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Outdoor Education at UA Lions go Skating, and Skiing, and Tubing – Oh My!

February 17, 2022

When the world gets in the way of large group activities inside, it’s time to go outside! That’s what Urban Academy did this winter with Outdoor Education. UA’s Student Life team led the school in hosting UA’s first Winter Activity Day this past January 28th, followed by UA’s Senior Students spending the day on their Squamish snowshoe and tubing outdoor education trip in early February.

Winter activity day is all about a day of exciting, challenging winter fun. It was a full itinerary across the grades with different activities. There was snowshoeing, skiing, skating, nature walks, and snowboarding around the Lower Mainland – and to keep it interesting even a little bit of parkour! Locations ranged from Moody Park to Mount Seymour, and places all around the UA community that can make for an outdoor playground.

Ms. McBride designed the event so that each activity would be something exciting but challenging, and have room for students to grow. “I’m always surprised at how resilient our students are. They’ll try new things and be so brave at trying something unfamiliar; they’re so great at adapting to situations and not backing down when something is difficult for them,” said Ms. McBride, one of the co-leads of the Student Life team alongside our student Lion Leaders, Mr. Twaites, Mr. MacKay, and Mrs. Hibberd. Building resiliency as well as growing their confidence in themselves to try new things “that’s something that I’m proud of.”

The senior trip, though originally intended to be a multi-night trip to Manning Park, which was interfered with by the pesky pandemic, was quickly turned into a day trip to Squamish. Surrounded by fresh snow, our Grades 9-12 students took a day trip up the Sea-to-Sky gondola. After a morning of snowshoeing in the winter wonderland, they spent an afternoon – teachers included- tubing down one of the steepest and longest tube runs in BC.

“[Grades] 3-12 is an outdoor ed continuum where students are able to grow and build on skills when introduced to something new and different year after year,” said Mr. Twaites, who is the planning force behind the camp experience program. As they get older, they work towards larger and longer Grades 9-12 trips, where students apply all of their years of skills to a final outing. There have been many trips over the years, but no matter the destination, it acts as a pinnacle of their achievements, and everyone (teachers and students included) is so ready to be able to add these trips and experiences back into the regular UA calendar!

The lessons learned from the outdoors are endless, and Urban Academy is proud to have students take risks, learn new skills and take pride in their achievements. It’s a big, beautiful world; time to get out and see it up close!

📸: Mr. Leclair

Posted on: February 17, 2022