Senior School Leadership: Outdoor Education

The SMUS Outdoor Education program balances safety and adventure. At a school surrounded by forests, ocean and mountains, students have plenty of chances to get outside. More than exercise and new experiences, the Outdoor Education program teaches leadership, teamwork, perseverance and goal-setting.

Through outdoor education, students:

  • develop skills in a wide variety of outdoor activities;
  • set, achieve, and perhaps exceed personal goals;
  • build leadership, individual responsibility and self-discipline; and
  • appreciate and respect the natural environment.

Extra Opportunities

Outdoor Council

Outdoor Council organizes activities and trips for the student body throughout the year. Examples of trips include surfing at Tofino and skiing on Mount Washington.

Duke of Edinburgh Award Program

The international Duke of Edinburgh Award Program involves more than 2.5 million youth from 60 countries. Participants earn awards for improvement in four areas: service, skills, expeditions and fitness. Approximately 100 SMUS students are actively working at any given time towards a bronze, silver or gold award.


Grade 11/12 Outdoor Leadership Course

Through outdoor leadership, Senior students use their outdoor knowledge to help guide Grade 9 and 10 students on their outdoor trips. Leadership students begin the course in the winter term of their Grade 11 year and finish the course in the fall of their Grade 12 year.

Outdoor leaders must:

  • participate in a winter camp;
  • gain a wilderness first aid certification;
  • attend weekly three-hour evening sessions;
  • organize a backpacking, ski touring or sea kayak trip over the May long weekend; and
  • perform environmental service work over the summer.

This training culminates in the student performing in a counsellor role on the Grade 9/10 outdoor trips in the fall.