was very grateful for my help, I was equally thankful for his generosity and kindness.

Forging these beautiful relationships with Vancouver’s local businesses and featuring their stories along the way is my precisely favourite part of my work.

Q: Your blog and Instagram also feature your own cooking. What kind of recipes do you like to try?
A: Recently, I have been learning the food recipes that I grew up eating—for example, char siu bao, a Cantonese barbecue pork bun. Char siu bao is one of those dishes I grew up with, but I have never made myself. My grandmother never got the chance to cook the food from her heritage growing up, so neither did my mother or I. Yet, the more I see Asian faces on social media cooking these same dishes that I know from my childhood, the more I want to learn to cook my food!

So for the first time, I made a char siu bao with my mom. We made its fluffy dough from scratch, cooked the sauce and the filling, rolled the dough, and learned to pinch the edges together to make a little bao. It definitely looked like two clueless amateurs made them, but I had a lot of fun preparing them, and the final taste was perfect and so familiar! I am so proud of these dishes and where they come from, and opening up this blog has only brought me more appreciation for this food. Cooking has also been a way for me to reconnect with my family members.

Sophie's homemade char siu bao, a Cantonese barbecue pork bun.
Sophie’s homemade char siu bao, a Cantonese barbecue pork bun.

Q: How did 604.EATS become an ADST project?
A: I opened up the account on Instagram over three years ago now and was looking to reach a larger audience. I then came up with the idea of creating a website in my ADST class. Building a website has always been an interest of mine, and knowing that Mr. Lee and Mr. Reimer both have experience with website design, this felt like the perfect opportunity to start it! Although my website builder was quite adaptable, everything about making it is new to me. There are challenges everywhere, including technical language, formatting and navigating the builder itself.

Q: What do your family and friends think about your venture?
A: My family and friends are incredibly supportive and proud of this food blog because they know that food is a natural passion of mine, and they understand the amount of work that I pour into 604.EATS. I am always appreciative when someone tells me that they love my photo, video, or enjoy reading my captions. Still, the highest compliment I can receive is when someone tells me they visited a local restaurant because they saw it on my blog. It absolutely makes my day and means that my blog has resonated with others so much that they discover these eats themselves.

Q: What are your next steps with 604.EATS?
A: Through 604.EATS, I have and continue to understand the marketing business, food photography, and personal style. On the business side, I have learned social media management– what it takes to grab the eye of any user–content value and even down to the little things like writing proper business emails. Additionally, this food blog has given me an outlet to be creative with photography, styling, editing, and writing.

I absolutely see value in this work–what I have learned about myself and the relationships forged with businesses and the “foodie” community. Still, at the moment, I would love to keep 604.EATS as a hobby, perhaps a part-time job, but never full-time. Instead, I would love to apply the skills that I have learned through the start-up to other full-time work in the future.