From Pam Wright
ORTM 205 Outdoor Skills and Leadership is a new, required, class in UNBC’s Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management program designed to introduce students to a wide range of outdoor field skills and to explore some of the fundamentals of outdoor group leadership. With the assistance of a UNBC Undergraduate Experiential/Service Learning grant, the ORTM 205 students had the opportunity to expand their explorations beyond the UNBC environs and get out into the field. Early in the semester we took two trips out to the Aleza area. Our first trip was a fall camping trip where we experimented with setting up a minimal impact base camp – all the more challenging for the group because it rained like crazy the whole time. Turns out this was a great group dynamics challenge for the students who excelled at keeping everything dry while keeping spirits high. In addition to some basic camping skills we had a great navigation (map, compass and GPS) workshop around the site of the new Aleza field centre and hiked the South Knolls trail. The group discussed a range of outdoor recreation and outdoor education activities that could be done in the area.
Our second trip picked up where the rainy trip left off – climbing at the nearby Giscome Rock, a 15 mins drive from from Aleza, with instructors from OverHang climbing gym, an amazing climbing resource right next to Aleza Lake Research Forest the rock wall overlooks Giscome lake providing a superb area to learn and practice climbing for every skill level. For next year we have a third trip planned: winter camping out on the research forest – it’s a perfect setting for building quinzhees, snow caves, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.