Flash Back Fridays


Ian Forbes, a naturalist and plant photographer who frequently took groups to the Sundew Bog

Ian Forbes, a naturalist and plant photographer who frequently took groups to the Sundew Bog

Forty grade 7 students from Parksville middle school returned recently from a three day trip to the Strathcona Park Lodge where they took part in kayaking, canoeing, nature study and rope climbing classes.

The three day outdoor instruction “gave the students and teachers a chance to get together on a more informal, less structured basis and taught us all a few outdoor skills,” said middle school teacher Dick Tindall.

“I felt the trip was very successful,” he continued, “I don’t know how much value to put on the actual skills we were taught, but it was valuable in that a rapport between the students and teachers was developed.”

“Kayaking is done in a small, very buoyant boat, shaped like a banana,” wrote Colleen, one of the students, after the trip. “You use a two-ended paddle and a spray deck to keep dry.”

“It seems to be a very interesting sport, but before you can really go anywhere, you have to do a wet exit. A wet exit is when the kayak is upside down and you escape from it.”

“It was a long trip here and, after this interesting feat of kayaking, we were ready for a big dinner. Our dinner consisted of tea or milk, salad, soup and chicken.”

“Our next activity was really interesting,” wrote Lisa. “First you go up a dirt trail off the highway, and then you turn off onto the Preece- Evans trail. It was really pretty.”

“A bog is a dry lake that becomes a swamp, then eventually a meadow, and a bog is in between swamp and meadow. You come to a boardwalk, planks over the muck. If you step off the boardwalk you’ll sink.” “We saw some squirrels. We had to stop because the boardwalk ended and it was all mushy.”

“The students were not forced to do anything during the trip,” Tindall explained.

“It’s all individual choice. The rope skills instruction, for instance. Some of the students have a fear of heights and they only have to take it as far as they want. “First we walked across a swaying log which swung back and forth when you were on it. Our leader was a French lady from Quebec named Danielle.” “After we finished the log walking, we had to walk up a wire using a rope to pull ourselves. That was hard.”

“Finally, we put on the belts and ropes with a clasp on them. There were logs about 1,520 feet high (actually 12 feet) with a cable above them, which is where you hooked your clasp so you wouldn’t fall. It was pretty hard because it was so cold your hands were numb.”

“I jumped on purpose to let the clasp hold me up and it was excellent”.