Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

Y1s at Norval: Key information on program and pre-trip meetings

Norval Pic 4Norval Pic 3

Please note the important pre-trip meeting and UCC Evening at Mountain Equipment Co-op below.

As the days get longer and hopefully warmer, we here at Norval are starting to look ahead to the spring. With that comes an exciting change to the property but also some of our largest programs of the year. Of particular note is our Year 1 program that will fall on Monday, April 27 and run until Friday, May 1 this year.

“A study conducted by the American Institutes for Research on the impact of a single, weeklong residential outdoor education program showed that exposure to nature benefits children academically as a well as physically. Students who experienced a weeklong program had a 27 per cent increase in measured mastery of science concepts, enhanced cooperation and conflict resolution skills, gains in self-esteem, positive environmental behavior and problem solving, increased motivation to learn and improved classroom behavior. And that’s just from a single, weeklong outdoor program.”

[American Institutes for Research. “Effects of Outdoor Education Programs for Children in California.” Palo Alto, CA: AIR, January 31, 2005. www.sierraclub.org/youth/downloads/outdoorscool_finalreport.pdf.]

Over the course of those five days, all 120 of our Year 1 boys will set off for a week full of adventures and great times with their classmates. Outdoor adventure pursuits such as rappelling at Rattlesnake Point, whitewater canoeing on the Credit River, and learning primitive skills such as using a carving knife to create their own spoon and lighting fires with a bow drill at Jack Smythe Field Centre, will highlight the week. To complement those experiences, our boys will learn in various field lessons such as a crayfish study, a nature art activity, nighttime astronomy and giving back to the UCC community by participating in a morning or afternoon of service. If that wasn’t enough, the boys will top off the week by participating in some of our most exciting challenges on Norval’s high and low ropes courses and creating lasting memories with their form. All sites used by the Year 1 program are located within 30 minutes of the Norval campus to show our boys that you don’t have to go far for an adventure.

Without some key partnerships this program would not be possible. That’s why UCC has paired themselves with some leading organizations within the field of outdoor education such as Adventureworks! Assoc. Inc., Sticks and Stones Wilderness School and Missinaibi Headwaters Outfitters. Due to the wealth of experience and knowledge within this team of organizations, we’re able to provide a challenging and rewarding experience for our boys within a fun, exciting, and most importantly, safe environment.

In the days and weeks leading up to the trip, we’re often asked how can parents help their sons be successful? The answer is simple. The best thing a parent can do is to encourage their son and stress the importance of their participation in the Norval program. These five days are the culmination of UCC’s outdoor education curriculum and some have been working towards this experience since SK. On the other hand, perhaps this is your son’s first trip to Norval and that’s great too! In these five days, your son will be able to make a lifetime of memories with his classmates as well as educate him on how to be a more resilient and perseverant young man.

Norval Pic 2Noval Pic 1Although we understand that our boys have numerous commitments outside their academics, we ask parents to emphasize the importance of this trip to their son’s Year 1 school year. Not only does this act as a culmination of almost a full year together, it will push them in a way that they won’t experience elsewhere in the curriculum. In life, we often don’t get to pick and choose our challenges, so the best thing a parent can do is to send their son off with a well-packed bag and encouraging words.

In closing, we can’t predict the weather or the particular challenges that each boy will experience during the week, but what we can do is to do our best to prepare them for an amazing and everlasting experience.

Things to note:

Tuesday, April 7 – 7 p.m.
Norval Year 1 Pre-Trip Meeting for students and parents
Lecture Theatre – 2nd floor Creativity Centre (next to the Art Studio)

  • Students and parents are invited to learn more about the program expectations and outfitting techniques that will better ensure a comfortable time for all students.
  • Mr. Evans (Norval Director) and Jodie Fluit (Adventureworks), one of our program contractors, will be on hand to describe what and how to pack your gear, to review completion of the online trip permission forms and to respond to any questions.

Thursday, April 9 – 6 to 9 p.m.
UCC Evening at the Mountain Equipment Co-op Store

400 King Street West

  • UCC families will receive 10 per cent off purchases and all Norval teachers will be on hand to help you pick out the appropriate gear.
  • 400 King Street West – one block east of Spadina Ave. at Charlotte St.
  • Underground parking off Charlotte St.

Please be on the lookout for trip registration in the March 5 issue of Head’s Up. Should you have any questions please feel free to email Nate Lackey or Jodie Fluit, Senior Consultant, Adventureworks! Assoc. Inc. Good luck to the boys with their studies in the upcoming weeks and we can’t wait to see you at Norval at the end of April!

Nate Lackey
Y1 Program Coordinator
Outdoor Education Instructor
Norval Outdoor School
Upper Canada College