The outdoor world provides an awe-inspiring, engaging and exacting place to ‘be in the now’. The experiences we have there can yield learning and significance far beyond the particular place, time, and group of people; watching the clouds float slowly overhead on a warm summer afternoon, the endless, mesmerizing pattern of flames in a campfire, the first site of distant, snow-covered peaks as we crest the top of a backcountry pass, the intensity of focus while paddling a rapid or pulling the crux move on a climb. “Be here” they say, “part of this moment’s value and beauty is in the fact that it is fleeting, get preoccupied with the past or the future and you’ll miss it.”
It was a very different fall for STS outdoor education trips. Adaptability and personal agency* are two of the life skills we hope students will further develop through their STS outdoor experiences and there have been few years when the learning opportunities have been more broad, real, and obvious than this year.
The Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School Global Scholar Diploma was born out a desire to encourage and recognize students in their growth as practical, contributing global citizens. Its goal is to challenge students to record and reflect on their actions and to continually expand their current boundaries of comfort and influence in order to positively impact the wider world around them.
Getting outside has always been good for one's learning, health and wellbeing, but with the current orders to stay home and social distance, it's become essential now more than ever to keep moving and stay active.
It’s 2:00 a.m. and even the birds are asleep. The forest is dark, with a mixture of shadows and shapes that lead one’s imagination to create all sorts of fairy tale images; walking, talking trees (Ents, if you are a J.R.R. Tolkien’s fan), trolls, witches and big, bad wolves.
When Mr. Keller joined STS in 1972, no Outdoor Education (OE) program was being offered. Because Mr. Keller was an avid outdoors-man, students soon began asking Mr. Keller to take them along on his trips and he agreed.
As anyone who has hiked pathways with young children will attest, children, with their boundless curiosity, see much that their older companions miss. They can spend an entire day on a journey that travels deep rather than far. Watching bugs on the ground, picking and devouring wild strawberries, wondering how birds fly... their questions know no end. So many wonders and so much to learn.