On 3 different weekends, the students camped in  Algonquin Park,  the Pinery Provincial Park  and on the Niagara Escarpment near Ancaster.


Winter RE.A.CH Program.                                                                     Student writer: Abigail
This year was the first time my school (Downsview S.S.) was invited to the RE.A.CH winter program. I was excited about joining the program the moment I heard about it. The fact that we could take part in outdoor activities and get three meals a day for free was amazing. This winter camping program was run by TDSB. At first I thought going camping in the winter would be pretty scary and unsafe but, on the trip we had the opportunity to go, skiing, hiking, eat healthy, do high ropes, go on night walks, and play strategic activities.

We learned how to be responsible and other important skills that would help in real life. Each camp had it’s different challenges to overcome and it’s different levels of fun and excitement.I made many new friends that I wouldn’t have if not for the trip.

I even got to know people who go to my school better than I knew them before,

because of this experience.Overall my camping experience was beyond my expectations of fun and if I had the opportunity to go again I would definitely go.


Insight Of The Reach Program Weekend Trips.                                   Student writer: Trina
On March 3rd 2017, a few chosen students from C.W. Jefferys, Westview and Downsview were on their way to one of three weekend trips for a Reach program. This Reach program not only gives us an extra credit but it also allows us to meet new people, face new challenges and overcome them, improve our leadership skills and learn survival skills over the three weekends. The first weekend trip was a 4 days and 3 nights stay at Scarborough Outdoor Education School. At the SOES, there were many activities which included skiing, trust walks, compass readings, team activities and challenges to make fire.

  During this weekend, we learned how to survive in the cold by making fire and shelter, reading a compass and learning how to work together.

The weekend had a lot of impact on us starting from the first night when each school had conversations among themselves but by the end of the trip, the different schools had all become friends and bonded as one group.

The second weekend trip took place on March 24th to the 26th at Pinery Provincial Park camp located on Lake Huron near Grand Bend. During this weekend trip, we had to step outside our comfort zones and sleep in a yurt, a room covered by a thick canvas. This trip was a challenge for most students because there were no luxuries like we have at home. It rained most of the weekend and we all had to work together to set up tarps so we could stay out of the rain. Also, this was a trip where we had to cook our own meals and clean up after ourselves. This particular weekend, we learned how to try new things and new challenges, enjoy nature and basically shut ourselves off from the hustle and bustle of the city.

All of these interesting trips allowed students from different school and different grades to come together and have an outdoor experience that we would normally not have.

It gave us the opportunity to get away from our daily routines and disconnect from cellular devices and modern technology. This way, we were able to reconnect with nature while making friends with students from neighbouring schools and have an amazing experience together.

There is one more trip that is happening on April 7th to 9th in Hamilton and I am hoping it will be just as exciting and educational as the other two trips.


                Ravi’s Camp Journal on Orienteering and Leadership

Orienteering is a sport that requires orienting one’s self using a map and compass as one moves from a starting point to an end goal location in diverse and unfamiliar terrain. Editor’s definition

Teacher’s question to students for a paragraph in their journal……

What was your favorite activity today and why?

My favorite activity today was orienteering. Orienteering was my favorite activity because I feel the teacher and SOES staff put a lot of trust in us. Also, we got to go exploring in the wild. Lastly, we got to slide down a really big hill. In conclusion, there were many varied reasons as to why orienteering was my favorite activity today.

Name at least (one) other person who had demonstrated leadership today and how?

In my opinion, everyone demonstrated good leadership qualities at least one time today. But if I had to pick someone it would be Adrian because when we did the survival scenario, our fire wouldn’t light but Adrian never gave up.

He kept the rest of our group motivated by telling us; ” don’t  give up and let’s try again.” Lastly, he kept the rest of the group from being in a down mood by making jokes and keeping everyone laughing. In conclusion, Adrian portrayed a lot of leadership skills today.