Outdoor Education Blog

Learning Beyond the Walls

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring has Sprung Sap in Algonquin Park


What a beautiful weekend we had. The sun was shining and the temperature was above zero. For me the official hallmark of spring is that the maple sap was running! We have numerous trees tapped and it is always exciting to lift the lid to the sap buckets and see what the trees have produced. I also like taking a drink or two straight from the tree- the sap has just a hint of sweetness and rumor has it (this is not proven) that this sap will give you lots of energy- it could also be the sunny spring weather or the sugar!

Collecting and boiling sap is a great activity to do with kids. They seem to love the process and are motivated by the outcome- sweet, sugary syrup. Taking kids out to a local sugar shack can be used as a trip for a variety of classes- Canadian history, chemistry, Home Ec., Math, Geography etc.

It is a great way for kids to experience the production of a naturally organic food source from start to finish- and to learn to appreciate the work that goes into producing syrup (and many other foods).

If you get a chance, take a trip to your local sugar shack as soon as you can- this season might be short. You will not only be experiencing the production of maple syrup but supporting local Canadians! For those of you wanting to do more with maple syrup- check out (September 2006).

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Soulful end to School Trip


Niagara College joined us last weekend for the final night of a nine day course that took them winter camping and dogsledding. This travel weary group arrived just in time for dinner. Following a delicious and nutritious meal, they gathered around the campfire for their final evening together. To end this gathering our ever creative facilitator, Vicki, led a group meditation that had the students walk our candle lit winter labyrinth on the lake. It was a beautiful sight. Many of the students commented that this was an amazing end to their school trip.
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