Coquihalla Elementary is recognizing 49 of their grade six students for taking part in the Hope-Nicola hike on Wednesday (Oct. 26).
Part of the Fraser-Cascade Mountain School, the event was organized as part of the school’s initiative to teach students trail etiquette, become more invested in land stewardship, and learn about the local history of the area — all while getting to spend time outside.
“The kids loved it,” says Bruce Becker, the principal of Coquihalla Elementary. “They’re hanging out and chatting and noticing things. I heard some kids say that this was really hard but they were able to accomplish it. So they’re learning perseverance…[and] they’re having fun. There was lots of kids laughing. And there was lots of energy which is good to see.”
Part of their students’ lives for more than 25 years, the Mountain School is an outdoor experience program run by School District 78 and supported, financially, by the Skagit Environment Endowment Commission and the Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning. Through it, students from grades six to 12 are able to learn and explore places like Skagit Valley, the Fraser Canyon, and Harrison Lake (to name a few) while participating in many outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, climbing, and snowshoeing.
“It’s a great program,” says Becker. “And we have so many opportunities [to go outside] where we live. We go up to Manning Park and the Coquihalla trail. [And] we’re not that far from the main trails.”
To learn more about the program, you can check out the Mountain School’s website at sd78.bc.ca/programs/outdoor-education.