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Support for Gavin Lake Camp is appreciated

Grade 6 students from school districts 27 and 28 participated in the Grade 6 Winter School Program at Gavin Lake Camp.

Grade 6 students from school districts 27 and 28 participated in the Grade 6 Winter School Program at Gavin Lake Camp.

“This is a great chance to introduce kids in our communities to the fantastic recreational opportunities a Cariboo winter has to offer” says camp manager Mike Tudor.

“We had a ton of snow this year which made everything that much better” says Tudor.

Students were introduced to outdoor sport and forest ecology through three separate teaching modules.

Animal tracking on skis taught them how to identify tracks in the snow and then use this information to put together a local wildlife census.

Most of the participants had never cross-country skied before and the downhill sections were especially thrilling, Tudor says.

Another module was the Forest Discovery Trail which was done on snowshoes. The kids were led through the woods by a local forester and introduced to a variety of “cool” aspects of forest ecology.

The final module was snow science in which students learned “everything we could cram in their heads” about snow, including its importance to our watersheds and a very popular activity involving avalanche safety in which the students got to use locating beacons to rescue a buried skier.

There were also a bunch of free time activities to keep the kids busy between classes with a skating rink, toboggan run, ice fishing and a sweat lodge.

Between these, the chores and the active modules a lot of the students slept on the bus ride home.

This year’s Grade 6 Winter School Program at the Gavin Lake Camp has been sponsored largely by Mountain Equipment Co-op through its Community Contribution Program.

The co-op funded the instruction, the food, the cook staff and the accommodation for the overnight visits of classes from around the region.

“There is a great group of staff and volunteers that make the program run like clockwork and it has been very gratifying for all of us to have a big, well respected organization like MEC buy in to what we are doing out here,” Tudor says.

He says MEC provided $5,000 worth of core funding while School District 27 provided a bus credit and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society helped with the instruction for the snow module.

The Quesnel Rotary Club bought the avalanche beacons and Red Shred’s gave them a very good deal on them, Tudor says.

“Many thanks to all this program’s supporters and all our other supporters throughout the year.”