Part 2 - Youth venture from Valdes to De Courcy Island

For their second extended summer expedition, the Wilderness School Year Two cohort set out for 10 days exploring the Northern Gulf Islands by kayak. The weather ranged from warm sunny days spent on the beach to wet days paddling in some of the heaviest rain the coast has seen in the past year.

The activities were as varied as the weather, from hiking to the top of Mexicana Hill and building a raft on the beaches of Blackberry Point on Valdes Island to fishing off of Wallace Island.


Swarms of mosquitoes at Pirates Cove on De Courcy Island, where the group spent their first and last night, didn’t hinder the youth as they made the best of the trip venturing to other islands including: Valdes, Wallace and Thetis. The whole trip created a circuit starting and finishing in Cedar.


The group also completed their second extended solo experience, where youth spend time alone, with no distractions but themselves and nature. Armed with a whistle, tarp, some food, water and other safety gear, the only interaction they have with others during the solo experience is periodic check-ins with the supervising staff. One of the biggest challenges of expeditions, these unique solo experiences often become one of the highlights of a youth’s time in Wilderness School. This year, the Year Two cohort completed an eight-hour solo, an important milestone as they build towards the completion of an overnight solo in their final year.


– Story shared by Clay Webb, curriculum coordinator