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Camp David Reimagined: Sea to Sky Adventure Days

Middle School
Middle School students in canoes
Belonging is a powerful force that bridges divides, fosters connection, helps build community and friendship, and is a key developmental stage in the significant growth and change that adolescents experience throughout their Middle School years. I firmly believe that the outdoors provides a perfect setting to bring our students together to nurture this sense of acceptance and inclusion.

To close out the final week of September, Middle School students, faculty and staff set out on “Sea to Sky” Adventure Days that took them from the waters of Esquimalt Lagoon to the treetops of Wildplay Victoria with the goals of building community, connection and friendship as well as overcoming challenges and enjoying the spectacular outdoor environment of Vancouver Island.

Our amazing Director of Outdoor Education, Mr. Clayton Webb, had the school’s big canoes ready to go at the lagoon when the buses arrived. PFDs and paddles were distributed, some safety procedures and protocols were reviewed, and we loaded into the canoes to adventure around the lagoon.

  • Grade 7s learned to manoeuver these big watercraft alongside their teachers and enjoyed spectacular views of the Olympic mountains and Hatley Castle while facing off in fun races and challenges set by the skilled guides in the stern.
  • Our grade 8 students participated in the Middle School Adventure Day Cup, with a trophy unearthed after many years in storage as the prize. Homeforms battled through a variety of challenges on the water and on land, while a beach cleanup added an environmental sustainability aspect to the contest. In the end, Grade 8BP emerged victorious.
  • Our Grade 6 students were fortunate to be able to head out onto the waters of the Pacific Ocean under sunny skies and paddled to the lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill where they spent some “shore-leave” time exploring this historic site.
The second half of our Adventure Days was led by Ms. Kate Pagett, high in the trees of Colwood at Wildplay. Harnesses, helmets, carabiners and other safety equipment were donned and checked by the guides and the courses and elements were previewed. Students, alongside their teachers, then had the opportunity to challenge themselves with two of the courses on offer featuring a ladder climb, tightropes, cargo nets, ziplines, rope swings, swinging logs, wobbly bridges and more. It was fantastic to see students cheering each other on and psyching themselves up to overcome fears together, and bright smiles were visible to the cheer squad on the ground below.

Our Adventure Days were a fantastic way to close out the first month of school as we continue to build an environment of belonging. As we continue to reimagine Camp David this year, stay tuned for updates coming soon about upcoming overnight experiences that will further help us build community and connection, and develop independence, responsibility and confidence in our amazing Middle School students.