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The TREK Program

1004650-R1-E002.

Originally appears in the Spring 2008 issue

It is early September and 12 TREK students have just reached the summit of Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park in southwest British Columbia. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, this summit is physically and mentally the high point of their seven-day backpacking trip. As they gaze out over the impressive landscape, one of their teachers describes what they see before them: glaciated peaks, dormant volcanoes, ancient lava flows and old growth forest. It is a lesson in natural history and appreciation. Before leaving the summit they will have time to write in their journals and participate in a group trust activity. During the same trip, the students will practice yoga on the beach, swim in chilly waters, watch black bears graze on autumn berries, play “sardines” at nightfall and wake up to fresh snow on the ground. They will be responsible for navigating during the day, setting up their own tents and cooking their meals in small groups. This is one of four multi-day wilderness trips in which the students will participate during their TREK year, and it is a formative experience for them. They return home with stories and pictures to share with their families and friends, and memories to last them for years to come.

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Antony Blaikie lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, and works as a wilderness instructor and sustainability educator. He is currently enrolled at Simon Fraser University in the teacher certification program and hopes to work within the public school system to incorporate social change and sustainability into the secondary school level.

For further information about the TREK Outdoor Education Program, contact: TREK Program, Prince of Wales Secondary School, 2250 Eddington Drive, Vancouver, BC V6L 2E7, (604) 713-8974, ext. TREK office, or visit <http://pw.vsb.bc.ca/programs/TREK.htm>.