After almost two years of uncertainty with various indoor closures, travel restrictions, and more, one thing has remained the same: that getting outside and spending time in nature has the power to instantly improve wellness. At CA, Outdoor Education (OE) has always been a vital part of how our learners continue to grow their confidence and become better connected to the Calgary community and beyond. OE also directly connects with the CA learning model of wellness, self-awareness, belonging, and relationships.
Jason Lindsay, one of CA’s Physical Education teachers, and lead instructor in Outdoor Ed has been running the OE program for the last three years. Students routinely explore the aspen forest bordering CA’s property on bikes and cross-country skis. With Calgary and surrounding area’s diverse terrain like mountains, plains, trails, and rivers, the OE students have no shortage of activities at their fingertips!
“My favourite part about teaching OE is the ‘aha moments’ where the kids are experiencing something outdoors for the first time and realizing their love for it. I also love the connectedness that students begin to develop within themselves when they take on challenges and learn what matters to them. Finally, I love the relationships that are built here within our classes that transcend time.” – Jason Lindsey
Most recently, Mount Royal University’s Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership (ETOL) students were tasked with taking on a collaborative project with our 23 Grade 9 OE students. Over the course of two weeks, Mount Royal students led various experiences designed to strengthen and invigorate the enjoyment, appreciation, and skills that CA students have for nature.
“The goal of this project was for students to develop new abilities and take on things that they may never have experienced before, including fire safety, bear safety, tents, and putting our wilderness ethic of ‘leave no trace’ into practice.” – Jason Lindsey
There are many upcoming excursions that OE students will take part in this winter, including climbing and a wildness hostel trips including Rampart Creek for Grade 11/12’s and Mosquito Creek and Griffith Woods in January. Stay tuned for recaps!