How it works

The COAST program brings together a group of up to 24 students to form a cohort for their grade 10 year. During the COAST semester, the students take part in approximately 50 days of field work, integrating the following curriculum: English (Literature Studies) 10, Social Studies 10, PE 10, Outdoor Education 11, Career Life Education 10, and Leadership 11. Students take Science 10, Math 10, and two electives, with the rest of the grade 10 students at the school (not as part of the cohort) in the fall semester.

Careful time management and planning allows COAST students to gain the benefits of this unique learning environment while maintaining a strong academic standing. Our students also continue to be a part of school life and many are involved in competitive sports, theatre, music and leadership opportunities.


The COAST program offers a unique opportunity for students to develop a range of lifelong skills.  The following program objectives are supported by a wide range of school-based and out-trip activities:

Personal and Interpersonal Skills

  • leadership skills
  • effective communication
  • goal setting and taking initiative
  • working with others in a variety of settings
  • organization and time management
  • self confidence

Environmental and Social Responsibility

  • gain an appreciation for the people and places visited
  • develop a personal environmental ethic
  • demonstrate social responsibility
  • think critically about the complex interdependent relationship between people and natural environments
  • demonstate stewardship for natural systems

Academic Integration

  • connect classroom concepts with direct experience
  • view issues and concepts from a variety of perspectives
  • visit academically and culturally significant sites

Outdoor Skills

Students will learn and develop skills and practices that emphasize safety in self-propelled outdoor activities in all seasons and under most conditions.

  • Trip planning
  • Wilderness cooking
  • Health and hygiene
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) camping skills
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Sea kayaking
  • Navigation
  • Top-rope rock climbing (indoors)
  • Avalanche awareness
  • Winter camping
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Expedition leadership

Trip Destinations

Students participate in a range of activities that include approximately 50 days of single and multi-day trips. In late May, the students embark on their culminating 11-day “year-end” canoe expedition.  At this point of the year the students take on most aspects of the trip’s leadership and have an opportunity to showcase their skills. The COAST students return to school to lead the Middle School Camp Experience on a 3-day trip.  The students return for the final days in June attending classes and finalizing academic projects and presentations in mid-June. 

The following is a preliminary list of multi-day trips:

  • Winter Trip - Manning Park
  • Hiking Trip - location varies
  • Bike Trip - Southern Gulf Island
  • Ocean Kayaking Trip - Sunshine Coast
  • Canoe Trip - location varies
  • Middle School Leadership Trip - location varies