Sea to Sky 2013

Oscar Hong
The snowshoeing group enjoying the beautiful snowy scenery that seems almost out of place in the hot May sun

Last week, almost all the grade 10 students participated in their last outdoor education trip at St. George’s, the 2013 Sea to Sky. The Sea to Sky is a week long outdoor adventure designed to connect students with nature, develop teamwork, practice outdoor living skills, and find one’s mental and physical capacities. Students were able to sign up for a variety of activities such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing, rock climbing and cycling. Though many students enjoyed their time outdoors, the challenges of living away from civilization and derived of technology caught them off-guard.

The longest and most difficult trip was the West Coast Trails trip. The students spent seven days hiking on this scenic but extremely challenging route on Vancouver Island. Other hiking trips included the Nootka Island trip where students spent six days hiking along the coast of Nootka Island, the Juan de Fuca trip where students hiked for five days on a segment of the Juan de Fuca trail on the Vancouver Island coast, and the Stein Valley trip where students spent time in Stein Valley Provincial Park learning about nature and first nations culture. For students who preferred water sports, there were the canoeing and kayaking trips which took place at the Sayward Canoe Route and Gulf islands respectively. There was also the rock climbing trip which travelled to Skaha bluffs, and the cycling trip which was at the Kettle Valley Railway trail.

Though the trip activities varied, the essence of the trips was to develop the students’ outdoor living skills. The Sea to Sky trips are different from the grade 9 Explorer trips in that the Sea to Sky trips allows the students way more freedom but also requires greater student responsibility. In the Sea to Sky trips, students had to buy their own food, manage their own trip plans, and take care of themselves. Adult supervision no longer oversees the course of the trip, and, for many, this was the best incentive of the Sea to Sky trips. With free time once they reached camp, the students entertained themselves by building giant camp fires, playing card games, and even fishing.

Jordan Liu, who went on the Cycling trip comments, “it was a lot harder than i thought it was gonna be, the gravel was like sand, so it felt as if there was a constant resistance on my wheels.” In fact, many students revealed that the trips were a lot harder than they anticipated, but ultimately everyone made it back alive and in high spirits.