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My Great Canadian Experience: Rock climbing trip with Outdoor Ed

Selkirk Outdoor Education class at Perry Creek climbing area.

by Jette B. from Germany

Before starting my exchange year, I already knew that school in Canada was obviously going to be different from school in my home country. However, I had not expected that it would be normal for me to answer my host parents’ question of what I did in school today with things such as “We went to the climbing gym” or “We tried out our Nordic skis” or “We made Chili and dehydrated it to take on our snowshoeing trip”. But all of these are things I have done in my Outdoor Education class. It is definitely one of my favourite classes I have ever taken, not only because of the amazing activities we do but also because of our very kind teacher and my classmates. We have become a pretty tight-knit group which, in my opinion, is in big part because of the rock-climbing trip we went on earlier this semester. We started the trip by spending the morning at the climbing gym to learn some basics and then hiked up the ski hill in the afternoon. Afterwards, a typical Canadian yellow school bus drove us to our camp location near Perry Creek where we would be climbing for two days. Aside from a few birthday parties at the climbing gym when I was younger, I have never climbed before, so naturally I was a bit intimidated and so were some of my classmates. However, with the help of our amazing guides and the mutual cheering each other on between us classmates, all of us got up the wall at some point during our trip. Especially on one of the climbs I did on the second day, I did not think I would make it to the top. But eventually, with some tips from my friends, I actually stood at the top of the wall and was rewarded with an absolutely stunning view. There was light rain drizzling down on the mountains which were covered with dark green forests. With the sun coming through in exactly that moment, the view was truly magical and showed me once again how lucky I am to spend my exchange year in such an awesome place!

Photo and blog post submitted by Jette, a grade 11 student at Selkirk Secondary School in Kimberley, BC. 

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