Advanced Mountain Biking-Sumas Mountain June 21, 2022

The last trip of the Outdoor Education calendar saw a group of small but determined students head out to Sumas Mountain for an afternoon ride on Squid Line. This trip was rescheduled from the previous Thursday due to a poor weather forecast (which ended up being glorious sunshine much to Mr. Rahe’s chagrin). The new trip saw questionable weather conditions in the form of light rain, but that did not serve to dampen the mood of the participants. The trip started in interesting fashion as Mr. Rahe broke his chain before the group had hardly left the parking lot. This resulted in a bike shuffle and unfortunately an end to the trip for Mrs. Wiebe who graciously sacrificed her spot on the trip to allow Mr. Rahe to punish himself on the mountain. After a strenuous 4km+ climb (for the novice bikers in the group) the plan to tackle Squid Line was brought to fruition. While this trail is easy by the standards of people who mountain bike regularly, it did present some challenges in the form of drops and technical turns. While Liam and Evan displayed their quality throughout the trip, bombing down the trails and gapping jumps, Mr. Rahe and Kentaro got the full experience and safely (for the most part) navigated their way down the mountain. Big thank you to Greg from the FVMBA and Mr. Wiebe who taught us some tricks and kept us safe on the mountain!  Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Intro to Mountain Biking-Chilliwack Community Forest June 15, 2022

A small group of participants decided to brave the inclement weather and travel out to the Chilliwack Community Forest. Led by Mr. Loewen, the program’s resident mountain biking expert, students learnt to navigate the green trails safely in less than ideal weather conditions. They also learnt about the origins of the Community Forest, and about how it is a rare find in terms of being supportive to users from different disciplines. While the weather wasn’t ideal trip participants still managed to challenge themselves on the green and blue rated trails which required physical and mental exertion. At the end of the trip students were all wearing a badge of muddy honour and while many were surprised at the level of physical exertion needed to mountain bike, they also were glad to have tried something new. This courage was rewarded when at the end of the trip Mr. Rahe treated his carload to a round of JBCs because we all deserved it! Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Paddleboarding-Cultus Lake June 14, 2022

When one thinks of paddleboarding they envision calm waters and sunny skies. With this trip taking place in the evening hours participants were treated to calm waters, but unfortunately this crazy June weather we have had once again did not cooperate by providing any sunshine. However, while even Mr. Rahe was worried at the outset of this trip about temperatures those concerns proved to be unfounded as participants were quite comfortable throughout the trip (even those who may have fallen in to water accidentally/on purpose/while being pushed). The trip participants definitely got the vibe of paddleboarding as they cruised the waters of Cultus Lake and found that even though it is not physically demanding, it can nevertheless be a great boost for your mental wellness as it provides an opportunity to connect with nature free from distractions. I enjoyed sharing the lake with each one of you! Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Sailing and Canoeing-Jericho Beach June 9, 2022

To say that this year of outdoor education has been unpredictable would be a major understatement. From floods to Covid, from snow weeks to crazy mild weather, this year has certainly had it all. This trip to Jericho Beach was no exception as a lack of district bussing availability threatened to derail what is arguably one of the most memorable trips on the Outdoor Education calendar. However, thanks to several parent volunteers stepping up this trip was able to go ahead and the trip filled up with many keen participants. However, true to form for this year a mild Spring climate resulted in a rainy day on the beach. Though this didn’t stop students from making the best of a less than ideal situation as they found enjoyment in the water during their sailing and canoeing. Highlights of the trip included Kayden and Brandon dumping their canoe, and students braving the cold Jericho waters for a little bit of swimming. Usually this trip does have great weather so I guess you can’t win them all! Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Grouse Grind Hike and High Ropes June 2, 2022

This trip represented a first for program as students were given a choice of what trip option they wanted to attend. For the second time in as many years students set out to tackle the Grind and then brave the ziplines at the top of the mountain. However, for the second straight year the ziplines were not ready in time which meant that students were left with completing the high ropes course instead. What seemed like initial disappointment turned to smiles as students spent their afternoon flying through the treetops and tackling and overcoming challenging obstacles. Highlights of the trip included students overcoming their mental and physical barriers to conquer the Grind and make it to the top of Grouse Mountain. Mr. Rahe even learnt a new lesson that it is important to remind students not to bring their school binders and textbooks with them while trying to tackle such an imposing hike-trust me carrying two backpacks up the mountain is not an enjoyable experience! Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Biking the Vedder Loop May 31, 2022

Biking the Vedder Loop is the one of the only trips on the Outdoor Education calendar that the district does not consider to be high risk. However, the extreme aspect is definitely present as novice bikers tackle the 20km+ Vedder Rotary trail. This trip saw 20 riders develop their biking skills on either bikes they brought from home, or those they borrowed from the program. A special thanks to the Abby PD who have donated some bikes to us, and an even bigger thanks to Caelen and Heath Mackenzie of Cranky’s bike shop in Aldergrove who have brought these bikes back to life. The result was a memorable day biking around the Vedder River and Canal in pristine Spring weather. Students were treated to wonderful views of local wildlife, and were able to eat dinner served up by Food trucks at the Vedder Crossing. Riding in the beautiful Spring evening students even learnt why it is important to ground one’s self while riding under high voltage power lines-some were in for a shocking surprise if they didn’t. Altogether students came to understand the natural beauty that Chilliwack has to offer, and the benefits that good civic planning can have in making a beautiful space quite functional as well. Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Hiking, Caving, and River Rafting-Chilliwack River Rafting May 18, 2022

The resurgence of major extreme outdoor education trips lost to Covid continued with this overnight hiking, caving, and rafting trip. The trip started with participants hiking the popular Lindemann Lake trail. Everyone made it to the top and were greeted by strong winds blowing over the exposed ridge which resulted in the group heading back down in an expedient manner. Participants then returned to the resort where they cooked their dinners on camping burners, played group games together around the campfire, and camped in tents for the night. While the weather report suggested poor conditions these never materialized and the night was spent in relative calm. On day 2 students, after eating breakfast and breaking camp, travelled to Chipmunk Caves where they challenged themselves mentally and physically in the tight passages. Many brave adventurers chose to tackle the imposing cave 3 and came out with a sense of accomplishment and smiles on their faces.  After lunch at the resort students geared up and headed out in 8 person rafts for a rafting excursion. The water level was ideal and the new features exposed by the Fall flooding made for an epic trip with big hits and many smiling faces. Highlights included the trek to the waterfall, and the numerous big features that the rafts navigated through the river. As someone who has now participated on numerous rafting trips with the program I think that the best rafting trip yet! Shoutout to the awesome guides of Chilliwack River Rafting for using their expertise to keep this group safe. What a great group of adventurers to share this experience with-I won’t forget this trip any time soon! Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Fishing-Fraser Valley Fish Hatchery May 11, 2022

Another trip that went away due to Covid returned in the form of this fishing trip to the Fraser Valley Fish Hatchery. On this trip students learnt about fish identification, setting up a rod and lure, casting, safe fish handling and sustainability practices. They then descended on the trout ponds at the hatchery and put their angling skills to the test. While some were more successful than others-Atticus is a beast but perhaps also a cheater (not my words) :)-true to Mr. Rahe’s guarantee everyone came away with a catch. Highlights included the numerous first time anglers getting exposure to this addicting sport, and Ella Bohn finding out that she must have fisherman DNA as the fish wouldn’t stop attacking her bait. While Daven “no sleeves” Pemble scared the fish away with his intimidating biceps, even he and Mr. Rahe weren’t shut out of the action. At the end of the trip students were treated to a fish cleaning demonstration so they know how to process the future fish they catch for eating, and lucky Crystal Rinke was allowed to bring the cleaned fish home for dinner. Overall, a good weather day in the midst of an otherwise dreary week and a memorable trip for all those who attended! Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

Paintball-Millionaire Paintball April 19 & 27, 2021

The first paintball trip of 2022 saw students travel to Millionaire Paintball in Abbotsford under the threat of unpleasant weather conditions. However, when the over 40 students arrived at the field they found ideal weather conditions for paintball and boy did they let the paint fly! Highlights of the trip were definitely the multiple smoke grenades that provided cover to the combatants as they stealthily moved up the field. Some students hid behind barriers, some crawled through the mud, and some aggressively pushed their way through the colourful onslaught as they advanced. At the end of the day while some left with bruises and others with welts, everyone definitely left the field with a smile on their face! A reminder to Mathis to always know who you’re shooting because no one likes friendly fire, and to Atticus that if you see someone out for a casual stroll on the paintball field it’s best to shoot them just in case…

The second paintball trip of the second semester was rescheduled due to low trip sign ups. This proved to be an excellent decision as the new trip date maxed out at 56 students, making it the biggest outdoor education trip of Mr. Rahe’s career. The large number of participants made for excitement on the field as paint was flying in all directions as players stealthily maneuvered themselves up and down the field. Highlights included several first time paintballers getting their feet wet in this new sport, and the seasoned grizzled veterans showing their prowess with new targets to fire upon. In the end there was lots of splatters, many smiles, and a new found love for paintball. I’m sure many people are already counting the days until the next paintball trip! Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Skills Night-Chilliwack River Valley April 14-15, 2022

For the first time since the onset of covid overnight trips finally returned to the Outdoor Education calendar in the form of the Skills Night campout. Given the busy holiday weekend this trip took place at a new location of Tamihi Meadows Campground. Students learnt how to set up a tent, cook on a camp burner, and the importance of packing efficiently. The night was spent skipping rocks on the river and enjoying a campfire both on the riverbanks and back at camp. And yes, just to clarify for the international students, Mr. Rahe does cook his oatmeal before he eats it. Lots of smiles and memories at the end of this one and excitement for the upcoming multi day backpacking trip! Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.