Integration Week

By Andrew Johnston and Diane Rogers

During the weeks of May 6 and 13, all our Grade 9 students were involved in an integrated program, that saw them out of the regular classroom routine.  Students engaged themselves in set of experiences that pulled together themes from different parts of their academic program this year. The weeks were a huge success thanks to the involvement of both students and staff!

Half the class planned, and packed for a 3-day trip in the beautiful Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park, a short drive from the LCS campus where they experienced a WIDE range of weather conditions on the two trips.  Our first group enjoyed warm sunny days and cool nights, while the second group tested their fortitude by surviving very damp, cool, and windy conditions that will allow them to really, really enjoy their next trip in better weather!  As one student remarked “The weather was a highlight because it made for better trip stories and even though we might not have been the most comfortable throughout the whole trip we will always remember that trip we took in Grade 9 where we went camping in the outdoors for three days and it basically rained the whole time!”

With very little leaf cover during this season, the park provided a unique setting for students to explore the landscape of ‘The Land Between’ and interact with each other.  The purpose of the trip was to provide an authentic and challenging experience for students that would allow them to apply the practical skills learned throughout the course of the year in Outdoor Education classes.  As one student commented “You got to know everyone in your cooking/shelter group much better than you did before, and the night after the camping trip felt so weird without having everyone there in my opinion. I have a much closer friendship with all of the people in my class and with everyone on the trip. I also felt like I got to come in such close contact and really appreciate nature.”  The trip also provides the foundation for the Adventurous Journey portion of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

On day one, students canoed and portaged from Coon Lake through to Little Turtle Lake,  Adams Lake, Sawmill Lake and the group camped on Shark Lake on the first night. Day two saw the group paddle into Vixen Lake and camp on Buzzard Lake.  On the third day, students paddled from Buzzard along the aptly named Long Lake to the take out spot at the easternmost end of the lake. The total trip length was 16km, and included 8 separate portages covering 2500m.

For students who had not experienced classic Ontario canoe tripping, the experience was one of a lifetime.  One student reflected the ideal qualities that make up a canoe tripper, “the ideal qualities of a friend to take on an overnight are helpful, strong, kind, can work in teams, knows how to cook, portage, canoe, put tents and tarps up. If they are helpful they will not sit around doing nothing, and they will want to help you! Being strong is helpful during portages, and working in teams is very important because we have to work with others to be the best we can be on the trip.”  For others, the sense of accomplishment resonated strongly. “For me, the trip was really hard, especially all of the portages on the first day. It was really fun though, and the feeling I felt knowing that I was able to do this was empowering for me. I now know I can do hard stuff!”

In science class, students prepared for another aspect of the trip by contributing to the LCS Grade 9 “Kawartha Highlands Field Guide”. On trip, students experienced a variety of sites and sounds that included: the nighttime calls of the loon, the whippoorwill, and spring peepers. White-tailed deer, beaver, porcupine, turkey vultures, and a nest - with eggs - of a Canada Goose, were some of the other birds and mammals spotted. Some students were able to take advantage of the clear skies - when we got them - to locate and identify the Big and Little Dipper constellations, along with two prominent stars that we talked about in class: Polaris and Arcturus. Some sketching for art and reading for English also took place while on trip.

When not on trip, the students spent a day getting their Emergency First Aid and CPR (C) certification and another afternoon of community service in Peterborough.  “I was given the ability to help clean a Youth Program for teens from the ages 16-24. This youth program allows teens to pay lower rent and organize their life and finances. Another community service I was able to undergo was for Habitat For Humanity, their grand opening was for the next day so me alongside other Grade 9’s helped by organizing shelves into proper categorization and making the shop look presentable for the busy day to come.  All Grade 9s were given a great opportunity to become certified in first aid and CPR. Students were able to learn hands-on what it takes to do first aid/CPR, we learned through made-up scenarios, practicing with a partner, working on a CPR dummy, etc. Overall I learned a lot and have lots to take away from my experiences.”

The students also had a special workshop that helped them prepare for exams and time to work on the finishing touches of their English class novel project - stay tuned for publication news on this one! Students were also given time and support to work on their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
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School Information

4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0   705.652.3324


Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

We respectfully acknowledge that Lakefield College School is located on the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations, collectively known as the Williams Treaties First Nations, which include: Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Alderville, Scugog Island, Rama, Beausoleil, and Georgina Island First Nations.
Lakefield College School respectfully acknowledges that the Williams Treaties First Nations are the stewards and caretakers of these lands and waters in perpetuity and that they continue to maintain this responsibility to ensure their health and integrity for generations to come.

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