M’CHIGEENG—Most students have just laced up their indoor shoes and donned their newest ripped jeans for the first day back to school. However, for the Grade 8 students at Lakeview School, the day begins with boarding the bus that will take them to the shore where their canoes lie waiting to transport them toward Killarney Provincial Park for the annual Lakeview School canoe trip.
Since 1995, Lakeview School Grade 8 students have ventured into the wild with their teachers and volunteer chaperones in an effort to reconnect with the land, connect with their classmates and supervisors and perhaps to learn a little about themselves, the environment and teamwork along the way.
These trips started over two decades ago with less-than-perfect equipment and borrowed canoes, tents and sleeping bags. Back then, the canoes were borrowed from the Aniishnabe Spiritual Centre’s outdoor education program in Espanola. The trips would take place in late September back then and the temperatures tended to be more frigid and the weather unpredictable.
Through fundraising efforts and planning, Lakeview School has been able to amass a collection of top-end gear, canoes, tents and other equipment to help make students more comfortable and hopefully not deter them from ever making a trek like this again.
Since Lakeview still enjoys the balanced school year, where students begin the year in the summer, allowing these eager beavers get to do all their canoe training/rescue and swim testing in August while the water is still warm.
This year was no different. This group of soon-to-be graduates ventured into the great beyond for a three-day trip with their teacher Travis Corbiere, Dianne Glasby-Debassige and Manitoulin Secondary School Student Success teacher Alan Davy. Mr. Davy’s involvement allows Lakeview’s Grade 8s to make a connection with an MSS teacher who they will see next year in Grade 9.
The students who participated were Odemin Beaudin, Kaylee Corbiere, Jude Debassige, Kal Debassige, Katryna Debassige-Bebonang, Nolan Hare, Waasnodeh John, Bailey Laford, Mnising Migwans and Zander Panamick.