About Our Programs
Environmental and Outdoor Education (ENVOE) is a supporting pillar of the CCS charter and is considered to be an important component of an inquiry-based program. Through the continued development of this program, it is our goal to continue to integrate outdoor opportunities for students that foster a strong sense of community, develop critical and creative thinking skills, and nurture the ability to succeed in unfamiliar domains. We believe that rich, relevant learning experiences designed to enhance an understanding and appreciation of our natural world can be promoted through attention to detail in the scope and sequence of student outdoor programs, and ongoing dialogue aimed at improving the effectiveness of environmental and outdoor education program delivery.
At a glance
Camp Sweet (Grades 4 - 9)
Commencing within days of school starting in August, two classes at a time arrive at Camp Sweet, located 110 km north of Calgary between Sundre and Olds. In addition to team and community building opportunities, teachers plan a series of curricular oriented activities specific to the learning outcomes for each grade.
Southern Alberta History Tour (Grade 4)
Beginning with a visit to Frank Slide in Crowsnest Pass, students spend a night in the interpretive centre and tour the surrounding area including a visit to nearby Bellevue mine before heading to the Great Canadian Barn Dance for some exploration, dancing and rides in a horse-drawn carriage.
Fort Steele History Lab (Grade 5)
Grade 5 students participate in the Fort Steele History Lab program, developing an appreciation and knowledge of the challenges faced by western settlers, while sleeping in the North West Mounted Police barracks.
Ribbon Creek Winter Camp (Grade 6)
Located in Kananaskis Country, 100 km west of Calgary, students sleep and eat in the hostel located at Ribbon Creek. Activities include quinzee building, cross-country skiing and/or snowshoeing, avalanche awareness, and winter survival skills.
Fort Steele Apprenticeship Program (Grade 7)
Grade 7 classes are engaged in an apprenticeship program, learning skills in leatherwork, food preservation, and land navigation. Both grades take part in gold panning on Wild Horse Creek.
Rocky Mountain Tour (Grade 8)
Building on a theme of understanding the importance of water quality and supply, students explore the headwaters of southern Alberta’s freshwater system. Camping in Marmot Meadows at Jasper’s Whistler’s Campground provides a genuine outdoor experience.
Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (Grade 9)
Students participate in an intense 4½-day program led by qualified marine sciences educators. After travelling to Bamfield from Calgary by both bus and air (via Victoria), parents have strongly indicated a desire to continue with air travel despite the increased costs. The Board has subsidized this activity in the amount of $20000, or $200 per student since 2006 to offset the cost to parents.
Outdoor Education is a broad term referring to learning experiences designed to enhance students’ knowledge and skills in natural settings. These may include day trips focused on specific skill acquisition or overnight trips in which students must be prepared for the elements and engage for a period of time with the natural environment.
Environmental Education refers to learning experiences that focus specifically on the stewardship and sustainability of the natural environment. Both curricular and co-curricular (associated with but not specifically identified in the program of studies) links are established to heighten awareness and knowledge of environmental issues and solutions.
Outdoor Education Electives
Elective courses that focus primarily on skill development and leadership development in outdoor settings following a progression of activities that concentrates on safety, preparedness, trip planning, and ensuring ultimate enjoyment of the outdoor environment.
Field studies may take place as a component of an Outdoor Education experience or they may occur in isolation. They are intended to be learning opportunities that occur outside of the school to reinforce specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the curriculum.