A core piece of Shawnigan’s experiential learning program, EDGE (Engagement, Development, Gratitude and Experience) has been taking Shawnigan students off the beaten path and out of their comfort zones on outdoor adventures that combine service, experiential education, community-building, reflection, and leadership for nearly 20 years.
EDGE started as a humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Students travelled to Thailand for several years to work in isolated communities. Since then, they have visited other countries, such as China, Zimbabwe, Argentina, South Africa and Ecuador. Over Spring Break, 12 students travelled to Costa Rica along with staff members Ms. Katrina Cholack and Mr. Galen Loiselle, for the first EDGE trip since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The contingent left the School on March 10 for the Guanacaste province in northwestern Costa Rica, an area replete of contrasts as the local residents deal with poverty while living near posh resorts that elevate the cost of living. Unlike previous EDGE trips to Costa Rica, which saw the students visit multiple locations, they spent most of their time in one location, leading to a deeper, more immersive experience.