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Superior North Study and Leadership Experience
May 2017

Rationale

The motivation for this program was derived from the personal and professional experiences of its authors in conjunction with the vision prescribed by Adventure Learning Experiences for all of its programs. This vision involves Learning, Leadership, and Service within the context of safe Adventure. 

Service Learning
A unique and distinguishing component of this program is the concept of “service learning”.  Service learning can be identified as experiential education when the learner adopts a life role that provides meaningful service to a community in order to learn about oneself and others.  The pedagogical value of the service increases when the following are added to the learning:  an academic component designed to prepare the learner in terms of content and competencies relevant to the service; an opportunity to reflect upon and think critically about the experience; an element of adventure and challenge; an international and cross-cultural context; and an alignment of individual, placement, and system goals. 

Affiliation
This program will be delivered with the cooperation and support of the Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Superior North Catholic District School Board.

 

Participants

Youth
Approximately 16 young people will be selected for admission to this program and will include primarily high school students.  There will also be approximately 3-4 adults accompanying the students and participating in this program. Participants will be selected according to the following criteria:
 
            1.        Trustworthiness and reliability
            2.        Respectfulness of other people and cultures
            3.        Adaptability to new experiences
            4.        Fitness
            5.       
Pleasant disposition
           
Interested students will be invited to submit an application and two letters of reference attesting to their suitability according to the criteria cited above. 

Leader
The leaders for this trip will be
a) Mr. Greg Rogers, Adventure Learning Experiences Inc.,
b) Mr. Michael Consul, resource teacher at TCDSB,
c) at least one female teacher supervisor at TCDSB.



Code of Conduct
Each student will be expected to pledge commitment to a Code of Conduct,  which will be designed to ensure that respect for each participant, his/her property, and well-being is safeguarded.  This code will preclude harassment and abusiveness and will prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs.  Above all, the rights and responsibilities of all participants will be clearly defined so that the objectives of this program may be achieved within a healthy and safe environment. 

Interviews
Each applicant will be invited to a private or group interview with the Directors to assess his/her suitability for the program. This will also give the applicant the opportunity to determine if the program serves his/her needs and interests. Students will be asked to bring their letters of reference to this meeting.

Program Design

In-Class Component

The in-class component will begin in February and will conclude in May.  All students in this program will meet as a single group for this component. 

There will be 4 preparatory meetings that all participants will be expected to attend.

Experiential Component

There will be a variety of service learning opportunities distributed across a few locations.  Formal classes will be conducted whereby teachers and students will be given opportunities to discuss their reactions to the learning experiences and which will offer support for their adjustment to the new environments.  Upon returning to Toronto, the students will meet to reflect and process their experiences, and will be given an opportunity to formally present their learning to corporations, institutions, family and friends.  

Topics for discussion during classes in India will be governed by the nature of the activities in which the students will be engaged.  Daily journal writing will be an essential component of this time. 



Reading List
A short reading list will be provided at a later date about issues that have impacted the northern communities and about leadership.


Journaling
Daily journal writing will be an essential component of the program. A composite journal with volunteer submissions from all participants will be compiled and offered to all participants at the end of the experience as a memory of our shared experience.

Service and Leadership Opportunities

  1. Community appreciation

  2. Issues education: Hands-on exploration of social justice issues

  3. Cultural education: Connect with local youth by sharing educational opportunities

  4. Wilderness Adventures: Experience the rugged beauty of northern Ontario


Travel dates:  May 15 - 19, 2017.

Tentative Itinerary:  

Monday May 15 Depart Toronto at 12:35 p.m., arrive in Thunder Bay at 2:38 p.m., Welcome greeting and supper with local staff and local groups in support of our Aboriginal Initiatives
Settle into lodge
Tuesday May 16 Visit to St. Brigid's School
Morning Interactive cultural activities
Afternoon outdoor skill training and forest exploration
Evening in-service for teachers/principals on Catholic Graduate Expectations
Wednesday May 17 Guided nature excursion with students from 3 local schools
Explore the Northern watershed and other features of the great North
Evening leadership activities with students from St. Joseph's School
Thursday May 18 Visit Our Lady of Fatima's Thunderbird Friendship Centre
Learn about traditional customs and cultural events in the area
Traditional cooking and evening meal
Meet village elders
Collaborate and celebrate Mass together
Friday May 19 Visit Lakehead University
Tour and witnessing unique Aboriginal learning programs
Prayer service
Depart Thunder Bay at 8:15 p.m., arrive in Toronto at 10:09 p.m.


Travel Arrangements

Transportation
Local transportation will be organized and provided by a commercial transportation company situated in the Thunder Bay area, and which serves the Superior North Catholic District School Board. Air travel will be provided by Air Canada
                                              
Accommodations
The accommodations will be at Kenogamisis Lake Resort. This is at a fishing lodge located amidst the beautiful northern landscape. The adult supervisors will always reside in close proximity to the student residences. Appropriate separation between genders will alway be ensured in these premises.

Finances
Trip Cost: $560 to accompany application

Payment Options:
a) personal cheque or money order payable to Adventure Learning Experiences Inc.
a) e-transfer to info@adventurelearningexperiences.com
b) credit card (Visa, Mastercard), (2% surcharge on all credit card payments)

Please note: after April 1, 2017, no refund except through cancellation insurance, if purchased

Inclusions
economy return airfare: Toronto to Thunder Bay return
all ground transportation, all meals and accommodations
all donations and gratuities, any activity fees, all service charges and taxes
preparatory learning program

Exclusions
any medical costs and inoculations
cancellation insurance (assistance available upon request)
private spending

Individual Fundraising

Fundraising activities will be supported by the authors.  In particular, the principal endeavour will be a booklet which will describe the features and participants of the program.  The sale of advertisements in the booklet will be directly subtracted from the fee charged to individual participants, with a nominal charge for the cost of printing the booklets. 



Health and Safety

NOTE: It is most strongly recommended that each participant seek proper medical advice for all potential health concerns at a travel medical clinic prior to departure.

Careful attention to sound health and safety practices will be an important part in the preparation of the program.  This will involve mandatory immunizations, learning  healthy eating and drinking habits, and understanding effective illness prevention practices.  For maximum benefit it is recommended that participants, in general, be in good health and achieve a sufficient level of fitness prior to the trip.  Physical and dental check-ups are highly recommended prior to the departure date.

It is expected that each participant complete the Consent to Medical Treatment Form in the event that urgent and emergency care is required.

 

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  • Connect with local youth by sharing educational opportunities
  • Hands-on exploration of social justice issues
  • Experience the rugged beauty of northern Ontario



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