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Sea to Sky Outdoor School

"I do not want to talk about what you understand about this world. I want to know what you will do about it. I do not want to know what you hope. I want to know what you will work for. I do not want your sympathy for the needs of humanity. I want your muscle." — Robert Fulghum

Our road trip across Canada was never about the impossible: it was always the possible and all the possibilities that are created with action.

So many times while the battery on our electric vehicle charged,it was in fact Buddy and I who recharged with our meetings with all the inspirational individuals making the possible with their dreams, and their efforts.

I remember in Sault St Marie seeing a young First Nations woman sitting with two older men on a bench by the water. Her eyes looked vacant and coated with gelatin-like goo. She looked lost and worn beyond her years. Her image stuck in my mind as the picture I could not take.

That untaken picture I would think about later on the road as my mind sorted conversations and events.

Hope had been a common theme of the many conversations I had with individuals.

Watching the countryside whirl by my mind had a chance to think about “hope”. I realized that anyone can have hope. The girl on the bench could have hope. Terry Fox had hope. Dave MacKenzie cycling across Canada has hope.

There is often talk about hope for the future but unless hope is a movement or an action it remains unfulfilled.

If we have hope for the future then we must do something for that to happen. We must make our own possible.

Last week as wonderful cap on our journey we were invited to visit Sea to Sky Outdoor School on the Sunshine Coast.

Imagine Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters but not a comic book fantasy but a training ground for young minds to nurture leadership development. Sea to Sky Outdoor School for Sustainability Education focuses on building the relations and understanding of nature and empowering individuals to be actionists changing behaviours and habits to be more competent in creating durable, resilient, and responsible lives at home, at school and in the community . Sea to Sky teaches eco-literacy in a fun supportive environment amongst the tall trees and wonders of nature. While comic book heroes entertain; we need the everyday heroes bring balance between human welfare and nature.

Tim Turner created the Sea to Sky educational experience in 1992 on Keats Island and since that time the outdoor school has grown to provide over 2000 young people and adults a lasting learning adventure. Tim’s love of the outdoors and his commitment to conserve our natural assets as well as his respect for the abilities of his students promotes an atmosphere of self-discovery for all who participate in the Sea to Sky Outdoor experience.

While in Red Deer Alberta we were being interviewed by reporter Josh Hall, he pointed at the logo of Sea to Sky Outdoor School on the car and told us that he had attended the school in high school. He referred to it as “the best experience he had in high school” and asked us to give his regards to Tim.

Josh carries those lessons and memories with him.

The 150 students that we met last week also will carry the lessons and experiences with them. They are curious and questioning as they form those growing connections with nature and the future.

Last night, when I was talking about the hope theme of this blog post, Tim recommended a quote by David Orr professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.”

Tim Turner and the other skilled educators at Sea to Sky Outdoor School empower students to roll up their sleeves and make their own possible.

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