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Nordegg 2022

The grade 6/7 My PATH students demonstrated their outdoor education skills recently as they hiked up Coliseum Mountain in Nordegg. Led by Nature teacher, Jeanette Radchenko and Supervisor Kali Thompson, the group fundraised on their own to earn their 3-day adventure in the beautiful mountain region. 

Students were tasked with designing meal plans and were given a budget to shop for their groceries. The criteria included ensuring that each meal provided balanced nutrients and that the students worked collaboratively to assign responsibilities of shopping for, preparing, and cooking their meals as well as clean up duties. 

The trip began with the disappointing news that our leader Miss River (Jeanette), who organized the entire trip, was unable to go due to illness. Fortunately, we confidently continued forward with the remaining 5 adult supervisors, and the group arrived at the Shunda Creek Hostel in Nordegg on Thursday night, June 2. Everyone was excited to choose their bunks and settle into their new surroundings, ending the night with a campfire and marshmallow roast.

Friday began with a hearty pancake breakfast in preparation for the impending 6 hour mountain hike. Once they prepped and packed their lunches, the group cleaned up and gathered their hiking gear, eagerly anticipating the difficult challenge ahead. 

Coliseum Mountain is known as one of the top hikes in the area for its close proximity to the Town of Nordegg and for its moderate level of difficulty. The elevation to the summit “cap” is 2,035 m and has a distance roundtrip of 14.2 km.. After climbing through the forest on a series of well-graded switchbacks, the trail traverses a scenic curving ridge on route to the cap at the north end of the mountain. The cap of Coliseum Mountain offers 360° views of the forested wilderness surrounding Nordegg and the distant Rocky Mountains.

To say that the students demonstrated perseverance is an understatement. This was a difficult journey for most and with each grueling step towards the top, we witnessed such determination and grit. Each moan and groan seemed to be followed up with a teammate’s positivity and encouragement. They truly had each other’s back and were going to get through this challenge together. With approx 30 minutes left to climb, the group actually contemplated splitting up. Those who wanted to stop could stay where we were and the rest of us would continue onward to the cap. However, Kali’s inspirational talk motivated the students to gather their gear and continue the climb all together. Were they glad they did! What an amazing view from the top and what an accomplishment!

When asked what the students learned most about themselves through this experience, some replies included how proud they were of their determination and strength through adversity as well as how much more food they should pack next time they hike! 

The rest of the trip included mantracker and survival games, tire swings, campfires, skipping rocks in the river, and visiting Crescent Falls and Rocky Mountain House Historical Site. 

Surely a trip that these students will remember for a lifetime! Thanks to everyone who supported this trip by buying beef jerky and cookie dough or donating bottles, as well as parent volunteers for joining us on the trip, Miss River for providing the experience, and Miss Kali for ensuring the students had a safe and fun trip!

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