Grade 8 Outdoor Education

Grade 8 programs are designed to give students an opportunity to specialize in an area that particularly interests them. All the program options are offered at the introductory level only. These are a few examples of possible courses:

Canoe Tripping I

Participants will learn basic paddling skills and rescue techniques while exploring Finlayson Arm between Goldstream Park and Saltspring Island. Students will camp out each night on secluded beaches and will spend the days paddling their Voyageur canoes, learning the cultural history of the area and improving their general outdoor skills.

Fly Fishing Workshop

The fly fishing workshop introduces students to fly fishing. For two days, students learn about the equipment along with casting, knots and fly-tying. Students then test their skills at a local lake or beach before camping overnight to spend two days river fishing. Fish are released.

Island Sampler Adventure

The Island sampler adventure takes students on a five-day tour of the unique features and activities that Vancouver Island has to offer. Students learn to sea kayak, make fires, build shelters, survive in the woods without modern technology and to surf in Tofino.

Rock Climbing

Students learn the fundamentals of roped rock climbing, including hazard assessment, equipment, knots, belaying, movement skills and rappelling. Students camp lakeside and climb daily with guides. Zip lines, Tyrolean traverses and rappels are also covered.

Sea Kayaking I

Participants learn basic paddling skills and rescue techniques before spending four days paddling and camping. While on the ocean, students refine paddling techniques, explore the Gulf Islands, learn cultural history and practice general outdoor skills.

Sea to Sky Explorations

Sea to sky explorations teaches fundamental skills needed to explore wilderness areas. Skills covered include equipment choices and care, organization, minimum-impact camping, and wild animal avoidance. Students camp and hike throughout Vancouver Island.


Students travel to Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island and camp throughout a five-day surfing workshop. Lessons on the beach will emphasize wave and surf dynamics, equipment, clothing and safety procedures. All necessary surfing equipment is supplied.

SMUS Middle School Viewbook cover cropThe Middle School viewbook provides an overview of programs and the SMUS experience.

See the Viewbook