Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education at Westmount school is comprised of four different strands of outdoor learning available to our students.  They are... 

     1.  Outdoor Adventures - •Grade 4-6 Introductory “Spark” Option

•One morning within the regular 6 day cycle 
• includes Half day – full day – overnight trips

2. Outdoor Experiences - outdoor opportunitities through your child's PE program

Grade 3-6 PE Program

•Outdoor Games, Snow shoeing/XC skiing – day hikes, 6 – lake/pool kayaking, 5/6 outdoor camp

Grade 7-9 PE Option

•2/3 week units
•on/off campus learning + 1-2 day trips/unit
•Camping/hiking skills I/II, mountain biking I/II, kayaking/first aid, cross country skiing/snowshoeing, geocaching/orienteering

3. Outdoor Leadership - a Junior High Option Class

• Grade 7-9 Option, 10-12 days off campus learning per term working towards multi day/night trips.
•Day Hiking, Backpacking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking – hostel based or ACC hut trips
•Stewardship days

4.  Hunter Education-  a Junior High Option Class

Grade 7-9 Option

•Students develop skills in archery, fishing, rifle-marksmanship, day hiking, species identification, etc.


Another excellent Grade 7 Camp Impeesa Experience!  From September 26 - 28, 55 students, 5 teachers, Mrs. Higden and our wonderful EA Kaitlin ventured down South to Camp Impeesa, nestled amongst the pines surrounding Beaver Mines Lake.  While there, students hiked, paddled, went fishing, ziplined and honed their archery skills on the range.  While the weather made for challenging conditions, the fall colors were spectacular and students had an amazing time.  A huge thank you goes out to Blake and his CI staff for hosting us again.



What an Awesome Hike!  Recently, the Grade 7-9 Outdoor Leadership students enjoyed a day hike to Nihahi Creek in Kananaskis.  On October 16, 24 students went outdoors to learn about hands on navigation, exploration of a canyon and of course meal preparation.  A huge thank you to all of those parents, Carlin, Trevor, Neil and Zoe, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Wooldridge and Mr. Comeau for OJHS who came out to support our learning.  (updated Oct 18/18)





It is with regret that the Grade 8/9 Cross Country ski/snowshoe trip as part of their PE option to either Sandy McNabb Provincial Park or West Bragg Creek on Thursday, February 15 has been cancelled due to insufficient forms/fees collected.  It's unfortunate that we have missed this learning opportunity.  Thursday's class will continue as normal on campus.  Students please come prepared for a day of skiing outside.


(updated February 13/2018)



With the beginning of Term 2, we have two upcoming Mandatory parent meetings for our Grades 4-6 Outdoor Adventures and Grades 7-9 Outdoor Leadership student families.

For Parents of all Grade 4 - 6 Outdoor Adventure Sparks students, we will host a meeting on Thursday, February 8, from 7:30-8:30 pm.  Both Mr. Kotowich and Mr. Campbell's sections will meet to sign an organize all of the necessary paperwork for this upcoming term, organize parent volunteers for our numerous trips, in addition to paying student course fees of $85.00.  Mr. Campbell's students will also go over all necessary details of their overnight excursion. (posted Feb 04)

Mr. Kotowich's Grade 4-6 Outdoor Adventure trips dates are as follows.....please mark your calendars!

Wed, February 28 - snowshoeing to Sandy McNabb Provincial Park

Thursday, April 12 – day hiking to Sandy McNabb Provincial Park

Wednesday, May 2 – fishing trip, potentially to Emerson Lake

Wednesday May 30 – final class, biking using town pathways

For all Parents of Grade 7 - 9 Outdoor Leadership option students, we will host a meeting on Thursday, February 15 from 7:30-9:00 pm.  We will discuss all trips for the year, in particular the overnight trips to Elk Lakes hut and Backpacking to Point/Forks campground, complete all FSD paperwork and collect all course fees of $265/student. 

The Outdoor Leadership trip dates for Term 2 are as follows...please mark your calendars!

  • Bouldering at Big Rock Bouldering Friday, February 16, depart Westmount at 12:15, return by 3:15
  • Day Hike to West Bragg Creek or Sandy McNabb Provincial Park Wednesday, March 14
  • Indoor Pool Kayaking at the High River Aquatic facility Monday, March 26 - depart Westmount at 12:30 and return for 3:15
  • Buddy Hike, OL students leading OA students Sandy McNabb Provincial Park, Thursday, April 12
  • Snowshoeing to Elk Lakes Hut (British Columbia) Wednesday, April 25 – Friday April 27
  • Backpacking Trip (Point/Forks Campground – Upper Kananaskis Lake) June 6-8 -  Depart Westmount at 8:45 am on Day 1, return to Westmount school on Day 3 between 3-4:00 pm.
  • Potential Fishing Trip with Hunter Education Location TBA June 18 or 19

(posted Feb 04)

All Grade 6 Westmount students will share an "Introduction to Kayaking session" held at the High River Aquatic Center.  Dates are Mrs. LR (Feb 7), Mrs. Schneider (Feb 09) and Mrs. Hodder (March 15).  Students will depart school using FSD bussing at 9:00, arrive at the pool and kayak from 9:30-11:00, then return to regular classes by 11:30.  Students are reminded to bring their bathing suit, a shirt to wear in the pool, a towel and water bottle/snacks for the bus ride.  Students are reminded to leave all electronic devices at school or even better, at home for the trip.

(posted Feb 04)


Thank you to all parents and students who attended the Bluewater Adventures information meeting last week.  A reminder for all of those interested Grade 7/8 students who would like to participate with the upcoming Sailing trip next spring, (March/April 2019) are to hand in your letter of application with a $300 deposit by Friday, February 09 by 3:15 pm to Mr. Kotowich.

www.bluewateradventures.ca (posted Feb 04)


Monday, February 05 is our Grade 4/5 ski/snowboard trip to Calgary Olympic Park!  On the back of every student's lift ticket is a waiver which will be read to them on the bus.  This posting is for parent's to understand the liability and exclusion by Winsport. 

(posted Feb 04/2018)



Our Students Rock!  Thanks to everyone for another spectacular trip to Nakiska Ski Resort on January 19!  How can anyone not love mountain school!


(posted Jan 22)




Another Epic Trip to Ribbon Creek Hostel for our Westmount Students......our students braved the cold temperatures and worked on developing their positive SELF-LEADERSHIP by cross country skiing and snowshoeing for three days.  Our students enjoyed the full hostel experience by independently preparing their own meals, cleaning up and living in the dorm rooms!  A huge thank you to Claire, Jed, Heidi, Brad and Mrs. Swanson for chaperoning this trip!  Another bracelet earned by our spectacular students....enjoy the photos!



A reminder that the Nakiska ski/Snowboard trip is scheduled for Friday, January 19/2018.  Students are reminded to be at school for 6:30 am with a planned departure of 6:45.  Don't be late as the bus will leave without you!  Students can bring their own lunch or can bring money to purchase one from the cafe.  A reminder for students to leave all electronics at home for this trip.  Any devices found on the bus ride will be removed and held for the duration of the trip.  Our return time is scheduled between 4:45 - 5:00 pm. 

Remember to do the snow dance, we want to make fresh trax on Friday!


It's that time again.....let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!


The 4th Annual Nakiska Ski/Snowboard trip is back!  Once again we will be taking 50 Grade 6-9 Westmount students out for a downhill adventure at Nakiska Ski Resort located in Kananaskis.  All information for this January 19th adventure will be found here.  Don't miss out.  All forms and information has been handed out to students on Monday, November 13.  This trip will fill up fast, be sure to get your forms turned in!  Fees can be paid either by cash, cheque or payment on line using Maplewood.  Contact Mr. Kotowich, Mr. Jones or Mrs. Watkins for more information!

Posted Nov 17

Our next Grade 7 PE Option is Camping and Hiking skills.  For those students who have registered, they will be participating with two trips.  On Monday November 27, students will be kayaking at the Highriver pool, leaving school at 12:30 and returning by 3:15.  and on Wednesday November 29, students will be out for a day hike/snowshoe adventure.  If your son or daughter misplaced their permission forms, you will find them here.  (Be sure to find both forms) Just a reminder that all students have to pay the $30 course fee, by either cash, cheque or payable online using Maplewood.





Another Great Westmount Adventure!  The Grade 8/9 students who registered for the PE option of Camping and Hike skills had an epic snowshoeing adventure up the shoulder of Mt. Hoffmann in Sandy McNabb Provincial Park on Tuesday, November 14.  Here are a few photos from the great day!  Enjoy!



A reminder that on Nov 6 and 7, our Outdoor Leadership students will be kayaking for the afternoon at the pool in high river.  Students are encouraged to bring a towel, bathing suit, a shirt for the pool if they would like.  We will be departing Westmount at 12:30, paddling from 1:00-2:30 and returning to school between 3:05-3:15.  Students are reminded to be proactive in seeking out their teachers to make up their missed work for their missed afternoon classes.


Camp Impeesa was a huge success for our Grade 7 Students!!! A huge thank you to my colleagues, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Watkins, Mrs. Wooldridge, Mrs. Crane and Elo for coming out and suppporting this adventure, without you, these experiences cound not happen.  Here are a few photos of our trip!



The first round of our Outdoor Leadership backpacking trip to Elbow Lake was a huge success!  Despite some cold temperatures in the mornings, students had a great time learning outside.  Here are a few pictures from our trip, Enjoy!

Our Outdoor Leadership students testing their rain gear to ensure that it is working properly for our upcoming backpacking trips!



For those Grade 6 parents who did not attend our Camp Chief Hector parent meeting on September 27, you will find a copy of the presentation here.  Be sure to look through this to get the necessary information for your child's participation with our November 1-3 Eco School.  If needed, you will find the permission forms and packing lists for this trip with your child's homeroom teacher.


The Grade 7 Camp Impeesa is a go!!!  The fire situation has improved significantly with cooler temperatures and much needed precipitation.  As such, the student camp fee of $175 is to be turned in by Friday, Sept 29 so that final plans can be made with regards to student numbers.  If you did not get the opportunity to attend the parent meeting, you will find a copy of the presentation here.


Just a reminder for those Grade 7-9 Outdoor Leadership students to have paid their course fees or have made arrangements with the office administration prior to participating with our backpacking trips. 
  • If you are needing to visit the parent presentation regarding the Elbow Lake backpacking trip again, you will find it here.
  • In preparation for our trips, students are reminded to bring in their rain gear (jackets/pants) for testing with the Hunter Education students on Monday, Sept 25 and Tuesday Sept 26.  Also the following video link will help our first time adventures learn to pack their packs correctly.  Please watch this and note how all clothing, equipment and gear can fit into a 65 L backpack.  School gear (backpacks/stuff sacs/etc) will be handed out to students on September 28/29.


Welcome back to another year of great Outdoor Adventures at Westmount School!

We are only a few days into the year, but many exciting things are happening.  This year we are offering three different grade level camps for our students.  Our Grade 5 students will be attending Kamp Kiwanis on Sept 18-19, our Grade 6 students are off again to Camp Chief Hector from Nov. 01-03 and finally our Grade 7 students are off to Camp Impeesa near Beaver Mines, AB.

As with all overnight camps, FSD policy requires that we have a mandatory face to face parent information meeting.  These meetings will be held in our gymnasium starting at 7:00 pm.  They are scheduled as follows,

Grade 5 Kamp Kiwanis      Wednesday, Sept 06

Grade 6 Camp Chief Hector   Wednesday, Sept 27 

Grade 7 Camp Impeesa     Thursday, Sept 14

In addition, both Outdoor Leadership classes have backpacking trips going out in October, their parent information meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 12.  Hope to see everyone there!

If you missed the meeting, you will find the power point presentation at this link .