OE3: OUTDOOR ECOLOGICAL & EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION
All Overnight & Day Trips Are Included in Tuition!
OUTDOOR ECOLOGICAL & EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION
Outdoor, Ecological and Experiential Education
At Odyssey Heights School for Girls, our OE3 program allows students to learn through hands-on, real world, engaging, multidisciplinary experiences. Middle School students learn the majority of their science, geography, history, and art, as well as parts of their math, English, French, and technology curriculum on OE3 trips.
On trips, Secondary school students’ focus on their Agriculture & the Environment enrichment course, and making deeper, more relevant connections to their ILC Ontario Secondary School credit courses.
Seven overnight, curriculum-linked trips every year (2 trips per term x 3 terms + 1 in July).
POGO: Project Or Going Out days and weeks dedicated to project-based learning and day field trips.
School-wide, curriculum-linked equestrian curriculum.
Entrepreneurship - student run businesses and non-profits
Student Planned School end of year trips every two years to the Alberta Rockies, Iceland and Denmark, and France (starting in 2020-2021).
FAQ: Why Do Odyssey Heights Students Do So Many Trips in All Kinds of Weather?
FAQ: What About Girls Who Don’t Have Experience in the Outdoors?
Challenging oneself and overcoming obstacles is the best way for teens (and anyone) to gain self-esteem. Experience isn’t a prerequisite for success, putting one foot in front of the other and having girls support each other is. The youngest person to ever complete the Polar Hat Trick - the act of trekking 1,243 miles across the North Pole, the South Pole, and Greenland (in three separate trips) - is Jade Hameister - a teenage girl who had only skied once before leaving for her trip to the North Pole.
If Jade from Australia can do the Polar Hat Trick by age 16 - Odyssey Heights girls new to xc skiing can definitely ski 20-40 miles in two days on groomed trails, after months of training. Let’s facilitate girls and women learning to take risks and to #bravenotperfect.
Watch her TEDx Talk filmed after her trip to the North Pole below.
OE3 OVERNIGHT TRIPS 2019-2020
ALL OVERNIGHT TRIPS ARE INCLUDED IN TUITION!
ALL OVERNIGHT TRIPS TAKE PLACE ON WEEKDAYS
THE ONE THE EXCEPTION IS THE FEBRUARY TRIP TO QUEBEC AS THE CANADIAN SKI MARATHON /MARATHON CANADIEN DE SKI IS HELD ON THE WEEKEND (TRIP IS INCLUDED IN TUITION).
**Note: Girls do all the cooking on overnight trips and, over the course of the year, an increasing amount of menu planning, food shopping and camp kitchen packing.
Fall Term Overnight Trips
(September to December)
Bruce Peninsula National Park & World Biosphere Reserve: 4 days
Bruce Peninsula National Park welcomes explorers of all ages to uncover the natural wonders of its limestone coasts, mixed-wood forests, cliffside cedars, clear-water lakes and vibrant orchids. Situated along Southern Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, and part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, this stunning 156-sq-km park is easily accessible via highway, only four hours from Toronto.
This is the traditional home of the Saugeen Ojibway First Nations, who have drawn subsistence and spirituality from this land for centuries, as well as a protected preserve for more than 200 species of birds, mammals both small and large, amphibians and even some rare reptiles.
Tentative schedule: 1 day hiking the Bruce Trail, 1 day hands-on learning about the Ojibway First Nations (and hopefully from members of the Saugeen), 1 day doing fibre & visual arts.
Killarney XC Skiing, Snowshoeing, & “Glamping” (Yurts): 4 or 5* days
As soon as the snow falls, Killarney is transformed into a pristine winter playground for visitors of all ages. The village of Killarney and Killarney Provincial Park, both open all year round, take on a secluded, enchanting atmosphere that provide visitors with a unique outdoor experience. The park is quiet and still, the crowds have thinned, and wildlife sightings are all the more magical. Whether you’re a fan of winter weather or not, a snowy weekend in Killarney can prove that Northeastern Ontario’s long winters are quite beautiful.
Did you know that Killarney Provincial Park has a rich artistic heritage and Group of Seven members A.Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael influenced its creation?
Tentative schedule: full day xc skiing, 1/2 day snowshoeing, 1/2 day ecology, evenings fibre arts (especially cool for girls who have purchased the optional portable spinning wheel kit!),
*Optional 5th day: If the student council votes to have an additional day of activities at Killarney (approximately $75-85/student) the trip will be 5 days long. (Students will likely have to do some coursework before the trip outside of regular school hours to make up for the exam study holiday Friday they miss.)
Winter Term Overnight Trips
(January to March Break)
Arrowhead Provincial Park: 3 or 4* days
Located just west of Algonquin, Arrowhead is a winter wonderland. It has a 1.3km ice skating trail, xc skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and heated cabins with mini-fridges and microwaves. The skating trail is lit for night skating with hundreds of tiki torches. Students will stay in groups of 3-4 in heated cabins that each have their own kitchenette. Girls learn to make their own slow cooker meals, with one cabin per day making dinner for all (yum!). The one bunk bed and one double bed are both made from beautiful solid wood whole logs. Click here to view a 3 minute video about all the fun winter activities at Arrowhead.
*Optional 4th day: If the student council votes to have an additional day of activities (tubing!) at Arrowhead (approximately $75-85/student) the trip will be 4 days long. (Students may have to do some coursework outside of regular school hours to make up the one school day of work periods.)
Canadian Ski Marathon/Marathon Canadien de Ski (CSM/MSC): 6 days in Quebec
Founded in 1967 as part of the Canada Centenary, the CSM is a world renowned 100mile (160km) 2 day xc ski event in Quebec. It’s a personal challenge and not a race. Some skiers do just one 10 mile section, while the Gold Courier de Bois do all 100 miles carrying everything they need to camp out on the Saturday night. The CSM has participants of all ages from 4 years old to into their 90s. (Ms. Elizabeth completed 20 miles in two days with no poles in record -53 degree weather when she was five.)
With all the Nordic Walking, skating, snowshoeing, and xc ski lessons even students new to xc skiing will be ready for one section a day.
Schedule: Students will stay in the event’s dorms on Friday and Saturday, and spend Thursday, Sunday, and Monday in self-catering accommodations.
Spring Term Overnight Trips
(After March Break to June)
Algonquin Camping, Visual Arts, and Day Hiking 3-4 days
The Algonquin trip is the second tent camping trip of the school year. Algonquin Park provides a lovely natural setting for students to go day hiking, do water colour painting, textile and fibre arts, and to share music and stories around nightly campfires.
Students can use some of their student council activities budget on one of the days on the Algonquin trip to plan their own activity. Possible options include: trail riding, Friends of Algonquin Park education programs (canoeing day, wolf howl, wildlife research, and more), a visit to the Algonquin Art Centre, a special picnic hike on the Old Railway trail, and/or fat tire or mountain biking.
Tentative Schedule: 1 day natural history/ecology including watercolour paiting, evenings fibre arts & campfire program, 1 day hiking, 1 day student council choice.
End of Year (June) Student Planned Overnight Trip: 3 days, 2 nights
The first annual student planned trip for family and friends is in June 2019. With guidance from teachers the students choose the location and do all the planning, marketing, and budgeting.