Outdoor Education

Senior School Programs

Grade 8

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  • Trip Overview

    The Grade 8s participate in a Community Building Camp in September to begin bonding with their advisors and peers as they settle into the Senior School. Later in the spring, they do their first overnight camping trip. During a 2-day program, they learn how to sleep in tents, cook over a stove and paddle and hike. It's a great start to their senior school outdoor education experience!

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  • Grade 9

    The Grade 9s continue their Outdoor Education experience with a 4-day expedition where they will either kayak, canoe or hike in southwest British Columbia. Students focus on learning outdoor skills, getting to know themselves and each other through trips. All programs include a training day on campus before their trip. 

Grade 10

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  • Trip Overview

    As the culminating outdoor experience for students at St. George's School, the Grade 10 Sea to Sky program involves groups of ten to twelve students undertaking expeditions in May. Students choose between sea kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, and rock climbing trips. For many students, this week is an exciting and challenging opportunity - a highlight of their school career.
  • Trip Dates

    Week 1
    Training: Monday, May 9, 2022
    Trip: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 to Friday, May 13, 2022
    Week 2
    Training: Monday, May 16, 2022
    Trip: Tuesday, May 17, 2022 to  Friday, May 20, 2022

Contact Us

If you have additional questions, please contact the Outdoor Education department at outdoored@stgeorges.bc.ca

Discovery 10

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  • Program Overview

    The Discovery Program is designed to be a life-changing experience for Grade 10 students. The program is a year-long outdoor education cohort of up to 20 students who extend their learning by undertaking challenging outdoor pursuits over the course of their Grade 10 year. Removing students from the distractions of our modern urban existence and engaging them in hands-on opportunities allows them to extend their learning and develop a deeper understanding of classroom concepts and of themselves. Through a wide range of activities, the program challenges boys in body, mind, and spirit to become positive, contributing members of society.

    The following video includes information about the program, images of trips and activities and interviews with students who have previously participated in the Discovery Program.

    Students in the Discovery Program participate fully in all aspects of the regular Grade 10 curriculum with an additional focus on:
    • developing leadership
    • improving time management
    • understanding risk and decision making
    • developing a personal environmental and social ethic
    • connecting classroom learning with local field trips
    • enhancing outdoor skills through wilderness experiences

How It Works

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  • Program Structure

    The Discovery Program breaks away from the traditional high school setting by bringing together a group of up to 20 students to form a cohort for their Grade 10 year. Because of this structure, the class can take part in approximately 50 days of fieldwork over the course of the year while still completing all aspects of the grade 10 curriculum. The students take English 10, Science 10, Social Studies 10, PE 10 and the Discovery 10 class (an elective block) together. Students take Math 10 (Provincial or Honours), one language credit and an elective with the rest of the grade 10 students at the school (not as part of the cohort). The flexible timetable options provided by the cohort system allows the scheduling of catch-up blocks and tutorials in order to cover material missed in students’ math and language courses.

    Careful time management and planning allows Discovery students to gain the benefits of this unique learning environment while maintaining a strong academic standing. Our students also continue to be a part of school life and many are involved in competitive sports, theatre, music and leadership opportunities.
  • Objectives

    The Discovery program offers a unique opportunity for students to develop a range of lifelong skills. All of the areas of focus of outdoor education are covered through a wide range of school-based and out-trip activities:

    Personal and Interpersonal Skills
    • demonstrate responsibility and respect for themselves, others and their surroundings;
    • extend their personal boundaries by making good decisions in challenging themselves;
    • reflect upon their experiences and identify personal strengths and weaknesses;
    • be an effective member of a group (active listening and communication, cooperation/followship, initiative);
    • develop their leadership skills and personal leadership style.

    Environmental and Social Responsibility
    • empathize with the needs of others and other species;
    • gain an appreciation for the cultures and places they visit;
    • appreciate the value of others and demonstrate social responsibility by making decisions accordingly;
    • develop their ecological literacy by studying natural systems and how humans interact with the environment from social, cultural, economic and political perspectives;
    • define their personal environmental ethic and take action in their own lives to support their position as a steward;

    Academic Integration
    • learn academic concepts through the use of direct experience;
    • connect their experiences in the field with learning in the classroom;
    • view issues and concepts from a variety of perspectives.

    Outdoor Skills
    • experience and develop lifelong interests in a variety of self-propelled outdoor activities;
    • learn specific practices that emphasize proficiency and maximize safety;
    • develop the skills required to assess risk and make responsible and prudent decisions for themselves and the group;
    • demonstrate low-impact outdoor skills.

    Discovery offers the opportunity to learn:
    • Trip planning
    • Wilderness cooking
    • Health and hygiene
    • Leave No Trace (LNT) camping skills
    • Hiking
    • Canoeing
    • Sea kayaking
    • Navigation
    • Top-rope rock climbing
    • Avalanche awareness
    • Winter camping
    • Cross-country skiing
    • Snowshoeing, backcountry skiing or snowboarding
    • Expedition leadership


List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • What will be the impact on my son's academic performance?

    We find that most students maintain similar marks to what they were achieving in Grade 9. Grade 10 is a more challenging workload so some students will struggle to maintain their standard regardless of whether or not they take Discovery. The increased self-confidence, organizational skills, and motivation from Discovery often result in improved performance in Grades 11 and 12.
  • Will my son be able to participate in competitive sports?

    Yes, students have participated in all sports at even the senior level during Discovery. Students should, however, be prepared to miss some practices and games. Please speak with respective coaches to discuss any implications. We recommend that students not participate in more than one competitive sport per term while in Discovery.
  • Will my son still be able to participate in other aspects of school life?

    Yes, we encourage students to stay involved with music, drama, the arts, clubs, and other aspects of the school. Discovery students are also expected to make a strong commitment to the Hamper Drive, the Fair, Arts Week, and other major initiatives.
  • Does my son require previous outdoor experience?

    While it is helpful to have past experience, we teach all skills starting with the most basic. Students with more advanced skills are encouraged to help teach their peers. We are more interested in a demonstrated positive attitude towards the outdoors than existing skills.
  • What equipment is required?

    Students are required to provide the following items:
    • warm non-cotton outdoor clothing
    • good rain gear (jacket and pants)
    • solid hiking boots
    • warm sleeping bag and pad
    • 70 - 80-litre backpack
    The school provides most of the group equipment (tents, stoves, etc.) and activity-specific equipment (PFDs, paddles, snowshoes) required for the activities undertaken. A small number of optional activities may require students to borrow or rent additional equipment (for example backcountry ski touring equipment. More specific details regarding equipment are included in the Discovery Handbook.


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  • Leadership

    The Outdoor Education department encourages students in grades 10–12 to become involved in the various grade programs offered throughout the year. Dates are added to the list below as they become available.  For information on volunteering for these events, please visit the Outdoor Education office in room 218A.


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  • Student Leadership at Camps

    We run day programs and residential programs for grades 1 to 8. This is an excellent opportunity for student leadership and mentoring of younger students. Information on available opportunities can be found in the Leadership section above.
  • Harker Hall Weekend Activities

    Harker Hall runs a number of excellent weekend outings, including some outdoor trips. 
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