Origins of the Outdoor Education program at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
Taken from Paida 1996. Article by Sarah McAteer
Note: Some information about the current STS Outdoor Education program has changed since the publication of this article
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.
In 1975-1976 Mr. Keller was asked to teach a Grade 11 Physical Education (PE) class. According to him, he didn't know much about teaching PE, so he decided to teach an informal OE class as part of the program. Mr. Keller then began to lobby the School Board to introduce a formal course to be called "The Outdoor Trips Program for Senior High". Students were not marked on these trips. They were to be purely extracurricular. All Senior High students were required to sign up for at least one trip which would gain them credits in PE.
Today, all students from grades four to ten are required to go on one outdoor trip. If they like they can go on more. Students are marked on their trip behaviour, accomplishment, and efficiency. This mark makes up part of the PE average. Mr. Walls is now responsible for the Outdoor Education program.
From one teacher taking students on outdoor trips for fun, the Outdoor Education program has grown to become one of the most outstanding and well-respected outdoor programs in Alberta.