Evans Lake has been the prime destination for Grade 7 students from Laura Secord Elementary since 1988. This year, the connection between the school and outdoor education centre was taken to the next level when Laura Secord was officially honoured on the Camp's "Friends of Evans Lake" wall. The honour comes after staff and students at Secord helped fund raise to build a legacy trail through the area three years ago. Using polaskis, rakes, clippers and shovels, each year's Grade 7 class carved out a section of the trail up to the junction of the Fraser Burrard trail.
The designation by Evans Lake Camp commemorates the decades of educational engagement that thousands of students have had with the nature area. Staff say the camp is critical in exposing students to exciting facets of outdoor education as well as supporting team building and class building.
Teachers say alumni frequently list camp experience as one of their top memories from elementary school.
Principal Richard Zerbe says this year's Grade 7 camp was up in the air due to labour challenges, but despite the uncertainty, his staff pulled out all the stops and managed to make the camp happen for this year's students during the very first week back to school.
"On the first Friday back, when most teachers were in their room preparing to receive the kids the following Monday, our staff were huddled around a table confirming table and cabin groups, activities and lessons, bus transportation, students' medical and dietary needs," says Zerbe. "They were calling Grade 11 student counsellors and coordinating this with the high school. They were getting information out to parents and on the website over the weekend. Nothing fazed them. They were going to make this happen because they believe so strongly in camp as an important opportunity for kids."
Zerbe says this work was particularly appreciated by the Grade 7 parents who raved about it to him. He says particular thanks need to go to staff members Lesley Chambers, Phil Green, Monique Thibault and Tom Craik.