From 50-day canoe trips with little access to civilization to hiking the mountains of British Columbia, our students have done it all. It comes as no surprise that Greenwood students love the great outdoors and willingly spend days upon days living in a tent. Our Outdoor Education Committee showcased these grand adventures by hosting an OE Trip Reports event on Friday, November 22.
Several Greenwood students spoke to their peers about outdoor adventures they have taken in Ontario and even across the country. Eton Carrington ‘20 talked to our Grade 9 boys about his 50-day canoe trip with Camp Ahmek. One of his favourite places he visited was Nellie Lake in Killarney Provincial Park. He described it as “the most beautiful place he has ever seen.''
Anna de Pencier ‘21 and Alyssa Hanson ‘21 also went on a 50-day canoe trip where they covered an average of 35 km a day paddling. They said some of their biggest highlights were visiting Ishpatina Ridge, which is 693m above sea level, and also venturing through Canadian Cave Mines.
Claire Dixon ‘21 and Sara Warner ‘21 took things a little West by participating in a Senior Leadership Program through Camp Pine Crest. They had the opportunity to travel to British Columbia, where they hiked through the mountains and explored the wilderness of B.C. They also got Grade 10 students excited about their upcoming trip to B.C. this fall. “The B.C. trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. On our school trip, we saw whales, porpoises and seals,” said Sara. The biggest challenge on their summer trip was hiking up steep and rigid hills, but they described it as a unique bonding experience with their fellow campers and well worth the trek.
We were also joined by two other members of the Greenwood community: Rex Taylor and Andrea Waugh ‘14. Rex is a former Greenwood teacher who built the foundation of Greenwood’s Outdoor Education program. He talked to our Grade 11 students about the origins of outdoor education at the school and why he believes it is an important part of education. He described different things we can learn from canoe tripping, including: self-discovery, responsibility, empathy, courage, success and failure, resilience and grit and so much more. His talk inspired students to venture further and to appreciate the beautiful country we live in.
Rex also shared his experiences travelling in Kenya. When he first arrived in Kenya and witnessed the poverty and lack of access to education experienced by many Kenyans, Rex knew he wanted to do something; so, he started The Small Project.
The Small Project provides opportunities for youth to access quality education so they can get a degree and eventually secure jobs to support their families. Rex shared multiple heartwarming stories about youth who completed high school and went on to get a great education and earn a decent living.
Greenwood grad Andrea Waugh ‘14 also joined us for our OE trip reports. Andrea is an avid outdoorsperson and loves spending time in nature. She has completed many canoe expeditions and has travelled the world. One of her proudest accomplishments was completing the Meanest Link
, a canoe route in Algonquin Park which is known to be very long and challenging, with several portages along the way. This canoe route was originally created by Greenwood teacher Alex Hurley to honour Bill Swift, who was the founder of Algonquin Outfitters. Andrea described this route as very challenging but extremely rewarding. She encouraged students to form a connection with nature because it is vital to positive mental health, and to keep pushing even when you feel like giving up.
Our OE Trip Report event was a great way to encourage students to explore the outdoors and to venture further by taking on challenges. Life is short and the world is big, so we encourage everyone to take time to explore!