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

Supporter Gordy Dodd cheers on HeroWork Victoria executive director Trevor Botkin, who will be in a lift for 36 hours beside Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress on April 16 and 17 to raise funds for the organization’s next project, a makeover of the Salvation Army’s Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre on Johnson Street. (Courtesy HeroWork Victoria)
HeroWork Victoria tackles makeover of Salvation Army rehab centre

Executive director to spend 36 hours living in a lift as fundraiser

Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses. (Black Press Media files)
Island Health issues overdose advisory for Greater Victoria

The advisory directs bystanders to an overdose to call 911 and administer naloxone

Grandmothers to Grandmothers is a campaign that connects Canadian grandmothers with grandmothers in Africa who are caring for children orphaned by AIDS. Here, they are in Kakuto, Uganda in 2018. (Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar photo)
Greater Victoria and African grandmothers celebrate solidarity with virtual concert

Grandmothers to Grandmothers supports women in Africa caring for children orphaned by AIDS

West Shore RCMP is seeking information about a collision involving a car and a bicycle on Six Mile Road, near the Island Highway, at 11:30 a.m. on April 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP seeks information about collision between bike, car

Collision occured on Six Mile Road on April 7 and a bystander got the blue car’s plate number

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Most Read