By: Bruce Hendricks, Director of Outdoor Education
‘Adapt and adjust (and stay healthy while doing so)’, that has become my mantra for the past 19 months. Amidst the many challenges have been many opportunities and some blessings in disguise.
It’s been wonderful when we are actually able to get outside with students, explore and travel in the natural world, be physically active and interact face-to-face rather than via a screen. It’s good for our bodies, our mental health, and our essential need for social connection.
This last week we were on campus on Friday and out in the mountains on Saturday and Sunday with the Grade 10 Outdoor Leadership (OL10) class. On Saturday we worked our way up Old Baldy Ridge in Kananaskis. The stunning views were earned with significant effort. We had stellar weather and, with almost 11 kilometers of travel and 900 meters of elevation gain, it was a big day. Routefinding, pacing, group management, personal safety, self-care and a healthy dose of wonder and awe all wrapped up in one package. That night we returned to the STS campus, cooked dinner at the campsites and then slept the night in tents. Sunday was spent refining skills out in the Sandy McNabb hills, west of Turner Valley.
The Grade 9s were also out on Tuesday on Forgetmenot Ridge (9D) and Powderface Ridge (9A) west of Bragg Creek. They finished off their day by returning to campus to cook a meal on a backpacking stove and wind down around the campfire. Thanks to all, (faculty, parents, students, facilities crew, and administrators), who have made these moments possible for students. There has been struggle, joy, accomplishment, wonder and perspective. And maybe, just maybe, some fun along the way. The journey continues…