The aim of the AGS Outdoor Education program is to provide a safe, balanced environment beyond the classroom where students learn about themselves and the world around them, one adventure at a time.
Outdoor Education is an integral part of an Aspengrove education, it is embedded in our program and allows students and their teachers to learn together while building on community. The progressive approach to the program provides students in Grades 4 -10 a variety of opportunities to develop a wide range of outdoor skills, participate in age-appropriate outdoor activities, develop leadership, teamwork, perseverance and goal-setting, while learning to respect, appreciate and care for the environment.
The Outdoor Education program also delivers an avenue for students, 14 and older, to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey.
This progression is as follows:
Level 1: Bronze Raven (Grades 4, 5 and 6) – Encouraging An Understanding
Level 2: Silver Raven (Grades 7 and 8) – Exploring Your Understanding
Level 3: Gold Raven (Grade 9 and 10) – Expanding Your Understanding
Level 4: Spirit Raven (Grade 9 to 12) – Extending Your Understanding
Grade 4 students spend 1 night on our 40-acre campus. They learn about adapting in the outdoors, shelter building, fire safety, campsite setup/clean up, and gain a greater understanding of our school setting and land.
Grade 5 students spend 2 nights off campus at Camp Imadene. They learn about taking care of a shared space, setup/cleanup, working together as a team to accomplish a common goal, the history of land (forestry), and level 1 outdoor skills including climbing wall, hiking, and canoeing.
Grade 6 students spend 3 nights off campus at Tribune Bay on Hornby Island. They gain an increased understanding of management of space, awareness of life on an island, and further develop their level 1 outdoor skills through kayaking, hiking, climbing wall, rappelling, and marine adventures.
Grade 7 students spend 3 nights off campus at the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre on Hornby Island. They participate in water-based skills related to ocean including paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing; tenting set-up/break down and campsite management; team building (ACE – Accept all Levels of Ability, Challenge by Choice, Encouragement); physical challenges including high ropes course, giant’s ladder, leap of faith; and further develop their outdoor skills of fire building, orienteering, shelter building, and backpacking.
Grade 8 students spend 3 nights off campus at Camp Imadene Wildside. They have increased independence with tenting set-up, break down, campsite management and food prep, lake canoeing/camping, hiking, caving and rock repelling.
Grade 9 students spend 4 nights off campus in Strathcona Park. Students focus on kayaking/canoeing with backpacking, meal planning, map and compass work, reading waves, and route planning. This camping excursion is a “Leave No Trace” trip and qualifies for the Duke of Ed. Bronze Award.
Grade 10 students spend 4 nights off campus in Strathcona Park. Students go backcountry hiking and camping, do their own food prep and cooking, read maps and compasses, and gain increased independence. This trip qualifies for Duke of Ed. Silver Award.
Outdoor Ed. Club: Students in Grades 9 – 12 can participate in day hikes and 1-5 night camps, on Vancouver Island, in BC, or out of province during weekends or term breaks. Trips include backcountry camping and winter excursions including skiing cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter shelter building, fire building, food prep, winter survival techniques, and avalanche safety. There are opportunities for Leaders in Training (with Grades 4-7) or the Outdoor Council of Canada, Field Leader Certification.