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Take a Hike

Program Description

The Take a Hike program is a unique program made possible by a partnership with the Take a Hike Foundation. The program is based at John Oliver Secondary School and focuses on at-risk youth in Grades 10-12. 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 are used to provide students with opportunities to learn new coping skills.

The academic program is self-paced and provides credits for Grade 10 through 12 courses. Students will receive a School Leaving Certificate or a B.C. Secondary School Graduation Certificate (Dogwood Diploma). 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.

Program Location

Administering School:

John Oliver Secondary School


530 East 41st Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5W 1P3


(604) 838-5741


Referral Process

The student’s current VSB case manager or administrator can submit the application found here

All referrals are reviewed to determine program suitability relative to individual student needs. Successful applicants will be contacted by the Program Teacher or Youth and Family Worker to arrange an intake meeting with the student and their caregiver. 

Upon acceptance to the program, students must sign a Medical Clearance Form before attending classes.

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