April 2002
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Fresh Ideas for Fresh-Air Course
By: Alex Goertzen, Grade 11, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB

Fresh air and physical activity are two components the Physical Education department at G.V.C. are trying to make as one. Ms. R. Denbow and Mr. P. Alexander are both hard working educators in the G.V.C's Physical Education department. They are writing proposals to hold outdoor education classes for the next school year.

The idea of outdoor education came from other schools such as College Lois Reil and Windsor Park in Winnipeg who were running a course such as this. If the course is available by next year the Phys. Ed. department would like to offer the course as a 20G credit its first year running.

If the outdoor education program makes it a second year, the Phys. Ed. department would like to see it being held as a full semester class, called "Outdoor Education". The way Outdoor Education would be set up is that all note taking and information learning will take part inside of a classroom. When it comes time for the practical learning all the new knowledge is brought to life outdoors.

The Phys. Ed. department would like to introduce four different choices in the course. During both spring and fall a canoe trip will be offered. Students will be able to spend their time and use their new knowledge at Dryberry Lake in Ontario, where Mr. Robert Loeppky has taken many G.V.C. students in previous years.

A winter survival course will be offered during the winter season. To test their new skills, the students would travel to Riding Mountain National Park near Neepawa, Manitoba for a weekend. The last two choices that will be offered are back packing, which would take place along the Trans Canada Trail, and mountain biking, which as yet does not have a location.

As much fun as each of these trips may sound, there is still an issue with funds. The Phys. Ed. department hopes to receive grants and to get cooperation from different businesses. Because a course like this does cost more money, a minimal fee will also be charged to the students.

The Phys. Ed. department is not exactly sure what kind of registration there will be if a course like this is offered. What they do know is that in order for it to run in a classroom setting, there would need to be no less than 20 students per class. With a class of 20, groups could be made and they could all be assigned to different activities regarding the outdoor-education program. According to Ms. Denbow, the goal of the Phys. Ed. department is to provide students who do not enjoy team sports an opportunity to participate in a different kind of physical activity. The course would also help students who are interested in outdoor activities, but whose family background has not given the necessary opportunities and skills.

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