Ocean Kayaking-Deep Cove June 10, 2021

The sea was angry that day…it was a mile high if it was a foot. OK I’m old, and I’m sure that no one actually gets that reference, but I will admit I was a little wary of this final extreme trip as the group stood in the middle of a torrential downpour and received their marching orders for the day. However, Jakob and Caelen, munching on their Uber delivered A&W offerings during this monsoon, knew better. The group put out from Deep Cove under the threat of rain, but as soon as the paddles hit the water the weather sorted itself out, and students spent the day paddling in mostly sunshine. Highlights of this trip included paddling on the shores of giant North Shore mansions, seeing harbour seals following the group, having lunch on a secluded point, and playing the paddle game which only got a little out of control. Students learnt paddling and steering techniques for ocean kayaks, and came to understand the serene experience that is travelling in an ocean kayak. The day concluded with Mr. Rahe finding other uses for the bilge pump and teaching Omran (and several others) that it’s never a good to try to ambush the teacher! Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Paddle boarding-Cultus Lake June 8, 2021

On a day that threatened to be wet and miserable a group of brave Extreme Outdoor Education students loaded up on the bus and headed out to the local treasure that is Cultus Lake. Normally a zoo filled with an excessive number of boats in the summer months, this work day trip saw calm waters and barely any other people out on the water. The weather even cooperated and students spent the trip basking in sunshine, while they learnt paddling techniques and used these to navigate the Lake. Highlights included students attempting to switch stance while paddling (which resulted in an instructor in the water), backflips from boards into the water, and the end of the paddling portion of the trip where participants left out on the water spent more time in the water than on their boards as their balance was sabotaged by their peers. Overall a great day at the Lake, an awesome introduction for many to the sport or paddle boarding, and smiles abounding throughout the group. Kudos to Main Beach Boat Rentals for their awesome job making the day memorable for the class.  Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Grouse Grind and High Ropes-Grouse Mountain June 3, 2021

Another new excursion on the Extreme Outdoor Education calendar this year was this trip to Grouse Mountain to tackle the Grind and complete the high ropes course at the top of the mountain. Successful “grinders” are treated to a panoramic view of the Vancouver skyline, spanning all the way from Coquitlam to the North Shore. This trip was originally booked as a hike coupled with a zip line tour, but Covid delayed the re-opening of the zip lines, and the trip was therefore changed to a hike and completion of the high ropes course at the last minute. However, whatever disappointment students may have had at not being able to complete the zip lines was soon erased as they traversed challenging obstacles and zipped through the tree tops on smaller lines. Highlights included every student making it up Grouse Mountain, the grizzly bear exhibit, snowballs thrown at an unsuspecting teacher (poor guy), and the gondola ride back to the bottom of the mountain. Props go out to these students as when one of the high ropes guides was asked if a lot of groups tackle the Grind and then do high ropes he said he’s never heard of anyone doing it. Clearly, he’s never heard of Mouat Extreme Outdoor Education then!!! Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Windsurfing-Jericho Beach June 1, 2021

The second day at Jericho Beach this year for Mouat Extreme Outdoor Education provided weather conditions that were even better than the first, and that’s saying a lot because the first day was absolutely gorgeous. The hottest day of the year so far greeted students as they donned wet suits and lifejackets, and embarked on an epic windsurfing voyage. Students learnt how to turn their boards using tacking and jibing methods, and how to manipulate their sails in order to steer. Highlights included Sara Pimente Lange showing her natural talent for the sport, and Kentaro Dennis getting up close and personal with his sail. There was even time for some sandcastle building on the beach and some water volleyball.  Looking forward to reading everyone’s blogs, especially as some participants are still feeling the effects of failing to protect themselves from the sun…eek. Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Paintball-Millionaire Paintball May 27, 2021

Cold, rainy, with a threat of thunderstorms-sounds like a great day for paintball! Another large contingent of over 30 extreme outdoor education students camo’d up to take to the paintball fields of Millionaire Paintball. The dreary weather was sharply contrasted with the vivid colours of paint splattered on participants clothing, sometimes leaving a mark on their egos, and sometimes on their bodies (eek…sorry Jess). Ultimately students learnt teamwork skills while at the same time developing strategy which sometimes worked and other times led them into a building where the opponent had laid the perfect trap for them (cough Billo and Hrithik cough). Some left with stains, some left with bruises, but ultimately all left with smiles on their faces, and a deeper appreciation for those who choose to enter combat for our Nation! Oh and Caelan, I could still see you despite the leaves growing on your shoes.  Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Outdoor Rockclimbing-Sumas Bluffs May 26, 2021

On an overcast Wednesday this past week a group of 15 extreme outdoor education students walked through a forest path, located off of a mountain road, and found themselves face to face with a monster!!! OK I may be exaggerating a little, but for the newbie rock climber I have to admit that my first look upward was a little intimidating. Guided by Walden Darwin of Wilderness Adventure Outreach, with the belaying assistance is Mr. Loewen, the students got a first taste of climbing in the great outdoors. Students learnt climbing lingo as they communicated their intentions with their belayer, solved problems on the wall such as where to place their hands and feet to actually get to the top, and conquered their fears and the monster in the process. If you’ve only done indoor climbing you definitely need to sign up for this trip next time; It’s a whole new beast!!! Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Sailing/Canoeing-Jericho Beach May 20, 2021

I remember years ago my wife and I talking about the prospect of living in Vancouver to which I emphatically said there was no chance of that ever happening. However, when you’re cruising around Jericho on a small sailboat or canoe, or sitting on a sandy beach looking out over the beautiful waters, you understand why people pay so much to live in this area. Once again the weather cooperated in making this trip an unforgettable experience, changing rain forecasted a week out to beautiful sunny skies on the day of the trip. Students spent the day learning sailing and canoeing terminology and skills, and then put their lessons to the test in a practical setting on the water. Highlights included Mr. Rahe dumping Mrs. Finch into the water during the sailing portion, the Chinese exchange students spending more time in the water than on their crafts, and an epic game of ball tag while in the canoes-watch out for those sneaky German exchange students whose sneak attacks proved fruitful on multiple occasions. Students were even able to go crabbing in the bay, and while they didn’t take home any keepers, they definitely benefitted from the fishing experience. Any day on the water is good, but being able to spend it with such awesome humans makes it a truly memorable experience. I don’t know about you but I’m in the market for a sailboat!!! “I’m on a boat…” Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Advanced Mountain Biking-Vedder Mountain May 13, 2021

A small but determined group of adventurers decided to spend an afternoon braving the more technical confines of Vedder Mountain downhill mountain biking. With two experienced mountain bikers in Mr. Loewen and Mr. Radons guiding the trip the group traversed down Sunnyside Up, learning how to control their speed and transfer their weight while negotiating uneven terrain. On the second trip up the mountain the group split up based on ability level, with some climbing up the mountain to traverse more difficult terrain, and others staying on the introductory run. Unfortunately an accident cut the trip short and the first aid abilities of the supervisory team had to be put into action. The biggest lesson learnt by all participants was a stark reminder that outdoor education trips always come with a degree of associated risk, and while we do our best to mitigate it, accidents can always happen. In the end our thoughts are with our injured adventurer and we hope that he gets back on the mountain soon! Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Intro to Mountain Biking-Downes Bowl May 5, 2021

Sometimes you need to search far and wide for great outdoor adventures, and other times all you need to do is look down the street. A group of 12 Extreme Outdoor Education biking enthusiasts spent a sunny Wednesday afternoon experiencing mountain biking along Discovery Trail and in Downes Bowls. Students were introduced to the beauty of the Bowl, one of the Abbotsford’s best kept secrets, and gained confidence with mountain biking in preparation for the upcoming trip to Vedder Mountain. Highlights from the trip included Caelen “air mail” Mackenzie and Josh “fear no bump” Stewart flying off the jumps, and the epic search for Karol’s lost glasses (yes they were found). Ms. K even managed to pull off a sweet end over end roll, though the landing may have landed her in the shrubs initially, and then in the doctor’s office later (yikes). Mr. Rahe even managed to get in on the fun and coined a new move called “front tire air” which roughly translates to “old guy who is too chicken to take a jump with any real speed”! Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.

Biking the Vedder Loop-Chilliwack April 29, 2021

A new trip on Extreme Outdoor Education schedule saw students participate in a 22km bike ride along the Vedder Rotary Trail in Chilliwack. Trip participants were greeted by the beautiful views of the river, and the diverse ecosystem of the surrounding area. Students learnt about basic bike safety and usage, as well as large group management and communication on the trail. Highlights included Josh’s several wheelies, skipping rocks on the river, food trucks, and Jimmy’s choice of bicycles. All said students saw and experienced first hand what makes this trail system so popular, while learning how to ride as well and absorbing some Chilliwack history in the process. Special thanks to Mr. Radons and Mr. Loewen for lending their expertise on this trip. Outdoor Education students please leave a 100 word blog response below.