Students from Cambie Secondary School in Richmond arrived at the Millard Learning Centre on May 29th, 2019 for the Backcountry Experience program with the Galiano Conservancy. During this program, students at any experience level gain essential skills for backcountry camping in BC’s wilderness.
The program starts by teaching students how to pack their backpacks for ultimate comfort and function, and then they head off with their packs for a beautiful 7 km hike.
Stinging Nettle was a new plant for most Cambie Students but they learned lots about it while they were here. It is abundant on Galiano! Its fresh shoots can be harvested in the spring, but after it goes to seed, Nettle becomes too fibrous really enjoy. It is crazy healthy – better for you than spinach – and super delicious! Us Galianoites love it so much we have Nettlefest every spring where we harvest and share recipes as a community.
Cambie Grade 9 students had cooking groups of about 4 kids per group, GCA staff were amazed by the level of campsite cooking. Using our MSR camp stoves provided by grants from Mountain Equipment Co-Op, groups served up gourmet stir-fry, soup medleys, and not to forget the Spam-tastic group that incorporated canned Spam into most of their meals! It was so great to see these kids plan out their meals for 3 days and cook and clean as a team. Many students had never had to do that for themselves.
On Day 2 and 3 students gained compass and orienteering skills, pond invertebrate identification, native plant studies and free time at beautiful Crystal Cove. To finish off this full on 3 days they relaxed with a hot cup of tea made with freshly harvested Douglas Fir Shoots, Arbutus Bark and Yerba Buena.
Highlights for many students was stargazing at night and seeing their first shooting star! Thanks to the Cambie Crew for their energy and enthusiasm while learning to camp in a respectful and fun way.