On July 14, 2022, we welcomed members of the 2022 Irving Expedition back to The Grove!
The Irving Expedition (sponsored by the Irving family) has been a long-standing part of our outdoor education and experiential program at LCS. The expedition takes Grade 11 and 12 students to Canada’s north for a whitewater paddling expedition on a northern river.
Over the past two years, travel restrictions have prevented us from offering expeditions. As such, this break in tradition made us even more excited to bid our students good luck on their journey. The 2022 expedition crew was also fervent to be the first cohort to re-commence this quintessential Lakefield experience.
“The trip was a huge success!” said Mr. Bemrose (Outdoor Education Teacher). “Thanks to the expert leadership of Al Pace '77, Lin Ward and the guides from Canoe North Adventures, six students and two LCS staff had a life-changing experience on the river.”
Flying first to Yellowknife, the team explored "The Rock" (also known as Bush Pilot’s Monument—a site created to honour members of the airforce who lost their lives transporting resources to residents when Yellowknife was a young city). Located in Old Town on the shores of Great Slave Lake, the crew explored before enjoying dinner at the historic Wildcat Cafe.
The next day, they flew to Norman Wells and packed their gear at the Canoe North Base on D.O.T. Lake. By that afternoon, the float planes had flown them into the Mackenzie Mountains and dropped them off just below the Natla-Keele river confluence. Over the next thirteen sunny days, the team ventured 310km down the Keele River and another 80 km on the mighty Mackenzie River finishing their journey in the town of Tulita.
Along the way, they improved their river paddling while hitting big waves, learned all about the flora and fauna (including moose and caribou sightings and evidence of grizzly bear and wolf tracks), enjoyed fabulous food, collected many incredible rocks and learned a lot about the Mountain Dene people and the Northern way of life.
“It is safe to say that everyone involved had an incredible time and they have made memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you to the Irving Family for making it possible for our students and staff to experience the North in such a profound way,” said Mr. Bemrose.
We are so excited to resume offering meaningful adventure programs that have long shaped our students’ LCS experience. Further, we are grateful for the extraordinary generosity of our donors who make these trips possible. The support of our community ensures that our students have a chance to immerse themselves in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.