3005 Outdoor Education

POLICY NO.:  3005                                                                 DATE APPROVED:  1989-06

SUBJECT:        Outdoor Education Program


The Board Policy endorses safe, enjoyable learning opportunities gained through an outdoor education program.


The program shall be developed at the Cameron Lake site in conjunction with the Outdoor Education Committee and district curriculum guide and shall include the following objectives:

–           to enhance curriculum with learning experience not available in the regular school/classroom setting.

–           to increase pupil awareness of the environment and to help pupils develop an appreciation and understanding of outdoor and ecological principles.

–           to encourage social interactions and individual growth through activities designed to challenge and learn respect for safety and risk under the direction of qualified, assigned staff.

All activities shall comply with Board Policy and be in accordance with the Outdoor Education Site Handbook.

As per the teacher’s handbook:

a)              Swimming must only take place within the roped off area

b)              For students under 10 years old, the rope must be set at a depth of 0.5 metre.  For student 10 year old and up, the rope must be set at a depth of 1 metre.

c)              An adult supervision ratio of 1:10 will be on supervision at all times when students are in the water or in the beach area.

d)              Students must use the buddy system while in the beach area.

e)              The life preserving ring must remain in the beach area at all times.

f)               Swimming outside of the rope is not allowed unless it is part of an organized canoeing lesson, in which all the canoeing regulations apply.

A Coordinator shall be responsible for the effective and safe operation of the outdoor education program.  Cross reference to the roles of the Outdoor Ed Coordinator.

User Groups:

Priority for use of the Outdoor Education Site will be as follows:

1.         All district pupils and staff are eligible to use the facilities for use within the compatible outdoor education curriculum objectives.

2.         District authorized Youth Groups and business educational retreats.

3.         Private Use

a)         Private groups requesting use of the Outdoor Education Site must:

–           present an agenda or plan to the Site Coordinator/Outdoor Education          Committee for review;

–           sign a statement absolving School District No. 60 (Peace River North) for any legal liability including vicarious liability;

–           designate a person of responsibility for leadership of the group;

–           pay a damage/clean-up deposit for damage and clean-up of                       facilities.  The amount required to be determined by the Outdoor Education                  Coordinator based on the numbers and risks as per his assessment.

b)         The facilities shall not be used by groups where alcohol is involved.  Such usage is prohibited.

c)         The Outdoor Education Coordinator may deny usage or limit access to outside users.

d)         Smoking is strictly prohibited in all areas of the Outdoor Education Site.


Groups shall be granted use of the facilities on a first come first served booking basis, provided the above criteria has been met.



            a)         Common to All:

Parental/guardian consent is required for all participants under the age of nineteen (19) and living at home.

Emergency information is required for all participants on site.

All participants, supervising teachers and parents/guardians must be fully aware of the nature of the activities to be engaged.

An application has been submitted to the Outdoor Education Committee outlining program objectives and activities and approval granted.

Records will be kept of:

–           bookings

–           users (who/dates/times etc.)

–           students-medical consent

–           emergency incidence log

–           activities pursued

All user groups shall review the teacher and pupil outdoor recreation site handbook and comply with the rules and regulations contained therein.

There shall be a minimum of one adult supervisor in attendance who has a first aid certificate dated within the past five (5) years.  Because activities range from low to high risk, consideration shall be given to the number of adult supervisors in attendance (example:  canoeing 1:8, general camp 1:16 minimum ratio).

A certified first-aid person with accompanying first-aid kit shall accompany all activities involving an unfamiliar environment of medium to high risk.

There shall be at least two vehicles and drivers in attendance during an outing to allow for the transport of one or more individuals should the need arise.

            b)         Applicable to District User Groups:

Approval must be granted to the teacher by the administrative officer.

            c)         Applicable to Non-District User Groups:

A waiver must be signed releasing the Board from Liability for injury or damage suffered by the group or any participant.

Damages to property and/or equipment will be the responsibility of the user group.

A user fee shall be levied and is payable in advance.

2.         A Handbook Has Been Developed Which Includes:

a)         district policy and expectations

b)         flow chart outlining reporting relationship and authority of personnel

c)         maps (site, boundary markers and surrounding area)

d)         local wildlife

Facilities management:  access, user groups (district and non-district), booking procedures, fees, collection of artifacts from the environment, garbage and sewage, parking, annual review of operational practices, annual inventory, insurance coverage, updating handbooks.

Safety, risk and emergency procedures:  health (sickness and administration of medication), emergency:  first-aid, procedures, transportation, and reporting, fire, dangerous materials and hazardous equipment, activities/standards for risk ventures, first-aid requirements, instructor qualifications, equipment specifications and inspections.

Duties expectations of users:  conduct (including no smoking or alcohol), supervision requirements, general adult/pupil ratio and degrees of supervision, damage, first-aid qualifications.

General road and weather conditions.

Sample forms, application for booking, parent/guardian consent, medical information, waiver of liability (non-district users).