Skip to main content

Take a Hike

Program Description

The Take a Hike program is a unique program made possible by a partnership between the Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation and the Vancouver Board of Education. The program is based at John Oliver Secondary School and focuses on at-risk youth aged 15-19, grades 10-12. Take a Hike operates on a semester system. The first semester runs from September to January. The second semester runs from February to June. It is a three year program drawing on the principles of experiential learning – that students learn and grow best through firsthand experience and that there is a need for balance between academic requirements and adventure-based activities.

The program is specifically designed to address the learning difficulties and social/emotional needs of youth who are not able to cope in regular high school classes. The adventure-based component uses outdoor and adventure-based activities to enhance established academic and personal objectives. Students will be guided through simple group and individual tasks to situations requiring more complex skills. The adventure-based activities will include activities such as canoeing, hiking, backpacking, orienteering, camping, snow shoeing, ropes courses and trust exercises. Group and individual counseling is used to provide students with opportunities to learn new coping skills.

Program Location

Administering School:John Oliver Secondary School
Address:530 East 41st Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5W 1P3
Telephone:(604) 713-8243 

Student Profile

The Take a Hike Program is designed primarily for students who are between the ages of 15-19, grades 10-12 and who are at-risk of dropping out of school or who have already dropped out.

Academic Goal

The academic program is self-paced, and provides credits for Grade 10 through 12. Students will receive a School Leaving Certificate or a B.C. Secondary School Graduation Certificate (Dogwood Certificate). In addition to providing educational and recreational programming, the program staff is dedicated to working individually with students to focus on their social and emotional needs.


Please complete the application form and attach all required documentation. 

All referrals are reviewed to determine program suitability relative to individual student needs. Successful applicants will be contacted by the Youth and Family Worker to arrange an intake interview with the student and their parent/guardian. Upon acceptance to the program, students must sign a Medical Clearance Form before attending classes.

Take a Hike operates on a semester system: Sept - Jan and Feb - Jun

Back to top