Students in the Grade 11 Healthy Living and Outdoor Activitiesclass took part in their third and final outdoor trip adventure from May 5-8 along the Bruce Peninsula.
The group of 10 explorers (eight students accompanied by Mr. MacMillan and Ms. Fransen) hiked their most challenging terrain for a total distance of 24.2 kms over the four days. They were greeted with blue sky and sun for the majority of their trip, a far cry from the cold and rain they endured as they paddled the waters of Temagami last October, and -20 degree temperatures hiking through deep snow-covered trails in Killarney in February.
The student hikers were responsible for planning the meals, disseminating packing lists (clothing, food, camping gear and first aid) and organizing the itinerary for this trip while their teacher, Mr. MacMillan was there to offer guidance and support, as well as occasional reminders of the safety and risk management variety.
Another key component was to write in a journal all four days about their experiences. Some wrote about what they did and learned, for example what they made for dinner or how to read the blazes, or trail markers that help hikers follow a given path. While others wrote about their thoughts.
Ryan Bannerman wrote, “My mind goes into a weird state when walking for days staring at the beautiful nature and rock formations along the Bruce Trail.”
My drift into a subconscious flow while walking along the Stormhaven Trail, as my mind was left empty of thought and free as the waves that crashed time and time again into the shoreline of the grotto,” wrote Siavash Robb.
It was unanimous among the group that these trips strengthen your brains’ immune systems, thereby allowing the mind to handle stress better. Just being out in nature, away from technology and phones, and taking in the beauty around them was invigorating for all involved.
For Mr. MacMillan, arriving at the pinnacle of Stonehaven was the greatest moment of all. “Looking out over the magnificent Georgian Bay with this group of students who have grown so much over the past year, was something I won’t soon forget.”