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A three-day outdoor education experience at Quesnel Lake Caribou Lodge is an awesome opportunity for students to experience, explore, and learn. And… It will be fun!
The academic rewards of students working together in the outdoors can be exciting. The social benefits are sometimes even greater!
What time of year can we come out?
Our outdoor education program will be offered starting from mid May to the first week of October.
What do we need to bring?
We offer light housekeeping cabins, so that means you bring food, which you will prepare yourselves, a sleeping bag, pillow, personal towels, and so on.
Do we have access to a classroom or meeting space?
We have a meeting room, which will be used for some instruction as well as information sessions. Students, their teachers, and adult supervisors will be provided cabin accommodations. Each day, school will take place outdoors.
I have 30 students in my class, how large a group can I bring on an educational outing?
Outdoor program such as ours is best run with groups of 10 to 15 students. We can split that larger group into two or three smaller ones. Smaller group activities provide for better teambuilding, follow-up, and better group sharing and discussion.
Is there an opportunity for Aboriginal content during the three days?
Yes. We work very closely with Charles Simard, a resident Manigotagan, who works extensively with schools teaching and sharing the history of his people, their values, and customs. A half or full-day interpretive tour with Charlie is highly recommended.
Allow Mr. Simard to introduce himself.
"I am Charles George Simard, a First Nations person born in 1949 at Black Island on Lake Winnipeg. My mother was Indian from the Hollow Water Band and my father was a French-halfbreed born at Rice River, Manitoba. We lived our entire life at Manigotagan.
I learned to trap, fish, hunt, log, and to live off the land. I am self-taught. My parents and grandparents were my teachers.
I am presently employed by Conservation Manitoba as a Management Resource Assistant. My job there is to maintain the rivers and lakes in in Nopiming Park and other areas such as the Bloodvien River. I also talk to the public about the rich history of the water-ways from Lake Winnipeg to Ontario. I enjoy sharing my knowledge about the logging, mining, fur trade, and canoing of the area.
The water-ways are also rich with all kinds of healing plant-medicines which I carry with me along with a bag of furs to show and share information with schools, canoers, travellers and eco-tourists. I am also a Commercial Fisherman and am very knowledgeable about the "East-Side" from Pine Falls to Rice River."
Where does our school begin in planning an outing with our students?
We encourage school staff who are involved in planning the student outing to visit us at the Lodge in advance to become familiar with the site, the potential programming, and what they need for their particular wilderness experience. And itinerary will be developed, which, along with the activities, will include quiet time.
What is recommended for adult supervision?
In addition to teaching staff, we would like a minimum of 5 to 1 ratio of parent/adult student supervision. Coordinating teachers are asked to select their student group only after becoming comfortable with our location and intended activities.
Our student group is made up of both boys and girls. How does that affect accommodation arrangements?
We require that supervisors include both genders. Separate cabins will be assigned for the two groups. Consideration must be given to have a workable gender balance with the supervisors as well.
What about medical emergencies?
We require that the school have at least one adult in their group qualified in first aid. Group leaders, as well as our staff, need to be well informed of any allergic and/or medical conditions within the group.
Organizers need to consider having a vehicle on standby at the lodge in the event that someone needs to be taken home or needs medical attention.
Teachers and supervisors should have cell phones (MTS) at camp. An emergency action plan will be discussed and documented in detail. We recommend that parents be well informed of all contingency plans.
Are students allowed to have electronic devices with them?
We prefer that students not have any electronic devices with. We treat the three days at school, and all student activities are treated as value pieces, with distractions best avoided. We would ask that group leaders make a cell phone available to students if necessary.
What assistance is available for teachers who are planning a three-day field trip back Quesnel Lake Caribou Lodge?
The owners of Quesnel Lake Caribou Lodge, Peter and Carol, are both certified teachers with many years of experience and are strong advocates of hands-on, real-world learning. They are also currently pursuing our training as heritage interpreters. We will work closely with the teachers, starting with the preliminary planning, and work closely with your group during the visit.
The vast wealth of educational resources the Quesnel Lake has to offer makes for easy planning. Teachers will feel like three days are not enough. We are more than happy to help with lessons and activities planning. Whether it involves introducing students to learn new concepts/topic or reinforcing a lesson previously taught in the classroom, student activities and curricular links that best further student learning will be chosen.
What could we plan on teaching while at Quesnel Lake?
The opportunities are endless. Students can visit all curricula during their stay at Quesnel Lake Caribou Lodge. By virtue of being in the outdoors, all student activities at Quesnel Lake are cross-curricular.
What are some possible activities that we might be planning around?
The possibilities are truly endless. You might consider including some of the following.
What would the cost be for a group of students, teachers, and supervisors for three days at Quesnel Lake Caribou Lodge?
Our regular rates do not apply to schools. We have introduced a super-low rate for schools for the 2011 season at $175 per student. This rate includes three nights accommodations, use of boats and fuel, as well as all necessary support from our staff. There is no charge for teachers, supervising staff, and parents. There is a fee if a guest interpreter is requested.
Do any of our staff need to acquire their boater's license?
We would ask that a minimum of two adults in your group become licensed prior to the outing. Even though you are never more than half of a kilometer from shore when on the water, all activities require boating and will be conducted nearshore. Lake crossings will be avoided. Quesnel Lake Caribou Lodge will supply all DOT-approved PFDs.
Our students want to go fishing. Do we need a license? What do we bring for fishing gear and tackle?
Mmmmm… Fresh walleye for lunch! Because Quesnel Lake Caribou Lodge is located in Nopiming Provincial Park, those intending to do some angling need only acquire a provincial conservation license. We recommend just a light rod and reel and a few hooks such as jigs and spinners. We advise groups to discuss this with us in advance.