Student Life

Outdoor Education

Facilitating students’ connection to British Columbia’s outdoors
The Outdoor Education experience is an integral part of the learning process at York House. With a long tradition of facilitating students’ connection to British Columbia’s outdoors, our goal is to promote our community’s comfort in, and understanding of, the natural environment.
Throughout their time at York House, students participate in a variety of experiences ranging from day-trips to the woods to multi-day excursions in BC’s wilderness at the high school level. Each excursion integrates curricular goals across subjects and fosters emotional and social learning and life-skills.

Our commitment at YHS is to cultivate students’ confidence and skills in a progressive way over time. In the primary grades, students begin their journey by undertaking day trips to local forests and beaches. In Grade 3, students experience their first overnight YHS excursion. From Grades 4 to 7, students participate in multi-day outdoor education trips to some of the province’s most renowned outdoor education camps such as Sea to Sky Outdoor School, Camp Summit, the Cheakamus Centre, and Camp Stillwood. Through a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, canoeing, sailing, biking, camping, and environmental studies, students learn and develop self-reliance, teamwork, leadership, and responsibility.

In Grades 8 through 10, students embark on week-long excursions into British Columbia’s pristine wilderness in locations such as Manning, Golden Ears, and Garibaldi Provincial Parks. By Grade 10, students have developed the skills to plan and execute a multi-day outdoor excursion including meal planning, tent-set-up, and so much more. Interested students from Grades 9 and 10 may pursue their passion for the outdoors as well as fulfill Duke of Edinburgh International Award requirements. Interested Grade 11 and 12 students may fulfill Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award requirements with a team-formulated trip under the guidance of the YHS Outdoor Education Coordinator.

Duke of Edinburgh International Award Program

York House School encourages student participation in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Program that promotes personal development, leadership, and community involvement. Developed in the United Kingdom in 1956, the program now involves young people ages 14-24 in 140 countries to engage in balanced, voluntary self-development activities. For more information, visit dukeofed.org or www.dofe.org.
 
Students may join the program at any time, once they are 14 years old. The aim is for students to discover hidden talents or develop passions, leadership potential, and play a role in the community. In fulfillment of an award at the bronze, silver, or gold levels, students complete a designated number of weeks of activities of personal interest in the following areas:
 
  • Personal skill development
  • Physical fitness
  • Community volunteering
  • Adventurous Journey: Trips taken with our Outdoor Education program qualify.
  • Residential project (Gold level only): YHS international excursions may qualify.
At YHS we encourage involvement in this program and provide support for students. If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact Kara McDonald, Global Programs Coordinator, at kmcdonald@yorkhouse.ca.