Expedition Education Update…
The program moving forward
For nineteen years, Expedition Education has offered our students the opportunity to explore the furthest reaches of our continent. During this time, we’ve travelled with over 120 of our students for tens of thousands of kilometers … exploring Canada from coast to coast.
These adventures in learning, primarily by motorhome, have taken us from remote outports in coastal Newfoundland to the rugged beaches of Vancouver Island and through the vast boreal forest, Canadian Shield, rolling prairie and Rocky Mountains in between. Over the years, we’re travelled north of the Arctic Circle to the spectacular glaciers, mountains and river valleys of the Yukon’s Land Of The Midnight Sun … as well as to the most southern wilderness areas of the continental U.S. … exploring the beautiful and bountiful Everglades and crystal clear waters of the Florida Keys.
The last three years of Expedition Education saw our journeys focus on the Great Lakes watershed. These GL5 (Great Lakes Five) journeys were amazing trips around the incredibly diverse and beautiful coastlines of all five of the Great Lakes, culminating last June in an unforgettable two-week journey around the coast of the world’s greatest inland sea, Lake Superior. Several of our students had the unique opportunity to explore the entire Great Lakes watershed by participating in all three trips … some 8500 km of travel highlighting the spectacular geography, history and ecology of North America’s most important source of fresh water. These yound people are likely the only students to have ever completed such a journey and in the spirit of this great adventure, we’re pleased to announce our plans for the next three years of Expedition Education!
Our next Expedition Education journey will be the first leg of a remarkable three-year, coast to coast Canadian adventure.
Expedition Education 2014-15 will visit the Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia/Cape Breton, New Brunswick and Price Edward Island). This itinerary will include exploring the spectacular Fortress of Louisbourg, The Alexander Graham Bell Museum and estate in Baddeck, the stunning vistas of the Cabot Trail, historic Halifax, the remarkable Bay Of Fundy, home of the world’s highest tides, the beautiful farms and beaches of PEI, home of Anne of Green Gables and Charlottetown, birthplace of Confederation.
Expedition Education 2015-16 will feature a train journey from Toronto, north of Lake Superior to Winnepeg where we will begin a motorhome journey across the prairies to the Rockies, culminating in an in depth exploration of the fascinating geology and natural history of world renowned Banff and Jasper National Parks. Featuring numerous natural wonders and Unesco World Heritage sites, this itinerary is a world-class exploration of some of Canada’s most diverse and rugged terrain.
Expedition Education 2016-17, will begin with a flight to Calgary to continue where we left off the year before on our coast to coast adventure. A Rocky Mountaineer train journey from Calgary to Vancouver (one of the world’s top rated rail excursions) will take us to the Pacific coast.
There we will explore Vancouver and travel by motorhome to Vancouver Island, exploring Victoria, the island’s stands of giant old growth forest and endless expanses of spectacular beach near Tofino. Whale watching, visits to first nation interpretive centres, amazing galleries and museums and glorious sunsets along Canada’s Sunshine Coast will mark the culmination of an amazing three year Trans-Canada adventure.
Like our GL5 journey around the Great Lakes, this opportunity for our Grades 6-8 students will allow a number of them to see the entire country in a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary journey. Truly, a once in a lifetime chance to explore Canada with their friends on a level not available to any other students.
This marks the third time we have embarked on such an ambitious cross Canada Expedition Education schedule and we look forward to the approach of our twentieth anniversary of the program. In so doing, we will continue to offer the finest model of experiential education available to elementary students anywhere in Canada!
Expedition Education 2017-18: This year we put an exclamation mark on a four year discovery of our country from coast to coast by visiting Newfoundland. Upon landing in St. John’s we immediately felt the legendary hospitality that the ‘The Rock’ is known for. Our local hosts, the Clarke’s provided a picturesque cottage to use as home base, which was a short drive from St John’s. Not so welcoming was the high winds and snow on the ground on our second morning, but as West Wind students do they made the best of a cold situation with a brisk ‘polar bear dip’. The start of our expedition was full of day trips to historic towns and local attractions such as Salmonier Nature Reserve, Brigus, Port de Graves, and Bay Roberts. Highlights of the trip include many home cooked seafood dinners, whale and puffin watching, and last but not least being on the National broadcast of the Stanley Cup Finals for our sighting of a larger than life iceberg in the shape of a hockey glove. Our longer journeys took us to us to Bonavista, the landing place of John Cabot’s voyages, and hiking the beautiful coastal Skerwink trail. Back in St John’s we investigated classic sights such as Signal Hill, Mile 0 of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope, and Cape Spear. Our trip ended with the way any trip to Newfoundland should, by experiencing traditional Newfoundland culture at Woody Island. Two days full of beach explorations, mummers and ugly sticks, endless fresh homemade bread and pea soup, and traditional Newfoundland folk singing. It is fair to say that Newfoundland will forever hold a special place in the hearts of all who experienced it on this expedition education adventure.