On Tuesday, September 20, students from our Grade 7 class embarked on a three-day, eco-action adventure to Brier Island with fellow teachers Mr. Kershaw and Ms. Sinclair. My wife Aly, and our seven-month-old son Miles joined us on the journey! As part of their social studies and science curricula, students spent three days exploring the isolated island community and hiking on many trails, almost reaching the shoreline around the entire island's circumference.
Students got the opportunity to see some magnificent rock formations on both Long Island and BrierIsland. Our first evening featured a wonderful bonfire on the northern edge of the island, including group sing-a-longs and marshmallows. In between long hikes, we explored the small community of Westport, completing a scavenger hunt that had students meeting many community members and having some great conversations. Students then used a sound recording application to create soundscapes of the island, performing them later at a mini music festival at the BrierIsland Lodge. Following the music was the screening of a documentary entitled River, exploring the importance of rivers within our communities.
The excursion culminated with a wonderful final hike through town and to a far point of the island, where students took time to reflect alone in a comfortable space along the rocks. Some students huddled into the warmth of the shoreline vegetation while others chose to be closer to the water. They spent 15 minutes in total quiet, reflecting on a wonderful and meaningful journey. Magically, the journey came to an end when we were just about to board the ferry and saw a pod of dolphins swimming through Grand Passage and out into the open ocean.