The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island has announced its Y Outdoors School, which will be held at Camp Thunderbird in Sooke, starting in early January 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)

The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island has announced its Y Outdoors School, which will be held at Camp Thunderbird in Sooke, starting in early January 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)

YMCA offers outdoor school for elementary students

Program to max out at 10 students per staff member, five-days a week

The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island is rolling out a small outdoor program for kids who want to spend time in nature while continuing their education.

Y Outdoor School is an outdoor program that will host up to 24 children for five days out of the week at Camp Thunderbird in Sooke, beginning in January.

The 1,200-acre space gives children between six and 12-years-old the chance to learn new skills, connect with their group members and nature.

Each day is planned to begin with a morning check-in and students’ chance to participate in small nature activities, such as a hike, studying animals by the lake or counting animals in the forest. The rest of the day will include more outdoor activities, such as canoeing, team building games and storytelling.

In respect of provincial health recommendations, one staff member will be assigned to 10 children.

ALSO READ: Life away from devices offers young campers a welcome change

There will be a 90-minute period daily where students can focus on schoolwork assigned through their regular school program. A qualified teacher will provide academic support, and the outdoor education staff will help.

“Even before the pandemic, we have seen that increased screen time and less time spent outside with others has often come at the cost of reduced social skills, physical health and mental development, including the ability to focus,” said Fiona Hough, manager of mental wellness and Y Outdoor School program developer at the Vancouver Island YMCA‐YWCA.

“Immersive time in nature has been shown to improve focus, inspire curiosity and creativity and supports health outcomes in children and adults.”

Registration for the outdoor program is open, and school districts must be notified about participation. The outdoor school is tentatively set to run during school hours Monday through Friday starting Jan. 12.

Bus service is provided to and from the Downtown Victoria Y or Langford Westhills location. The Y has plans to extend its program through spring 2021 after spring break in March.

READ MORE: Victoria’s YMCA-YWCA reopening with new app, membership structure


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

SchoolsYMCA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island has announced their Y Outdoors School, which will be held at Camp Thunderbird in Sooke, starting in early January 2021. (YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island)

The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island has announced their Y Outdoors School, which will be held at Camp Thunderbird in Sooke, starting in early January 2021. (YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island)

Just Posted

A power outage is affecting over 1,500 people on the West Shore on the morning of Oct. 19. (BC Hydro)
Over 1,500 people without power due to early morning West Shore crash

Some delays on Sooke Road as BC Hydro crews repair damage

Downtown Sidney has been a hot bed of residential construction, with new housing starts through the first nine months of 2020 reaching 211. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Langford, Colwood, Sidney lead region in housing starts

Sidney ahead of Saanich and Victoria with Langford leading all municipalities with 885 units

Michael Friesen, 38, is a Caucasian man standing 6’1” and weighing approximately 220 pounds. (VicPD handout)
VicPD seeking man believed to be ‘actively evading police detection’

Michael Friesen wanted on an unendorsed warrant for various offences

Saanich police are warning residents to be aware of a non-aggressive bear sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace. (Black Press Media file photo)
Non-aggressive bear spotted in Saanich neighbourhood

Saanich police advise residents to be aware of sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Greater Victoria in high-demand on website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. Conservative party leader leader Trevor Bolin was surrounded by party candidates at a Langley press conference held near a former interurban power station on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: B.C. Conservative leader says Liberals should come at him over policy, not an old workplace complaint

Rivals released WorkSafe report that found an employee at Tyler Bolin’s business was unfairly fired

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. suburbs could see increased demand for rental units as people work from home

Vancouver’s average monthly rent is the highest out of 35 cities across Canada

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Alberni. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: More sailings cancelled after ferry breaks down

Queen of Alberni out of commission, BC Ferries revises schedules

Most Read