To give every Selwyn House student an education that fosters an individual connection with nature, environmental stewardship, and personal growth.
The SHS Outdoor Program is a relatively young co-curricular program, founded in 2013, that is continually maturing with every experience. We are dedicated to providing unique, meaningful, and safe outdoor programming for our students that focus on three areas of learning that will ultimately empower them in all areas of their development. Each experience challenges every participant to engage in a process of self-discovery, discovery of others, and a discover of one's place. Although these areas of learning are founded on traditional models of outdoor education, they also serve as a tangible method of promoting our school's core values, Veritas: true to yourself, true to others and true to your school.
The core of this program has evolved into our Selwyn House Be Wild Program which is founded on the principles of the Wild Pedagogy: a belief that education can be more place responsive; that a wild education denotes a self-willed integrity to exist and evolve in a healthy, ecologically sound manner, and that a Wild learner becomes self-determined with a purpose and capacity to test their own curiosity, personal awareness and sense of community. (see the Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, summer 2016, 28).
The Wild Program.
Grade 6 - Where the Wild Things Are.
Introduction to basic camping skills and expedition behaviour
Grade 7 - The Call of the Wild.
An expedition into a back-country setting with a focus on autonomy, teamwork, and sense of place
Grade 8 - Into the Wild.
An introduction to the principles of winter camping with a focus on five elements of successful expedition behavior in challenging environments
Grade 9 - North of Wild.
Culminating in a three-day winter camping experience that combines all of the acquired skills from the Wild Program
Beyond our mandatory Wild Program we have two elective options at the Senior School level.
Grade 10 / 11 (Elective) River Rescue – This is a unique swiftwater training program that teaches the foundations of safety and rescue for all river-based activities. Industry-standard training provided by the Boreal River Rescue company.
Grade 11 (Elective) S.O.L.O – Our "Wildest" students take the lead and organize, with the supervision of SHS OE staff, their final expedition as a Selwyn House student. Our Senior Outdoor Leadership Orientation program provides an opportunity for them to acquire the skills necessary to continue leading their own adventures in their years beyond Selwyn House.
Every year we provide hundreds of our students with memorable and valuable experiences in the outdoors. Although many of these moments can be transformative in their own right, we believe the true potential for personal development in our program lies in our very own R.O.C.K Rubric. Every Wild program involves a cycle of learning that guides each participant through a reflective process of self-evaluation in four character traits: resilience, optimism, curiosity and kindness. One of our objectives is to encourage all teachers, parents, and family members to continue the discussions on R.O.C.K. We hope our boys feel empowered through these experiences and that ultimately their discoveries of self transfer to other areas of learning and life.
The Selwyn House Outdoor Education Program promotes a wide variety of outdoor learning opportunities at all levels of our school. Our purpose is to enable all teachers to connect their students to the natural world by providing unique and meaningful experiential programming. Many of these connections involve hiking, snowshoeing, working in outdoor gardens or beehives, urban adventures, challenge courses, rock climbing, and much more.
So, what is holding you back? Come and learn to be a R.O.C.K by pursuing a Wild Education at Selwyn House School.
Selwyn House Outdoor Education Program Coordinator