Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Near St. Francis, AB
Interest: Trees, Photography, education
At St. John's the new students would arrive on Labour day. We would outfit them with what they needed, and what we knew worked, and by early Tuesday afternoon we would be on the Cline, or going up Pope Thoreau pass. We would be out there for a week.
Part of the purpose of this trip was to teach that "I can't" doesn't mean much. And is replaced with "I did!"
Part of the purpose was so that staff could see what made kids tick. About 3 days in the masks start to drop. Really hard to be 'cool' going up Job Pass with 1/3 of your weight on your back.
Part of the purpose was so kids would get to know each other. Many said, "I knew my classmates better after 1 week in the mountains than I did at the end of the year.
After Christmas we had weekly team based shoeshoe runs. 5-8 boys and a staff member, senior boy, or alumni would set on treks of gradually increasing distance. For the senior division (grades 10-12) these started at 17 miles, and went up about 5 miles a week, culminating in a 50 mile (80 km) team race. The winning time was usually about 14 hours. Periodically on the route there would be food -- honey sandwiches, oranges, stew, hot chocolate. A full season was 8 runs.
In June we spread out over western Canada doing canoe trips. Canoe trips were 18 to 30 days long, and retraced most of the fur trade routes and paths of the Canadian Geological Survey.
I have done:
* Most of the Churchill
* Clearwater (tributary to Athabasca)
* Red Deer
* South Saskatchewan
* Sturgeon Weir
And a raft of tiny connecting streams.
Alas, the school is no longer in operation.
I miss those trips.