IN September, Lions Gate Christian Academy launched an Outdoor Education program that instills independence, teamwork, life skills and environmental awareness.
There has been an enthusiastic response from Grade 9 and 10 students. The school has begun the first year of a two-year program that incorporates a core activity each semester. Level 10 Fitness on Harbourside Drive has donated its facility and services to support the vision of the program and the school. Top athletes and trainers from Level 10 instruct students in conditioning for the core activities.
The fall term starts with a series of instructional sessions at Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak Centre. Students learn basic paddling techniques and rescue skills under the guidance of trained instructors. The term sessions culminate in an overnight paddling excursion where students are able to put their newly acquired skills into practice. In the second term students attend cross-country skiing lessons and a snowshoeing program on Cypress Mountain, culminating in the completion of a comprehensive first aid course. Wilderness survival in winter conditions will also form part of the curriculum. The spring term includes a hiking and backcountry component. Specialized backpacking skills will supplement skills learned during the year. Specific instruction is given to environmental stewardship, allowing students to enjoy the outdoors while having a minimal impact on the environment. The final term is celebrated with a backcountry trip to the Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Heritage Park. Meanwhile, great excitement surrounds the introduction of phase two in September 2012.
The program provides meaningful opportunities for staff to engage with the students outside the classroom; it gives students and teachers the opportunity for outdoor experiences that will enrich the existing curriculum and develop community, foster spiritual growth and develop life skills, all while enjoying the magnificent environment.