This winter six John Oliver Secondary Take a Hike Alternative Program students became mentors for a day with a around 16 Grade 2 and 3 students from Seymour Elementary. Last month, the students headed up to the snowy wonderland that is Cypress Mountain for a day of snowshoeing.
"The kids loved the trip. I know they felt a huge feeling of pride at making it up a 'mountain'," says Seymour teacher Carrie Gelson. "They loved the snow and that it was actually snowing when we were up there. They also loved being able to do some sliding on the way back down."
Gelson says for many of her students, the hike up Cypress in the snow was akin to epic mountaineering. Many of her students believed they were climbing the whole mountain. She says that while some kids needed some encouragement to pull themselves up the hill, others had so much energy they could "probably have trekked twice as long."
"The sweetest comment was at the end when one of my little girls looked up at me and said, 'Ms. Gelson. This day was so fun.' She couldn't keep the smile off of her face. Just pure sincerity," says Gelson. "Many students told their parents that they climbed a whole mountain. Pretty cute. For all of them, it was their very first time snowshoeing except for one girl who got to go last year."
The trip was the second one of the year for Seymour students. During the trip, the student group was divided between 'Big Buddies' and 'Little Buddies'. Big Buddies acted as mentors and looked after their respective Little Buddies.
Snowshoeing isn't the only fun activities the two schools have collaborated on in the past. Other activities have included hiking, canoeing and camping.
To learn more about Take a Hike, click here. For other fun examples of the adventures of Seymour students, click here.