Shawnigan's Amazing Race

Grade 9s got their first introduction to Shawnigan’s fundamental Beyond the Gates program this week through our own version of the Amazing Race.
Beyond the Gates is an initiative that takes the Shawnigan Journey off campus and into the rugged woods and bounteous waters of Vancouver Island, helping to connect the classroom curriculum with the real world and giving the students unique shared experiences. For this exercise, students remained on campus, but the skills they learned will certainly prove useful when they do exit the school grounds.
All Grade 9s were pulled from their C block classes on Monday and asked to meet in the Chapel wearing their House colours. Following a brief presentation about the program from Beyond the Gates coordinator Mr. Galen Loiselle, outdoor education teachers Ms. Jessica Dick and Mr. Kyle Leis talked to the students about the upcoming backcountry expeditions: every Grade 9 student will take part, choosing between sea kayaking in the Gulf Islands and hiking the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.
For the Amazing Race, Grade 9s were divided into 19 teams of four or five students each, mostly grouped by brother and sister Houses, then dashed through five different stations: a water challenge at the docks, setting up tents at the basketball courts, deciphering puzzles in the library, orienteering all over campus, and a stretcher carry in the Kaye Gardens.
Most groups seemed to work well together, Mr. Loiselle commented, although some need a reminder not to leave the slower members of the team behind.
The Grade 9s will get to put their skills to the test when the Beyond the Gates trips take place on the weekends of September 22-24 and October 29-1.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.