Being as how we defined ourselves as an outdoor experiential program, we found it to be a natural fit to include a wilderness camping experience as part of the program. It in fact became one of peak moments of each semester for most of the students. It was easy to integrate content from all of the courses in preparation for the six day trips that we planned for late in the semester. r. In the early years, we only ran the program in the second semester, and so we did a backpacking trip usually in the beginning of May. It had to happen early in May because the overnight Earthkeepers programs were scheduled for late May and early June. That eventually evolved. We had originally done are trips at the spectacular Killarney Provincial park near Sudbury Ontario but evolved ultimately to doing canoe trips to Algonquin park. We also began doing the trips after the kids days to make the trip more like a celebration of the semester.
Of course once we were running programs both semesters, we had to plan winter trips for the first semester students. We began going to camp settings in a north Ontario camp where we could stay in cabins and then snowshoe or cross country ski, then have a day of Quincy hut building out of snow and then staying overnight in them. We even organized a dogsled overnight experience for a couple of semesters.
Whichever trip it was, we always used experienced people for supervision on the trips and it was always inspiring to see the students utilizing the community and leadership skills they had been developing throughout the semester. Along with the basic wilderness skills they were learning such as first aid, trip planning, canoeing and navigation. For most of these trips cell phones were not yet developed and We always felt fortunate to not have experienced any serious emergency requiring immediate communication.