Outdoor Education is an important part of a Southridge student’s experience, one that introduces another arena in which they learn about the privilege and responsibility they have to influence their community and the world. It’s also another expression of Southridge’s unique mix of lighthearted spirit and serious purpose.
In addition to the Grade 4 to 9 programs, a number of different trips are offered to Senior School students throughout the year. The excursions challenge them at different levels to help develop their outdoors skills. In the past, these trips, lasting one to three days, have included hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, ocean-kayaking, and cycling. Opportunities vary each year depending on student interest.
Although the program varies by grade, the underlying philosophy remains the same. Students learn to appreciate and understand their natural environment through experience while developing the skills and attitudes required to both enjoy and excel in the outdoors. Developing leadership and bonding with other students are added benefits.
The program’s ultimate goal is to support students in acquiring knowledge, attitudes, and values that support their development as global, environmentally aware citizens and responsible stewards of the planet.
Grades 4 and 5
Beginning in Grade 4 and in Grade 5, all students participate in a two to three-day trip to Evans Lake. Through meaningful experiential learning, students develop strong and healthy minds and bodies, and an appreciation for the biodiversity of our forests while they learn and bond with classmates.
In Grade 6, our students head off for four days to Camp Qwanoes on Vancouver Island. This educational experience fosters leadership, cooperation, and interpersonal skills as students confront perceived limits of personal comfort. It also provides tangible opportunities for students to challenge themselves and build confidence.
Our Grade 7 Camp Summit Trip gives our students the opportunity to experience new, fun, and challenging activities in a safe outdoor environment. The students travel to Squamish where they hike, rock climb, swim, and take part in a number of challenges. These challenges test strategy, communication, and other essential team building skills.
Grades 8 and 9
For five days each fall all Grades 8 and 9 students travel to Strathcona Park Lodge Outdoor Education Centre on Vancouver Island where they are immersed in the outdoors. Various out trips are offered at Strathcona depending upon interest and ability, including hiking, canoeing, and ocean and river kayaking. In all of the activities, there are lots of opportunities for personal growth and team building.