This August, 16 Columbia Basin youth will paddle the mighty Columbia River for two weeks through Wildsight’s Columbia River Field School — for high school credit.
An amazing opportunity for students ages 15-18, the Field School is a canoe trip and learning adventure. The four-credit, multidisciplinary Board/Authority Approved Course allows students, including those from Kootenay Lake School District, the opportunity to navigate the complex social, economic and natural history of the mighty Columbia River.
Paddling through key sections of the River, students will camp on the riverside learning important outdoor and canoe skills. Along the way, students will meet with a diverse group of guest speakers including First Nations leaders, government officials, scientists, artists, adventurers and more.
“The Field School provides an opportunity for learning that is real, lived and felt — it’s place-based learning at its best,” says Monica Nissen, Wildight’s Education Manager.
“The students come away with an understanding of the complexity of the many issues — ecological, social and economic — that are inextricably linked to the Columbia River and this watershed.”
Upon successful completion, students from any school district in the Columbia Basin will earn four high school credits through School District 8 (Kootenay Lake). In addition, students will earn their Lakewater Level 1 and Canoe Tripping Paddler certifications, learning important outdoor skills like reading maps, packing, cooking, setting up camp and leave no trace practices to minimize their impact on the land.
“The Columbia River is really what unites us all in the region, and there are a lot of complex issues and a fascinating history surrounding it,” says Nissen.
“Our goal is to build student leaders who have an intimate understanding of this river. Along with having an incredible canoe-based adventure, participants can expect to be challenged, to make rich memories, and to leave with a deeper understanding of this incredible river that flows through the place they call home.”
For more information and to apply, visit wildsight.ca/fieldschool. Applications are due by May 15.
Photo Caption: Students paddle down the Columbia River during the 2018 Wildsight’s Columbia River Field School course. — Photo courtesy Bailey Repp.