Can you believe we’ve reached the end of the school year!? This last term flew by! But not before the long-awaited return of the Novral Overnight Sleepover Yearend field trip for our grade 2-4 students! CGS is so thankful that this trip is back in business after being closed all during covid. The Norval Sleepover truly is a rite of passage for our grade 2s and graduating grade 3-4 students, so to know they could enjoy this incredible experience again truly warms our CGS school and community’s hearts.
Despite the weather a powerful learning environment awaited our students in the great outdoors! Norval Outdoor School is a 535-acre, residential, outdoor environmental education center and nature reserve. This trip aims to help our students grow their independence, confidence, and exercise their problem solving and teamwork building skills. It focuses on special social developmental goals featuring the four C’s: Care for yourself, Care for others, Care and Connect to natural environment, and Commit to fun, friendship and adventure.
One of the big activities our students took part in at the Norval sleepover was the Paddle-to-the-Sea Boat Release. They all watched a bit of Bill Mason’s movie rendition of Holling C Holling’s original 1941 children’s book Paddle-to-the-Sea. They learned how a First Nation boy carves a wooden model of an “Indian” in a canoe. On its side he roughly carves the words “Please put me back in the water. I am Paddle-to-the-Sea” and sets it free to travel the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The story follows the progress of the little wooden canoe and all the different people who pick up and obey the boats command. People start to carve into the boat all the places the canoe and paddler have reached. Our students got to decorate and write something special on their own boats and release them into Coles Creek to travel the waters just like in the story. This was a wonderful exercise that brought awareness to taking care of our lands and waters and the importance of staying connected from all over, through our environment.
Our students also studied the river and creek, brainstorming positive actions to improve river habitat. They even met some new river creatures in their studies like salamanders and frogs. They explored the campgrounds, had classic camp family style meals, enjoyed tons of camp games and songs, and of course enjoyed some camp stories before bed! A bunk house favourite activity was their stuffy fashion show. It was a fun and exciting overnight adventure where core memories were created to last a lifetime.