Leaders Explore the Outdoors

Each year, our students get to explore all the activities that Vancouver Island’s water and wilderness have to offer. The outdoor education trips are more than opportunities for students to dive, climb, fish, surf and kayak; they are also a chance for the Grade 12 students to practice their leadership skills. Four of our Grade 12 trip leaders talk about leading this year’s Grade 10 students and what they love about the outdoor education programme.

Brendan Chwyl

“The Outdoor Leadership course has been a great experience. I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys camping and the outdoors. Throughout the course, we learned a variety of different skills, such as how to tie certain knots, proper first aid techniques, and even how to build snow shelters.”

“These skills were combined with leadership skills taught during the course and eventually used to help lead a Grade 10 or Grade 11 outdoor trip. My favourite part of the outdoor leadership course was the winter camp, where we spent four days in Manning Park camping in the snow and learning necessary survival skills. Overall, I enjoyed the course and believe I not only learned valuable camping and survival skills, but also important life and leadership skills.”

Samantha Dark

“Outdoor leadership has been a great influence and learning experience in my time at SMUS. This year, I led the Diving 10 trip, which only needed one Grade 12 leader. When I first found out that I was leading alone, I was a little hesitant about the success of the trip. Would I be able to handle the Grade 10 students?”

“Going through all the training in Grade 11 prepared me to lead my group of Grade 10 divers. The classroom discussions on what to do in certain circumstances came in very handy. I believe that the lessons that I took from the outdoor leadership training will definitely help me in my immediate life and in the future, such as dealing with different personalities and learning how to stay calm and work together in unfamiliar situations. The outdoor leadership programme has definately been a positive influence in my life and I am very happy that I opted to participate in such a great programme.”

Brenda Moore

“One of the highlights of my Grade 11 year at SMUS was my experience in the Outdoor Leadership programme. I have loved nature since my first camping trip as a child, and through this programme I was given the opportunity to step outside the classroom in a new and challenging way to kayak the rapids of the Cowichan River, to explore Manning Park backcountry on skis and to hike Vancouver Island’s Pacific coast on the Juan de Fuca trail.”

“I was challenged physically, emotionally, and spiritually to complete each task that was laid before me and to take the steps to further my education in the outdoors. After completing my Standard and Wilderness First Aid certifications, I gained confidence in my abilities to care for myself and for others.”

“This fall, I headed out to lead the Grade 10 canoeing trip with enthusiasm. I feel that my experience has helped me to grow as a person and as a leader. The true friendships that I forged during these trips are invaluable to me and the skills I acquired will be useful for years to come.”

Jesus Vidaurri

“During my two years at SMUS I have had incredible experiences, learned priceless lessons, and lived moments that will remain with me forever. Without a doubt many of the things I have experienced, learned and lived were during the Outdoor Leadership Programme.”

“The OLP offered me an extensive variety of opportunities to develop new skills and strengthen old ones. Skills that go from sea kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, camping, and building snow shelters, all the way to responsibility, patience, integrity, and leadership.”

“During this two-year course I was provided with the knowledge and skills that qualify me as an outdoor leader, and then most importantly, I was given leadership opportunities to use what I learned in a challenging, fun, and safe environment.”


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