Inspiring Leadership at Arowhon

The Stargazer News, Outdoor

Camp Arowhon 2019

Grade 11 and 12 students recently took part in a 4-day leadership camp at Camp Arowhon on beautiful Tepee Lake in the heart Algonquin Park. The girls engaged in a variety of outdoor activities and wilderness hikes, including a day-long canoe trip that saw them cook their lunch over a fire they built. The camp was dedicated to helping students develop confidence and leadership skills as they prepare for their role as future leaders both within the school and the broader community.

"Don't ask your daughter what she wants to be when she grows up. Instead, ask her what problems she wants to solve." With this in mind, our Grade 11 and 12 students and teachers embarked on their final Outdoor Experiential Education trip at HNMCS as “campers”. One of the goals of this trip is to prepare our senior students to be leaders at Camp Wanakita, our winter programme for Grades 7 to 10 students. The other goal is for Grade 11 and 12 students to have time away from screens and the pressures of everyday life to think about their future.

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Beautiful fall colours and crisp air, the morning fog steaming off the lake, evening campfires under the stars. Algonquin Park in autumn is spectacular. Our students participated in active rotations of rock climbing, canoeing, archery, and yoga. They had many opportunities to walk in the forest, find a spot to sit and reflect on where they would like to see themselves in the future and also participated in workshops such as “avoiding mind-traps”. A number of adventurous students were up early each morning to join in the polar bear dip!

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The values that inspire ALIVE Outdoors, the company that runs our Outdoor Education programming led by owner Jalynn Bosley, align beautifully with the HNMCS Core Values. Their website has a quote from Albert Camus that reads, ‘Life is a sum of all of our choices.’ Learning through experience allows our students to become more aware of who they are, and to have the chance to align their behaviour and choices with their values.”

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A highlight of this year’s trip was spending time with HNMCS alumnae, Savannah Stephen ‘15 and Emily Gariepy ‘15. They chose to study Outdoor Education in University after graduating from HNMCS where they say they realized it was their passion through years of attending HNMCS/ALIVE run camp programmes. It was an incredible joy to see them living their dreams, sharing their love of outdoor experiential education with future leaders.

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