4th Annual Outdoor Education Retreat (Gr. 4-9)
by Mr. Fagan
For the 4th consecutive year, North Point had the opportunity to participate in outdoor education experiences at Blue Lake Camp near Canal Flats, BC on September 26-28, 2018. Just a short three-hour drive from North Point’s campus takes the boys through beautiful scenery in the mountains and a lunch stop in Radium along the way. Our annual retreat for students in grades 4-9 is designed to deepen friendships and provide leadership opportunities while tackling curriculum in an outdoor setting. Special thanks goes to Columbia Outdoor School for their guidance and for accommodating our growing group every year.
On day 1, when the boys arrived they unpacked their gear into cabins and met the camp leaders Naz, Polaris and Shriracha (cool camp names!). The leaders organized team building challenges in the afternoon including low ropes, rope swing, and balance board. It was amazing to see each student step up and take the lead through various struggles.
On day 2, students were able to explore some academic objectives through the various stations at Blue Lake Camp. Perhaps the most impressive was the self sustained hydroelectricity system that the camp relied on. Students followed the water from the lake to the electrical generator, all while exploring how it created power and what conditions were necessary for it to flourish in the various stages.
In other stations, Blue Lake organized two competitive tag games which helped students understand concepts such as biodiversity over time ( and how to plot data for it ) as well as the food chain. Habitat, water stewardship, survival skills, canoeing and fishing were also taught to the boys through experiential learning.
Throughout each day, the boys had free-time where they could go fishing, canoeing and play outside. Everyone got to know Chef “Fozzy” as the boys assisted him with roustabouts, kitchen patrol (dishes), bathroom sanitation and outdoor cleanup three times a day! All the boys were happy to help and learned to appreciate that ‘many hands make light work’.
The weather was mostly good, aside from some rain on day two (the boys were prepared with jackets). That evening, the grade eights and grade nines had the privilege of going to Lussier Hot Springs where natural water temperatures reached as high at 104 fahrenheit! Back at camp, when it got dark outside, the boys listened to some camp fire stories and enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies around the fire.
Overall, North Point School For Boys had a wonderful time at Blue Lake Camp ( even if it was ‘Flu Lake’ for some), where they learned valuable lessons and forged new friendships in their struggles in games and being away from home.