We took 18 grade 7 and 8 students to Echo Valley Provincial Park on June 4-5 and 6th. Arriving just before support on June 4th, we set up camp for two nights in a campsite with no power. In a beautifully treed site, we set up tents and organized for group camping. Students had planned ahead for cooking group meals over the fire. They took turns preparing meals and washing dishes in wash basins with water heated over the campfire. These were new skills for many of the students who haven’t experienced this type of camping before.
Students also participated in educational programming while on the trip. We utilized the canoeing and geocaching provided by Echo Valley Provincial Park. Students learned a variety of paddle strokes and tried them out close to shore on Echo Lake. This was the favourite activity for a few students and other look forward to doing more canoeing another time. Geocaching set up by the park staff also gave students a chance to check out this fun outdoor activity. They received a question and clue at each hidden cache and learned more about the park and nature by finding answers to the questions in the nature centre at the park.
During free time, students spent a lot of time fishing on the shore of Pasqua lake! We caught and released several small walleye and a northern pike. This complemented the tour of the Fort Qu’Appelle Fish Culture Station. The park’s location close to this facility was one of the reasons we chose it. It was very interesting hearing about how many million walleye are released in Saskatchewan, as well as seeing all the trout fingerlings and the large fish in the ponds!
The views from the hills in Echo Valley Provincial Park were breathtaking and the shaded hiking trails were peaceful and shady. Students explored the hills, trails and beaches of the park, enjoying every moment of being outside! We discussed “leave no trace” principles before going on the trip and followed those ideas while camping. Students even picked up trash on the shoreline to ensure we left the park better than we found it. Thanks to Sask Outdoor for helping to make this trip possible! It was a wonderful trip!