A journey to Toronto Outdoor Education School

A journey to Toronto Outdoor Education School turned out to be fruitful.

TOES logoThroughout my research, there were a number of people who told me about the Toronto Outdoor Education School,

and recommend I connect with them, as they were a leading role model across Canada for being the most advanced and effective outdoor education program that ensured that the students have access to quality outdoor adventures.

Some of my questions included “Is outdoor education mandated for every child?” and “what are the policies and who makes the decisions?”  As you can imagine, a 2 hour meeting was not long enough to truly dive into this conversation, but the director David Hawker-Budlovsky generously offered his time, resources and thoughts on how we might be able to support our children to connect with nature on Vancouver Island.

Don’t get me wrong, I have witnessed a great growth over the years in Central Vancouver Island when it comes to connecting children to nature, and I am very excited about the new BC Curriculum that encourages it. Yet, I have come to understand that maybe there could be more support, whether it be funding, training, or risk management that could further encourage teachers, administrators and parents to trust the experience of nature-connection, and engage a community effort of connection.

This mission of mine to connect more children to nature stems from my own stories of a lack of nature-connection in school when I was growing up, but also, a strong belief that time spent in nature is preventative, healing and a remedy for many of the issues we see children grow into.  In BC, we are blessed with nature merely feet from our front doors, and I have been amazed at the amount of children who would rather play on their device than go exploring outside.  I think we owe it to them to commit the time and effort.

If you agree, I encourage you to join the conversation.  Fill out this short questionnaire, and/or connect on our Facebook page.

Wild Wishes to you!

Jamie Black

This 3 point questionnaire is a good start:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1N3ScDIK0uDuBK1N3rOO_7sTEo1bsRZZPFdBwQMbpVSw
Connect on the Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/wildcraftplayscool/