Part 1 - Year one youth take on first multi-day expedition

The Wilderness School Year Ones spent seven days paddling in the Southern Gulf Islands. The first night was spent at Island View Beach, where the group reviewed packing for a kayak trip and learned their roles and the expectations for the expedition. The day was topped off with teambuilding activities.

On Day 2, the group packed all their gear into their kayaks and paddled from Island View Beach to Sidney Island, where we set up camp for the night. In the evening, we watched the beautiful sunset.

On Day 3, we paddled from Sidney Island to Rum Island. Once our tents were set up and we had lunch, the rain started. We huddled under our big tarp and played charades. Laughter filled the air as the teams tried to guess obscure sentences. Once the rain cleared, half the group set off on a walk around the small island and the rest helped make rice paper rolls with peanut sauce and miso soup for dinner.

On Day 4, powered by song and Nutella, we made our way to D’arcy Island, where we would be spending the next two nights. Upon arrival, after setting up tents, the group put on their swimsuits and ran into the ocean for their mandatory bath – a highlight of the trip.

The next morning we learned to set up tarps, in preparation for the youth’s first long solo experience. They spent five hours along the beach and highlights included seeing butterflies land on plants nearby, finding a dear carcass and setting up a shelter in a beach cave. That evening we had dinner together and hiked to the remains of the caretaker’s cabin left over from when D’arcy Island was a Leper colony.


The next morning we packed up quickly and made our way back to Sidney Island where we met up with an Adaptive Recreation group camping out. There, we hiked to the remains of a bomb shelter built during the Second World War. That evening, we played tag and watched the last sunset of our trip, reminiscing about all the amazing things we had experienced together.


On the final day, we paddled home. The group ended the trip with smiles on their faces. Yelling out inside jokes to each other it was clear they were excited about their next adventure together.

– Story shared by Gaby Emmett, program facilitator