The Outdoor Ed-venture leadership team included 23 grade 7 & 8 students of École Lumsden Elementary school. Students had to apply to be part of the opportunity and required a reference from a teacher to confirm that they possessed the leadership potential to be part of such an experience. Students met once a month and participated in a variety of activities, including hiking, bannock making, archery, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snow shoeing, outdoor cooking with a hobo stove, investigating the Little Arm River during fish spawning season, as well as a lunch and learn session with Rhonda Phillips on the Quill Lakes diversion.
The year ended with a two day camping trip to the West Block of the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Students camped in tents and were responsible cooking their own meals, researching the Cypress Hills and leading various activities. Students hiked to the Hidden Conglomerate cliffs, visited Fort Walsh, hiked to the Mystery Rocks. They were also fortunate to have Graduate studies students from the University of Regina share some of their research on Bull Snakes, Bats and the Lodge Pole Pine forest.
Students gained many skills but also had the opportunity to form many new friendships. One of the chaperones was surprised by how well students got along and enjoyed one another’s company during the trip to Cypress. They were surprised to learn that many of them don’t hang out together on a regular basis, as they all seemed like such close friends. It was a truly important observation on the experience throughout the year, these students took risks and had the chance to be with different people and try new things. They didn’t join because they wanted to be with a friend, they joined because the love the outdoors and they wanted a chance to be part of something that would connect them more with the outdoors. They wanted to experience the outdoors and have fun, and through that friendships formed. Exposure the outdoors is a critical component of the extra-curricular opportunities that we offer at ELES. Knowing that there are students who are not interested in competitive athletics, this opportunity offers a unique way to be involved and make positive social and environmental connections while staying physically active. It was a very successful offering. Students and parents had only good things to say about their experiences. We plan to offer OELT in the 2019-2020 school year.
Please visit the Home of the Wildcats to view a photo movie of the experiences that students enjoyed throughout the 2018-19 school year:
http://www.pvsd.ca/school/ lumsdenelementary/ HomeoftheWildcats/Pages/ default.aspx
Thank-you again toSaskOutdoorsfor the grant and for supporting this important initiative.