In our Outdoor Education program, students challenge themselves, learn about the environment, have fun, and learn how to rely on themselves and others. Most of all, they discover who they are when faced with a challenge that calls on everything they've got.
Now more than ever, young people need opportunities to connect to nature - to realize the important of protecting it, and to experience its grounding effect. When our students graduate with an environmental awareness that is felt, rather than just learned, and skills that allow them to enjoy and excel in the outdoors, they become advocates for the planet, as well as the people on it.
Experiential learning can be the most powerful education of all
At Southridge, we offer a range of outdoor education activities from Grades 4-9, from day trips, to outdoor school, to overnight camps. In the past, activities have included hiking, canoeing, skiing, kayaking and cycling – experiences that help our students bond, develop leadership skills, and make lasting memories.
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.
In the video below, learn how our outdoor learning and service programs combine to build strong minds and good hearts.
Grades 4 and 5
In Grade 4, students are introduced to the camp experience with a day trip to Loon Lake in Meadowridge where they engage in small group outdoor activities, such as hiking and orienteering.
Grade 4 students participate in their first overnight camp experience with one night at Evans Lake in Squamish. They join Grade 5 students who spend two nights at Evans Lake. Students participate in a variety of outdoor activities and games that invite them to stretch themselves and appreciate the biodiversity of our forests and lakes.
Grade 6 students spend two nights at Loon Lake in Maple Ridge. 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 while bonding with classmates and teachers.
Grade 7 students spend three nights at Camp Summit in Squamish Valley. The trip gives students the opportunity to experience fun and challenging outdoor activities that safely push them into the "growth zone". Students use their collaboration and leadership skills to engage in outdoor activities that require them to apply their communication, thinking, social and self-management 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.