OE3: OUTDOOR ECOLOGICAL & EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION

All Overnight & Day Trips Are Included in Tuition!

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OE3

OUTDOOR ECOLOGICAL & EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION

Experiential learning engages students in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in contexts that are personally relevant to them.
— UNESCO: United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization

OE3:

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.

  1. Seven overnight, curriculum-linked trips every year (2 trips per term x 3 terms + 1 in July).

  2. POGO: Project Or Going Out days and weeks dedicated to project-based learning and day field trips.

  3. School-wide, curriculum-linked equestrian curriculum.

  4. Entrepreneurship - student run businesses and non-profits

  5. 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.

Jade Hameister at just 14 years old became the youngest person to ski to the North Pole from anywhere outside the Last Degree. Jade wants young women to #expandpossible and to inspire and empower them to be more active and chase their dreams. Jade is now determined to be the youngest person to complete the 'Polar Hat Trick', comprising the North Pole, Greenland Crossing and South Pole, all the way from the coast.

In 2019-2020 Students visit the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Five Times:

The School Year Starts With an Overnight OE3 Trip to the Bruce Peninsula.

During Fall 2019 Students go on 3 fieldwork labs to the Niagara Escarpment between Stoney Creek and Dundas

In Spring 2020 students complete the iroquois Bruce Trail club’s “Steel town stomp” challenge - a 20km hike with 2,000 stairs up and down the escarpment.

Did you ever wonder where the Niagara Escarpment (a.k.a The Giant's Rib) came from? This video tells the story of the Giant's Rib, it's wondrous features and why it is designated as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. View magnificent footage of the Escarpment, its wildlife, and learn about the Giant's Rib Discovery Centre and what we have to offer.

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. They are also responsible for calculating gas mileage; and entering the distance travelled, dollars spent on gas and windshield washer fluid, and route travelled into the school vans’ travel log. There’s a lot of hands-on practical math and other life skills in OE3 trips!


Fall Term Overnight Trips

(September to December)

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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.


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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.)


Cool Things To Do In Killarney Provincial Park

One in a light-hearted series of videos on cool things in Ontario Parks.

Yurt Camping in Killarney Provincial Park

Kevin Callan goes to Killarney Park in Ontario, Canada to visit the Friends of Killarney and try out the park's new yurts.

Winter Term Overnight Trips

(January to March Break)

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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.

*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.)

Inside the cabins at Arrowhead provincial park. One bunk bed and one double bed, mini-fridge, kitchen table and microwave makes for extremely comfortable “Glamping”.

The cozy heated cabins at arrowhead provincial park are a peaceful place to gather, rest, cook, eat, and sleep after activity filled days.


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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.


Video About Cool Things To Do In Winter In Arrowhead Provincial Park

One in a light-hearted videos on cool things in Arrowhead Provincial Park by Ontario Parks. For up-to-date information on winter trail conditions at Arrowhead Provincial Park follow on Twitter @ArroPark .

The Canadian Ski Marathon

Marathon Canadien de Ski

En français avecs ous-titres anglais/French with English subtitles.

Le Marathon canadien de ski (MCS) est la plus longue randonnée de ski en Amérique du Nord ... et la plus ancienne.

Canadian Ski Marathon is the longest, 2 day cross-country ski marathon in Canada. 160 kms, 10 Sections. A Canadian ski adventure that will last a lifetime! http://www.csm-mcs.com/

The Canadian Ski Marathon/Marathon Canadien de Ski is a two day xc ski event in Quebec. It is a personal challenge - not a race. Participants ranging from age 3 to in their 80s complete from 1 to all 10 of the 10 mile (16km) sections. OHS’s goal in 2020 is to ski 2 sections each day (40 miles total over 2 days) both a junior team and a women’s team (any age).

The skiers in the video skiing in the dark and with the large packs are the “Courier de Bois” that ski all 100 miles. The gold Courier de Bois carry everything they need to sleep out overnight. OHS students aren’t doing all 100 miles…but maybe in the future some will!

Uploaded by csmmcs on 2016-03-02.

Safety and Being a Good CSM

Être un Bon Samaritain du MCS

Top Video is in English

la dernière vidéo est en français


Spring Term Overnight Trips

(After March Break to June)

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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.


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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.

Student Planned Trip Options/Suggestions

A  three day horseback riding trip to Algonquin Eco-lodge . The student council will have to make reservations early to reserve the dates , as this is very popular!   (All students will have to pass two swim tests - one in a pool, and one in open water - before the trip as the Eco-lodge is on a lake.)   Click on the image to learn more.

A three day horseback riding trip to Algonquin Eco-lodge. The student council will have to make reservations early to reserve the dates , as this is very popular!

(All students will have to pass two swim tests - one in a pool, and one in open water - before the trip as the Eco-lodge is on a lake.)

Click on the image to learn more.

Staying in tipis at Spirit Island Adventures on Manitoulin Island, doing a full or half day trail riding at Honora Bay Riding Stable, a sunset canoe tour, day hiking, and/or a drum circle.  http://www.hbrstable.com/  Click on the image to learn more about Spirit Island Adventures.

Staying in tipis at Spirit Island Adventures on Manitoulin Island, doing a full or half day trail riding at Honora Bay Riding Stable, a sunset canoe tour, day hiking, and/or a drum circle. http://www.hbrstable.com/

Click on the image to learn more about Spirit Island Adventures.

Renting their own large cottage near Sauble Beach.  Sauble Beach is Canada’s #1 fresh water beach.   (All students will have to pass two swim tests - one in a pool, and one in open water - before the trip).   Click on the image to learn more.

Renting their own large cottage near Sauble Beach. Sauble Beach is Canada’s #1 fresh water beach.

(All students will have to pass two swim tests - one in a pool, and one in open water - before the trip).

Click on the image to learn more.

Renting a large houseboat in the Kawarthas to travel the Trent-Severn waterway . Imagine going though locks, swimming right off the deck.   (All students will have to pass two swim tests - one in a pool, and one in open water - before the trip. Teachers and students aged 14 and up will need their pleasure craft operator licence.)   Click on the image to learn more.

Renting a large houseboat in the Kawarthas to travel the Trent-Severn waterway. Imagine going though locks, swimming right off the deck.

(All students will have to pass two swim tests - one in a pool, and one in open water - before the trip. Teachers and students aged 14 and up will need their pleasure craft operator licence.)

Click on the image to learn more.


Algonquin Provincial Park Video by Friends of Algonquin Provincial Park

Established in 1893, Algonquin Provincial Park one of Canada's oldest and most famous protected areas. Cover 7,630 square kilometre and attracting a million visitors annually, Algonquin Park has something for nearly everyone. As one of the largest provincial parks in Ontario, Algonquin Park protects a variety of natural, cultural, and recreational features.